NATO Chiefs of Defence

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Major General BAZO graduated from Albanian Military Academy “Skënderbej”, in Tirana, Albania, in 1985 and was commissioned as an active duty officer in the Albanian Armed Forces. First years of his career were served as Platoon Leader, Infantry Company Commander, Battalion executive officer and as an Instructor in Branch/Troop School.

MG BAZO served as Head of Section in the Personnel Department, Albanian MoD from 1993 to 1995. In 1996 he graduated from George C. Marshall, European Centre for Security Studies – College for Security Studies and Defence Economics. He then served as Head of the newly established Department for National Security at the Albanian Defence Academy.

From 1997 – 2000, MG BAZO served as NATO Liaison Officer in the Albanian MoD. Later that year, he was assigned as the Commandant of the Albanian NCO-s Academy where he served until October 2002. In 2003 BG BAZO commanded the Albanian Military Academy, leading the efforts to transform the military commissioning undergraduate school to a Military University. He served as the Commandant of Albanian Military University until June 2005.

In 2007, MG BAZO was assigned to plan and initiate a Regional Senior Course on Security and Defence Studies. International participation in this course supported the Albanian efforts, and those of other countries in the region to become full NATO members by 2009.

During the period 2010-2012, MG BAZO led the Defence Planning and Monitoring Division (J5) at the Albanian General Staff. This was an important period of the Albanian Armed Forces as a new NATO member. During his leadership in the J5, there were a number of important duties and task accomplished, which were the fundamental milestones for the full integration to NATO. Some of the main ones are the implementation of the AAF new Structure, Albanian-NATO integration Conferences, Submission of the Defence Planning Capability Survey and NATO-Albania bilateral and multilateral meetings/consultation, NATO Transformation Conferences and NATO Military Committee Meetings in CHOD format.

MG BAZO graduated from Albanian Command and General Staff College and is a graduate of United States Army War College, class of 2006, where he earned a master degree in Strategic Studies.

He has also participated, contributed and lectured in many conferences and working groups mainly on defence, security and education issues. MG BAZO has published in a variety of specialized papers and magazines and author & co-author of many research papers and articles.

In his career, MG BAZO was promoted Captain (in 1991), Major (1994), Lt Colonel (1995), and Colonel in 2006. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in 2012, and served as the Defence and Security Adviser to the President of the Republic of Albania.

Recently by the decree of the President of the Republic of Albania Nr.8372 dated 07.11.2013, he was appointed as the Chief of General Staff of AAF, and was promoted to the rank of Major General.

During his carrier, for distinguished work and contributions, MG BAZO has been awarded with several decorations including the Military Merit Medal and Orders.

Major General BAZO is married and has 2 children.

Gerard Van Caelenberge

Chief of Defence – Belgium


General Gerard Van Caelenberge was born in Antwerp on 6 September 1952.

After completing his secondary education at the « Sint-Michielscollege »(Collège Saint Michel -secondary school) in Brasschaat and at the Royal Cadets School in Lier from 1967 to 1970, he joins the Air Force as student pilot of the polytechnic division at the Royal Military Academy from 1970 to 1975.
After his training on Marchetti SF-260 in Gossoncourt, on Fouga Magister and T-33 in Brustem, he obtains his pilot wings in July 1977.

After a pilot’s training on F-104G Startfighter, he is assigned to 350th Squadron of the 1st Fighter Wing in Beauvechain. He will attend a conversion on F-16 and will specialise in electronic warfare.
After completing the Staff Course at the Royal Defence College in Brussels from September 1983 until May 1984, he goes back to the 350th Squadron for the first time to exercise the duty of operations officer.

In April 1985, he is assigned to the Air Force Staff operations section, where he is in charge of the F-16 and of Air Defence.
From September 1988 until June 1989, he will attend the Senior Staff Course at the Royal Defence College and will next be appointed commander of the F-16 350th Squadron in Beauvechain.

