R Hari Kumar appointed next chief of navy staff; The first-ever Malayalee to take over as Naval chief

Vice admiral R Hari Kumar, who hails from Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram becomes the first Malayalee to take the position as the next Chief of the Naval Staff. Replacing Admiral Karambir Singh, Hari Kumar will take over as India’s next navy chief on November 30 where the former chief retires on the same day.

The government announced the new chief on November 9 and the chief Hari Kumar is presently serving as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command.

The 59-year-old officer, Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar was commissioned in January 1983 to the Executive Branch of the Indian Navy.

Vice Admiral has served in a variety of command, staff, and instructional appointments during his long and prominent service spanning 39 years. He also has command powers in different sectors in the Navy,  his sea command includes INS-Nishank, Missile Corvette, INS-Kora, and Guided Missile Destroyer INS-Ranvir. He also commanded Indian Navy’s aircraft carrier.

Hari Kumar was  Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee prior to his duties and position in Western Naval Command. In that capacity, he was engaged in the ongoing theatrical drive for the optimal use of military resources.

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Moreover, Kumar has been conferred with the Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM), Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM), and the Vishist Seva Medal (VSM). Vice Admiral Kumar has undergone courses at the Naval War College, the US, Army War College, Mhow, and Royal College of Defence Studies, the UK. After joining in the 61st course of the National Defense Academy, he attended the Naval Staff Course at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. While serving as the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, he was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral. Later on 1 August 2018, he assumed charge as the Chief of personnel, succeeding Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla.