Vice admiral R Hari Kumar will be replacing Admiral KB Singh, who is superannuating after a 30-month tenure, as the next chief of naval staff on Tuesday.
“The government has appointed Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, presently Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command, as the next Chief of the Naval Staff with effect from the afternoon of November 30,” the defence ministry said in a statement on November 9.
Kumar has played a crucial role in the basic foundation of theatre command structures as part of the Integrated Defence Staff headquarters.
Born on April 12, 1962, Kumar was commissioned into the Indian Navy on January 1, 1983. In his service spanning nearly 39 years, Kumar has served in a variety of command, staff and instructional appointments.
Kumar’s sea command includes INS Nishank, Missile Corvette, INS Kora and Guided Missile Destroyer INS Ranvir. He also commanded the navy’s aircraft carrier INS Viraat.
“Kumar served as Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet. Before taking over as FOC-in-C Western Naval Command, he was Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee,” the defence ministry statement also said.
He has undergone courses at the US Naval War College, Army War College, Mhow and Royal College of Defence Studies in the United Kingdom.
Kumar has been decorated with the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) and the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM). On November 23, he was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) by President Ram Nath Kovind.
(With agency inputs)