In September 1991, he joins the Air Force Staff Plans and Programmes section, where he is in charge of the Mid-life Updates and of the self-defence systems for Mirage 5, F-16 and C-130H.

In August 1995, he goes back to the F-16 and the Beauvechain airbase as Commander of the Flying Group of the 1st Fighter Wing.
From March 1996, he will attend training as instructor on Alpha-jet and Marchetti SF-260 and will first be appointed interim commander of the base and next Flying Group Commander of the Centralised Flying Schools.

From August 1997 until February 1998, he attends the Senior Course at the NATO Defence College in Rome before being assigned to the Air Force Staff Plan and Programmes Section in Evere, which he will command in September 1998.
In December 2000, after the Air Force Staff being restructured, he is in charge of the new Plans, Policy and Requirements Section.

In September 2001, after a conversion on upgraded F-16AM, he is appointed Commander of the 10th Tactical Wing in Kleine Brogel.
In October 2004, he is transferred to the Defence Staff Operations & Training Department where he is appointed Head of the Concepts & Plans Division.

In January 2005, after this department being restructured, he is appointed Deputy Operations Commander.
On 1 April 2005, he is appointed Aide-de-Camp to the King.

On 1 January 2006, he is appointed Air Component Commander and from January 2006 until January 2008, he concurrently holds the position of Director of the European Air Group, an organisation whose headquarters is located in High Wycombe (UK) and which enhances interoperability among air forces of seven European countries (Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom).

General Gerard Van Caelenberge has been appointed as Assistant Chief of Staff Operations and Training since 21 July 2009.

In addition, His Majesty the King appointed him as acting Chief of Defence as from the 30 March 2012.

On 13 July 2012, he is appointed Chief of Defence with the rank of General.

General Gerard Van Caelenberge is married to Anne Van den Berghe and has two daughters Elisabeth and Kathleen.

Rumen Nikolov

Chief of Defence – Bulgaria


Vice Admiral Rumen Nikolov was born on 9 February 1957 in Tervel, Bulgaria.


1976 – Secondary education completed in Varna, Bulgaria;
1976-1981 – “Nikola Vaptsarov” Naval Academy;
1989-1991 – Naval Academy, Russia;
2003-2004 – “G. S. Rakovski” National Defence College, Sofia.

Military Career:

1981-1982 – Commander of Combat Unit-1 of anti-submarine ship in 1st Squadron of anti-submarine ships of Varna Naval Base;
1982-1984 – Commander of Combat Unit-2 and 3 of anti-submarine ship in 1st Squadron of anti-submarine ships of Varna Naval Base;
1984-1987 – Assistant Commander of anti-submarine ship in 1st Squadron of anti-submarine ships of Varna Naval Base;
1987-1989 – Commander of anti-submarine ship in 1st Squadron of anti-submarine ships of Varna Naval Base;
1989-1991 – Student at the NavalAcademy of Russia;
1991-1992 – Senior Assistant Chief for Operational and Tactical Training of Operational and Combat Training Section at the HQ of Varna Naval Base;
1992-1994 – Senior Assistant Chief for Operational and Tactical Training of Operations Department, Navy HQ;
1994-1996 – Senior Assistant Chief for Operational and Tactical Training and for Interaction with Land Forces and Air Force, Operations Department, Navy HQ;
1996-1997 – Senior Assistant Chief for Operational and Tactical Training and for Interaction with Land Forces and Air Force, Operations Department, Operational Training and Forces Command and Control Directorate, Navy HQ;
1997-2001 – Commander of Patrol Boat Squadron of Varna Naval Base;
2001-2002 – Deputy Commander of Varna Naval Base;
2002-2003 – Deputy Commander for Forces Training of Varna Naval Base;
2003-2004 – Student at “G. S. Rakovski” National Defence College, Sofia;
2004-2006 – Chief of Operations Directorate, Navy HQ;
2006-2009 – Commander of Varna Naval Base;
2009-2011 – Deputy Chief of the Bulgarian Navy
2011- Deputy Commander of the Bulgarian Navy
2011-2014 – Commander of the Bulgarian Navy
2014 – Chief of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria


