At a time when the country’s institutions are crumbling one after another, the people and the media have shown a high level of optimism with the appointment of general Gaurav Sumsher Rana as the Chief of Army Staff of the Nepal Army.
Given the state of political instability, it is natural for people to feel some relieved with the appointment of capable and elegant personality like general Gaurav to lead the oldest security institution.
"The right is to work only, never to its fruits: let not the fruits-of-action be thy motive, nor let thy attachment be inaction," COAS Gaurav Sumsher Rana wrote in his face book wall.
“I am grateful to all of you for your support and best wishes on my promotion and assumption of office of the Chief of Army Staff. I appreciate the time you took to go through my page. I am overwhelmed by all your invaluable comments and suggestions. They have added to my resolve to work even harder to achieve the high expectations that have been placed before me. I hope for your continued support in my efforts to curb graft, deliver justice and pursue modernization. The Nepalese Army is an institution that is raised from and supported by the people of Nepal. It is a collection of ordinary citizens of Nepal, trained to collectively achieve the uncommon. Your rational and critical observations are necessary to lead us to our goals.”
Along with the newspaper headlines, congratulatory words and comments from various walks of life welcomed the newly-appointed Chief of Army Staffs (CoAS). However, his job is challenging.
“The history of the Nepalese Army is largely the history of modern Nepal. This gallant institution has stood firm to serve the interests of Nepal and the Nepalese people, be it against external threats, internal threats or in times of disaster. Today, I feel privileged to lead this proud institution and assure that I shall leave no stone unturned to maintain its apolitical nature and to abide by national policies to maintain a professional and efficient Nepalese Army,” said COAS Rana.
Known for his clean image and professionalism, Rana, however, faces various challenges to improve the professional military organization of 93,000 strength. The most important challenge before General Rana is to bring about structural changes in the organization by winning the confidence of the government, said Shiva Ram Pradhan, a retired major general. "Many generals are compelled to retire young due to the stalled restructuring process. With his clean image and clear vision along with strong leadership quality, Rana can expedite the stalled restructuring process of the NA," Pradhan said, adding,
"It will be the prime duty of Rana to maintain professionalism of the NA intact and strengthen ability of the army to safeguard democracy in the face of current critical political situation," said Chitra Bahadur Gurung, retired lieutenant general.
Born in 1955, General Gaurav Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana is the son of late major general Aditya SJB Rana. A direct descendent of Rana Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher, Rana followed his father´s footsteps by training in the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, United Kingdom, and was commissioned into the Purano Gorakh Battalion in 1974. Rana is an alumnus of the US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, USA and the National Defense University, Pakistan. He holds a Bachelor´s Degree in History from Tribhuvan University and Masters Degree in Defense and Strategic Studies from Quaid-E-Azam University of Pakistan.