• Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

‘Military thinker’ and former Army chief SF Rodrigues no more ,PM Modi offers condolences

General Sunith Francis Rodrigues, PVSM,VSM, ADC (Retired) died on 04 Mar 2022 at his native place Goa at the age of 88.He was admitted to the Manipal Hospital in Panaji.

The officer was commissioned into Regiment of Artilllery on 18 Dec 1952 and commanded a Medium Regiment from January 1970 to October 1971.A man of indomitable spirit, the officer took part in the lndo-Pak War of 1971 and later commanded a Mountain Brigade, an Infantry Division and a Corps in the Western Sector.He served as the GOC-in-C Central Command and later as the GOG-in-C Western Command . Thereafter, he was the Vice Chief of Army Staff, when the Indian Peace Keeping Force was deployed in Jaffna, Sri Lanka during Operation PAWAN. The General Officer was appointed as the Hony ADC to the President of India in 1987 and was decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 1988. He took over as the Chief of Army Staff on 30 June 1990, and retired from Army on 30 June 1993,after 41 years of distinguished service .

He was also instrumental in the induction of women in the serving area of the Army in 1991, marking an important step towards empowering women to serve their country.

General SF Rodrigues  was widely known as a strategist and a visionary leader. After retirement, he engaged himself in social and literary pursuits and delivered numerous talks on strategic issues. He was appointed as the Governor of Punjab on 09 Nov 2004.

His passing away has left an irreparable void in the Gunner fraternity. He is survived by his wife Mrs Jean Rodrigues, sons Capt Neale Rodrigues (Merchant Navy), Dr. Mark Rodrigues and daughter Mrs. Susan Viswanathan.

General MM Naravane COAS and all Ranks of “Regiment of Artillery” express heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of General Sunith Francis Rodrigues.Known as a Thinker and Strategist, he leaves behind a legacy of utmost dedication and service to the Nation. 

Since his retirement, he has been engaged in social and literary pursuits and has also delivered numerous talks on strategic issues. The Nation and Indian Army will always be indebted to his invaluable contribution and service to the Nation. 

“Anguished by the passing away of General SF Rodrigues, the nation will remain indebted to him for his exceptional service and contribution towards making India stronger. RIP,” the Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

The last rites of SF Rodrigues are scheduled to be held at Moksha Crematorium at St Inez Panaji in Goa on March 7 at 3.30 pm.

Pratyusha Mukherjee

Broadcast Journalist, BBC News

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