1981 – Second Lieutenant;
1984 – First Lieutenant;
1988 – Lieutenant;
1993 – Lieutenant Commander;
1996 – Commander;
1999 – Captain;
2007 – Brigadier Admiral;
2009 – Commodore;
2011 – Rear Admiral;
2014 – Vice Admiral

Awards and Decorations:

Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service under the Colours -3rd Class;
Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service under the Colours -2nd Class;
Cold Steel Naval Dirk.;
Medal of Honour of the MoD “St. George the Victor” – 1st Class.

Foreign Languages:

Vice Admiral Nikolov is fluent in English and Russian.

Marital Status:

Married, with two children.

General Thomas J. Lawson, CMM, CD

English/Anglais SU2013-0183-3 06 May 2013 Ottawa, ON Formal Portrait. Name/Rank; Lawson General Thomas J., Unit; Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Directorate; CDS, Trade/MOSID; Pilot, 00183, POSN; CDS. Image by Corporal Heather JL MacRae Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa) Imaging Services © 2013 DND-MDN Canada
06 May 2013
Ottawa, ON
Formal Portrait. Name/Rank; Lawson General Thomas J., Unit; Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Directorate; CDS, Trade/MOSID; Pilot, 00183, POSN; CDS.
Image by Corporal Heather JL MacRae
Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa) Imaging Services
© 2013 DND-MDN Canada

General Thomas J. Lawson graduated from the Royal Military College (RMC) of Canada with an Electrical Engineering Degree in 1979. Upon completion of his flight training in 1981, he was posted to 421 Squadron in Baden, Germany, where he flew the CF-104 Starfighter. Following this four-year tour, in 1985, he completed a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering through RMC, and then went on to serve as a professor at the College.

Promoted to Major in 1988, General Lawson was posted to Montgomery, Alabama, to attend the United States Air Force (USAF) Staff College. During that time, he also completed a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at Auburn University.

Posted to Cold Lake, Alberta, in 1991, General Lawson completed CF-18 Hornet training and then returned to Germany for a second operational tour, this time with 421 and 439 Squadrons. With the closure of Canadian Forces Base Baden, he was posted back to Cold Lake where he was assigned to 410 Squadron to serve as the Officer in Charge of the Fighter Weapons Instructor School.

In 1996, General Lawson was posted to Ottawa as a career manager and soon after promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel. Then in 1998, while still serving in Ottawa, he was appointed Commanding Officer of 412 Squadron. Upon completion of that assignment in 2000, he was placed in charge of career management for the Air Force, at which time he also completed the USAF Air War College Program.

Promoted to Colonel in 2003, General Lawson held various staff positions within the Air Force before joining the CAF Transformation Team in 2005 where he led the stand-up of the Strategic Joint Staff organization. Posted to 8 Wing Trenton in 2006, he completed a year as the Wing Commander before being promoted to Brigadier-General. In May of 2007 he was appointed Commandant of the Royal Military College in Kingston.

In 2009, General Lawson was promoted to Major-General and appointed Assistant Chief of the Air Staff. In July 2011, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General and posted to Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, where he assumed responsibility as the Deputy Commander North American Aerospace Defence Command.

General Lawson was promoted to his current rank and was formally appointed as the Canadian Forces’ Chief of the Defence Staff on October 29, 2012.

As defined in the National Defence Act, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) has direct responsibility for the command, control and administration of the Canadian Forces, and is appointed by the Governor-in-Council, on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The CDS also has a special relationship with the Governor General who, as the Queen’s (or King’s) representative in Canada, exercises virtually all of the powers of that office under the Constitution and hence serves as Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces(CAF). Formally speaking, though not in practice, there is a direct “line of command” from the Head of State (the King or Queen) to the Governor General, through the CDS to all the officers who hold the Queen’s Commission, and thus through them, to all members of the CAF.

