- General Rawat pointed to his peaked Gorkha hat as he made the remark
- Chief of Defence Staff "will remain neutral", he said today
- The post has been created to integrate the three wings of armed forces
Resplendent in the uniform of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat declared today that his head was feeling "much lighter". The former Army Chief had taken over his new job yesterday - a post created by the government to integrate the three wings of the armed forces and trim the weapons procurement process.
Appearing before the reporters on New Year's day outside his South Block office, General Rawat said, "My head is feeling lighter because I have had to take off that so-called angled Gorkha hat which I have been wearing for 41 years".
Pointing to his peaked cap, he said, "I have come back to the peak because this peak cap I am wearing is to say that we are now neutral".
Then he elaborated. "The CDS will remain neutral. He will be neutral to all the three services, within his own service, and therefore my head is certainly feeling lighter," General Rawat said.
The chiefs of the Army, Navy and the Air Force would report to the Chief of Defence Staff, whose post the authorities have described as "the first among the equals".
The insignia of the Chief of Defence Staff draws elements from all the three wings of the armed forces, complete with an eagle (signifying the Air Force), two swords (Army), an anchor (Navy) and the state emblem encompassed by a laurel wreath. Going by the images shared, the insignia will feature on the buttons, belt buckle and peaked cap worn by the top military official.
Yesterday, the defence ministry had provided a sneak peek of the uniform of the Chief of Defence Staff - its public information wing had tweeted out the photographs of the buttons, belt buckle, shoulder insignia and the peaked cap.
As the CDS, General Rawat would be in direct contact with the Prime Minister on security issues and head the Department of Military Affairs.