Lieutenant General Dr Soni relinquishes command of the southern army on 30 September 2018


After completing an illustrious service of more than 39 years in the Indian Army, Lieutenant General Dewan Rabindranath Soni, Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, Aide-De-Camp relinquishes command of the Southern Army on 30 September 18. As a parting tribute, the Army Commander paid homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial, Pune in a solemn ceremony held on 29 September 18.

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In his accomplished career, the General officer has held several important staff, instructional and command appointments including command of an Armoured Division and a Corps in the Western Theatre. He was General Officer Commanding -in -Chief of Army Training Command (ARTRAC) prior to taking over the Southern Army. He has excelled in all Army Courses which include Defence Services Staff College, Higher Command Course, National Defence College Course and also holds a Masters degree in Global Security from Cranfield University Shrivenham, United Kingdom.  He has been awarded with Param Vishist Seva Medal and Vishist Seva Medal at various stages of his glorious career. He was also bestowed with the honorable title of Aide-De-Camp to the President on 01 January 18, a rare honor awarded to select few in the higher ranks of the three Services.

The General Officer during his tenure was instrumental in giving required impetus to operational and logistics issues which greatly enhanced the operational efficiency of the Command. He laid the foundation for continuous evolution, refinement and validation of operational tasks by bringing in greater synergy with the other Services i.e. Navy and Air Force. Deeply concerned about the welfare of troops, he ensured improved standard of living for all ranks.Veteran’s welfare always remained close to his heart which he pursued passionately.

During his tenure as Army Commander, there were a number of major activities in the Southern Command area of responsibility which got recognition both at national and international level. Some of these include orchestration of one of the largest Exercise with Troops in the Deserts i.e. Exercise Hamesha Vijayee in December 2017, construction of three Foot Over Bridges at Mumbai in a record time in February 2018, opening of a new Army Law College at Kanhe (Pune) on 16 July 2018, rescue and relief operations during Kerala floods in August 2018 and recently conducted BIMSTEC nations Multinational Military Field Training Exercise (MILEX-18)which included a Chief’s Conclave of the Service Chiefs of the BIMSTEC nations, which concluded on 16 September 18.


The General Officer is married to Dr (Mrs) Suman Soni.  She as Regional President Southern Command Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) was a driving force behind all family welfare activities in Southern Command.  She had a special commitment to schools for children with special needs wherein she went to great lengths to ensure these children were given expert handling so that they could grow normally as part of the main stream. Under her able supervision, the Command undertook creation of infrastructure for skill development with a focus on enhancing employability of the spouses of the Junior Commissioned Officers and the Other Ranks. She was in the forefront in conceptualisation and execution of multifarious pragmatic welfare schemes for the Veer Naris.


All ranks of Pune Cantonment gave a befitting and dignified farewell to General &Mrs DR Soni.

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