Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita retired from his role as GOC in C of the Eastern Command, Indian Army, on December 31, 2023, concluding a distinguished career spanning forty years. Notably, he was the first from Assam and the entire Northeast region to hold this prestigious position. During his career, he achieved the rare Uttam Yudh Sewa Medal (UYSM), a decoration presented by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, on November 22, 2021.
Kalita set records in the Indian Army, becoming the first Army officer from Assam to be appointed as the Corps Commander. His achievements also include being the second from the Northeast, following Lieutenant General (retired) K Himalaya Singh of Manipur, to hold this position. His exemplary service and leadership qualities left an indelible mark on the history of the Indian Army.
Kalita’s journey towards a military career began as a schoolboy in the 1970s. Growing up adjacent to a military station, he was captivated by the sight of soldiers and officers in their distinctive Olive Green uniforms. His fascination led his father, a respected teacher, to enroll him in the prestigious Sainik School, Goalpara, in 1973. There, he showcased both academic excellence and early leadership skills.
Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita’s retirement marked the culmination of a lifelong dream to serve in the Indian Army. His commitment and dedication were evident in his journey from a schoolboy fascinated by passing military vehicles to a high-ranking officer leaving a legacy of bravery and extraordinary leadership. His contributions to the nation and the armed forces are commemorated in his trailblazing career.