In keeping with the responsibility to command, control and administer the CAF, the CDS also advises the Minister of National Defence on these subjects as required. This provision of advice can cover subjects such as current and future military requirements, force capabilities, and possible courses of action and the consequences of undertaking (or failing to undertake) various military activities.

The CDS is accountable to the Minister of National Defence for the conduct of all CAF activities, as well as for the readiness and the ability to fulfill military commitments and obligations undertaken by the government. The CDS implements government decisions that involve the CAF, by issuing orders and instructions.

Whenever required, the CDS also advises the Prime Minister and Cabinet directly on major military developments and issues. The Chief of the Defence Staff is the senior serving military advisor to the Government of Canada.

General Drago Lovrić

Chief of Defence – Croatia


In August 1991, at the beginning of the Homeland War in Croatia, he joined the Croatian Armed Forces. He was appointed Staff Officer in Zagreb Operational Zone and Zagreb Area Command, and subsequently commanded Tactical Group and Air Defense Brigade. He was next appointed Chief of Staff of Gospić Area Command. In February 1995, he became Deputy Commander of Gospić Area Command and in 1998 he was appointed Commander of the 1st Area Command.

In October 1999, GEN Lovrić became Deputy Head of Operations Directorate of the Croatian Armed Forces General Staff. From October 2000 to February 2007 he was Head of Operations Directorate in the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces. From September 2007 to February 2011 he was the Croatian Military Representative to NATO and EU.

On March 1, 2011, he was appointed Chief of General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces.

General Drago Lovrić holds titles of Master of Science in International Relations, obtained at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb, and Master of Science in the field of National Resource Strategy, from the Industrial College of Armed Forces of the U.S. National Defense University in Washington, which he attended from May 2003 to November 2004. In July 2012, he earned his doctorate in the field of National Security.

Having graduated from the Army Academy as a Second Lieutenant, he was promoted to First Lieutenant in 1984, and to Captain in 1987. After joining the Croatian Armed Forces, he was promoted to Major in 1992, to Lieutenant Colonel in 1993 and to Colonel in 1995. In 1996, he was promoted to the rank of Staff Brigadier and Brigadier General in 2000. In 2005, he was promoted to Major General, in 2011 he was promoted to Lieutenant General and in 2013 to General.

He has been decorated with numerous high Croatian military decorations: Homeland War Commemorative Decoration, Homeland War Commemorative Decoration for 5 and 10 years of distinguished service, Order of the Croatian Braid, Order of the Croatian Trefoil, Order of the Croatian Cross, Order of Ban Josip Jelačić, Order of Duke Domagoj with Neck Ribbon and Order of Duke Branimir with necklace. He has also received a Medal for Participation in Operation “Storm” and a Medal for Daring Feat.

On February 18, 2013, he was decorated with the Legion of Merit of the United States of America, awarded by the President of the United States of America for his achievements, special efforts and supreme performance of his duties.

He is married and father of two children.

Chief of the General Staff of Armed Forces of the Czech Republic



Lieutenant General Josef Becvar

Lieutenant General Josef Becvar

Date of Birth: 11 August 1958

Place of Birth: Pilsen


1973 – 1977
Military High School in Moravska Trebova

1977 – 1981
Military College of Land Forces in Vyskov – artillery speciality

1986 – 1989
Military Academy in Brno, postgraduate study, command-staff speciality: rocket troops and artillery

Information Course of the French Gendarmerie in Melun, France

1998 – 1999
General Defence School in Paris, France

Professional Career:

