Amid the continued tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China, Lt General PGK Menon takes over as the new commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps, also known as the Fire and Fury Corps.
He replaced Lt. Gen. Harinder Singh, who completed his one-year tenure as the corps commander, and will take over as the Commandant of the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun.
Son of Subedar S.K. Menon (Retd), Lt Gen. Menon has been in Leh since the beginning of the month and also took part in the military talks held between India and China Monday.
He had also been a part of the 21 September meeting, which was the first-ever joint military and diplomatic-level meeting between India and China.
The Fire and Fury Corps has the dual task of dealing with China in Ladakh and also Pakistan in the Drass-Kargil-Batalik and the Siachen sector.
Lt. Gen. Menon was commissioned in the 17th Battalion of the Sikh Regiment and is also the colonel commandant of the Sikh Regiment.
A big factor that works in his favour is that he has prior experience of dealing with China in the 14 Corps and in the Eastern Command.
In 2008, he was the Colonel GS (General Staff) in the 3 Division of the Army that looks after the LAC in Ladakh, and is currently embroiled in the standoff with China.
He returned to the 14 Corps in 2014 after this tenure as the Brigadier General Staff in charge of operations.
As a major general, the officer commanded the 71 Division in Eastern Tawang in the Eastern Command.
Sources noted that the officer has been actively involved in the deliberations on the situation in Ladakh and the Army’s response to China.
In the Army circles, Lt. Gen. Menon is seen as an operations-oriented person with a thinking cap.
“The officer has been born into the Army as the son of a Subedar. He has now risen to the top and is a proud moment for us as the Army,” said the senior Army officer quoted above.
He added that Lt. Gen. Menon’s experience of dealing with China in the past will help him make decisions faster and smoothly.