In one of the biggest air accidents in India in decades involving senior military officers, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, Brigadier Lakhwinder Singh Lidder, and 10 other armed forces personnel were killed in the ill-fated Mi-17V5 helicopter crash near Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor on December 8. It is a major setback for India. On December 30, 2019, Gen Bipin Rawat was appointed the first tri-service chief. The CDS is a one-point advisor to the government on matters related to the military and functions with the main aim of integrating the three services – the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force.He was awarded for his gallantry and distinguished service with the UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, COAS over the span of his 38 years of service. He was also a part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force, and was twice awarded the Force Commander’s Commendation while serving with the United Nations. He was also awarded the Sword of Honor from IMA, Dehradun. During the 1987 Sino-Indian skirmish in the Sumdorong Chu valley, then Captain Rawat’s battalion was deployed against the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.The standoff was the first military confrontation along the disputed McMahon Line after the 1962 war.