1981 – 1983
Platoon leader at rocket troops

1983 – 1984
Deputy Commander of a battery

1984 – 1985
Commander of a fire battery

1985 – 1986
Senior Officer at the Rocket Troops Authority

1989 – 1991
Senior Officer at the Artillery Staff of an armour division

1991 – 1993
Chief Senior Officer of the Military Police Authority

1993 – 1994
Deputy Commander of the Military Police Headquarters in Prague

1994 – 1997
Director of the Military Police Office

1997 – 1998
Chief of the Military Police

1998 – 1999
War School in France

1999 – 2004
Chief of the Military Police

28 Oct. 2002
conferred Brigadier General

8 May 2003
appointed Brigadier General

2004 – 2007
Defence Attaché of the Czech Republic to France

1 May 2007
Director of the Branches Development Division – Operational Division of MoD

1 Apr. 2008
Deputy Chief of the General Staff – Chief of Staff

28 Oct. 2008
appointed Major General

2011 – 2014
Defence Attaché of the Czech Republic to France

1 Aug. 2014
First Deputy Chief of the General Staff

28 Oct. 2014
appointed Lieutenant General

Awards and Decorations:

The Medal of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic, Grades III, II, I

The Cross of Merit of the Czech Minister of Defence – Grades III, II, I

Chevalier de la Légion d´Honneur, de Commandeur de l’Ordre National du Merite

The Honorary Badge of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic of the King Premysl Otakar II – the King of Iron and Gold

The Medal “In Service for Nation”

Marital status:



horses, travelling, literature

General Peter Bartram

Chief of Defence – Denmark


General Peter Bartram was born in Aarhus in 1961. He joined the Military Academy in 1981 and on completion in 1985, he was commissioned 1st Lieutenant. Peter Bartram was promoted to major in 1994 after which he served as a staff officer in the Defence Command, in Army Corps LANDJUT in Germany and as a Military Assistant to Commander Army Corps LANDJUT.

Later, being promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1999, Peter Bartram served as Chief Military Assistant at the headquarters of the Multinational Corps Northeast in Poland. Next, he returned to the Prince’s Life Regiment to fill the position as Commander of IV Mechanised Infantry Battalion.

From 2002 to 2003 Peter Bartram was deployed as Commanding officer of the Danish Battle group in KFOR, Kosovo, followed by a period as Chief Study & Doctrine Branch in the Army Operational Command. Promoted to colonel in 2005, he held the position of Assistant Chief of Staff Plans & Policy Division at the Army Operational Command, after which Peter Bartram was promoted Brigadier General and served as Commander 1 Brigade, Danish Division. Upon completion of approximately three years of service in the Danish Division, he got a new appointment as Assistant Chief of Staff at Strategic Allied Command Transformation in the USA, a position he held from 2010 to 2012.

On 20 March 2012 General Peter Bartram was appointed Chief of Defence Denmark and promoted to four-star general. Additionally, General Peter Bartram has been awarded several medals including Commander 1. class of the Order of Dannebrog, the Badge of Honour for Good Service in the Army, the Rescue Preparedness Medal, the French defence medal in Gold, the Polish Army Medal in Bronze and the NATO Medal, Kosovo.

General Peter Bartram lives in Copenhagen. He has a grown-up son. He enjoys playing golf and sailing.

Lieutenant General Riho Terras

Chief of Defence – Estonia


As of December 5, 2011 Estonian Defence Forces and national defence organisations are led by the Commander of the Defence Forces Lieutenant General Riho Terras

Commander of the Defence Forces is appointed by the Parliament on the proposal of the President of the Republic.


LG Riho Terras was born on April 17, 1967 in Kohtla-Järve, Estonia.

After graduating from the Basic Officer’s Course in Estonia, LG Terras served as a Company Commander and as a Battalion Second in Command of the Kalev Single Infantry Battalion from 1992 to 1993.

Between 1993 and 1994 MG Terras served as the commander of the Põhja Single Infantry Company. After graduating from the Bundeswehr University (Germany) he served as the commander of the Guard Battalion from 1998 to 2000. LG Terras was appointed the Chief of Staff of the Defence League Headquarters in 2000. From 2001 to 2004 he served as the Estonian Defence Attaché in Germany and Poland.

