Air Marshal RD Mathur AVSM VSM is an alumnus of St Joseph's Academy, Dehradun, where he topped the 1976 ICSE batch. He joined the National Defence Academy in 1978 and was First in the Order of Merit in the BSc Course. Commissioned in the fighter stream on 04 Jun 1982, the officer achieved Fully Ops, 2 ac lead and Green status on Mig-21 Bis aircraft while still in the rank of Flying Officer.
He was amongst four fighter pilots selected in 1987 for a tenure on the then recently acquired attack helicopter, the MI-25. Deployed in Sri Lanka, he flew over tens of live operational missions for the Indian Peace Keeping Force, often coming under hostile ground fire.
Returning to the fighter stream in end 1989, he underwent the Qualified Flying Instructors' Course, upgrading to QFI Cat A in Jan 1992.
In 1995-96, he underwent the Defence Service Staff Course. He spent four years at the Flying Instructors' School, Tambaram, where he was instrumental in the development of numerous innovative audio-visual flying training aids. In Feb 2016, he was promoted to the rank of Air Marshal and deputed to NTRO, where he held the appointment of Centre Director and Additional Secretary (Policy & Planning). Returning to the IAF in Aug 2018, he was posted to HQ SWAC as Senior Air Staff Officer.
For his distinguished service, he has been awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in 2003 and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2014 by the President of India.
The officer has numerous and varied interests and hobbies. He has flown the MIG-21 Bis solo as an Air Mshl. Again as an Air Mshl, he underwent the regular Basic Para Jump Course and earned his Para Brevet in 2017. He is a keen horse rider. In the last five years, he has revived his passion for water sports, including water skiing, wind surfing and surf boarding. He has gone caving and bungee-jumping. He is a keen electronics hobbyist and sometimes plays golf.
He is married to Mrs Shipra Mathur and they are blessed with two daughters.