Lt General Rawat was commissioned in the 5th Battalion of the 11 Gorkha Rifles from the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, where he was awarded the 'Sword of Honour'. The officer has vast experience in high altitude warfare and counter-insurgency operations and has considerable staff and instructional experience. He has commanded an infantry battalion, along the line of actual control (LAC) in the Eastern Sector; a Rashtriya Rifles Sector and an Infantry Division in the Kashmir Valley. His important staff assignments include Deputy Military Secretary in the Military Secretary's branch and Major General (General Staff) at HQ Eastern Command. On a United Nations (UN) assignment, the officer commanded a multinational Brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Whilst serving with the UN, he was twice awarded the Force Commander's Commendation.
From his assignment as General Officer Commanding Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa area, located at Mumbai, he took over as General Officer Commanding in Chief, Southern Command on January 1, 2016. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Higher Commad Course at the Army War College and the War College Course at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, USA.
The officer during a span of over 37 years of service has been awarded the AVSM, YSM, SM and VSM. He is also a recipient of COAS Commendation twice and an Army Commander's Commendation. His qualifications include a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) from Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut, in 2011.