Between 2005 and 2008 LG Terras served as the Chief of the Analysis and Planning Department and as Chief of the Planning Section, Analysis and Planning Department in the Estonian Defence Forces Headquarters. In 2007, LG Terras served in the NATO Training Mission – Iraq as Deputy Chief of Staff. LG Riho Terras was confirmed on December 2008 as Permanent Secretary of the Estonian Ministry of Defence. Before taking up the position of the Permanent Secretary, he was Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations in the Estonian Defence Forces.

LG Terras served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations of the Estonian Defence forces from January 2011 to March 2011 and then continued his service as the Chief of Staff of the Estonian Defence Forces.

LG Riho Terras was appointed the Chief of Defence from December 5th 2011.

His military education includes studies in the Royal College of Defence Studies in the United Kingdom, the Joint Command and General Staff Course in the Baltic Defence College, the European Security

Policy Course in the Geneva Centre of Security Policy, a Battalion Commander’s Course in Switzerland, a Company Commander’s course in Germany, a Company Commander’s course in Sweden and the Officer’s Basic course in Estonia.

LG Terras’s civilian education includes history studies in the University of Tartu, and a master’s degree in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Bundeswehr.

Awards and decorations:

Order of the Cross of the Eagle
Distinguished Service Decoration of the EDF
Cross of Merit of the Ministry of Defence
Estonian Defence Forces General Staff Cross of Merit
MoD Medal of Participants in International Military Operations
The Baltic Defence College Medal of Merit Gold

Foreign decorations:

2010 Gold Cross of Honour of the Bundeswehr
2012 Order of Viesturs (Republic of Latvia)
2013 Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
2013 National Order of the Legion of Honour (French Republic)
2014 Order for Merit of the Republic of Poland
2014 Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion of Finland
NATO Medal

In addition to the Estonian language LG Terras is fluent in English, German and Russian. He is married with two sons. His hobbies include opera, medieval history and hunting.

Pierre de Villiers


Admis à l’Ecole Spéciale Militaire de Saint Cyr en 1975, il choisit à l’issue de sa scolarité de servir dans l’Arme Blindée Cavalerie et rejoint l’école d’application de son arme à Saumur.

Entre 1978 et 2003, il alterne les responsabilités en régiment : chef de peloton de chars AMX30 au 2ème Régiment de dragons à Haguenau dans le Bas-Rhin, capitaine commandant l’escadron d’éclairage de la 7ème Division blindée à Valdahon dans le Doubs, chef de corps du 501ème-503ème Régiment de chars de combat à Mourmelon-le-Grand dans la Marne.

En juin 1999, il commande pendant 5 mois le bataillon d’infanterie mécanisée de la Brigade Leclerc, entrée en premier au Kosovo (dans le cadre de la KFOR).

A trois reprises, il est instructeur des sous-officiers et des lieutenants à Saumur dans le Maine-et-Loire.

Enfin, il sert une douzaine d’années (en deux séjours) à Paris à l’état-major de l’armée de Terre, à l’inspection de l’armée de Terre, mais aussi à la direction des affaires financières du ministère de la Défense.

De septembre 2003 à juin 2004, il est retenu comme auditeur à la 53ème session du Centre des Hautes Etudes Militaires (CHEM) / 56ème session de l’Institut des Hautes Etudes de Défense Nationale (IHEDN).

Adjoint au chef de cabinet militaire du Premier ministre le 1er juillet 2004, il est promu général de brigade le 1er décembre 2005. Il est nommé commandant de la 2ème Brigade blindée et commandant d’armes de la Place d’Orléans le 1er août 2006.

Entre décembre 2006 et avril 2007, il commande le Regional Command Capital en Afghanistan, une des cinq zones d’action de l’OTAN dans le cadre de la force internationale d’assistance et de sécurité (FIAS). Il commande 2500 soldats provenant de 15 pays.

Il est nommé chef du cabinet militaire du Premier ministre à compter du 15 septembre 2008. Il occupe cette fonction de conseiller du chef du gouvernement en matière de défense jusqu’au 11 mars 2010, date à laquelle il est nommé major général des Armées.

Il prend les fonctions de chef d’état-major des Armées le 15 février 2014.

Le général Pierre de VILLIERS est grand officier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur et officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite. Il est titulaire de la croix de la Valeur Militaire avec une citation.

Il est marié et père de six enfants. Passionné par le football, il a pratiqué ce sport dans toutes ses affectations précédentes.

Sources : EMA
Droits : Ministère de la Défense

General Volker Wieker

Chief of Defence – Germany


General Volker Wieker was born in Delmenhorst, Lower Saxony, on 1 March 1954.

Military Career
1 July 1974 Joined the Bundeswehr, assigned to Armoured Artillery Battalion 315, Wildeshausen
1976 – 1980 Armoured artillery officer in Wildeshausen; studied surveying in Munich
1980 – 1987 Battery officer and battery commander with Armoured Artillery Battalion 315, Wildeshausen
1987 – 1989 Command and general staff officer training at the Bundeswehr Command and Staff College, Hamburg
1989 – 1991 Assistant branch chief at the Federal Ministry of Defence, Personnel Directorate, Bonn
1991 – 1992 Student on the Command and General Staff Officer Course of the U.S. Army in Fort Leavenworth
1992 – 1993 Operations and training staff officer (G 3) with Armoured Brigade 21, Augustdorf
1993 – 1996 Commander, Armoured Artillery Battalion 215, Augustdorf
1996 – 1997 Assistant branch chief (Executive Group) in the Federal Ministry of Defence, Bonn; in 1996, operations and training staff officer and Chief of the Operations Centre of the German Army Contingent IFOR, Bosnia and Herzegovina
1997 – 1999 Senior military assistant to the Federal Minister of Defence, Bonn
1999 – 2002 Head of the “Army Development” working group at Army Staff, Bonn; Commander, Armoured Brigade 40 “Mecklenburg”, Schwerin; in 2001, deployment with KFOR as Commander, Multinational Brigade South, and German National Commander in Chief, Prizren / Kosovo
2002 – 2004 Chief of Staff, Army Office, Cologne
2004 – 2007 Chief of Staff of the Army, Bonn
2007 – 2008 Deputy Commander, 1 German/Netherlands Corps, Münster
2008 – 2010 Commander, 1 German/Netherlands Corps, Münster; deployment as Chief of Staff, ISAF, Kabul
Since 21 January 2010 15th Chief of Staff, Bundeswehr

1977 Second Lieutenant
1979 First Lieutenant
1984 Captain
1990 Major
1993 Lieutenant Colonel
1997 Colonel
2002 Brigadier General
2004 Major General
2008 Lieutenant General
2010 General

Awards and Decorations
1996 Bundeswehr Foreign Duty Medal (IFOR)
1996 NATO Service Medal
1999 Gold Cross of Honour of the Bundeswehr
2001 Bundeswehr Foreign Duty Medal (KFOR)
2001 Order of Merit of Bulgaria
2010 Bundeswehr Foreign Duty Medal (ISAF)

Marital Status
General Wieker is married to Sabine Wieker and has two children.
Private Interests
Sports, contemporary history

General Mikhail Kostarakos

Chief of Defence – Greece


General Mikhail Kostarakos is the Chief, Hellenic National Defence General Staff (HNDGS) effective 01 Nov 2011.

He was born in Thessaloniki in February 1956.

He graduated from the Experimental School of the University of Thessaloniki.

He was admitted to the Hellenic Military Academy (Evelpidon) in 1974, graduated in 1978 and was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the Artillery.

He has successfully graduated from:

All Basic and Advanced Field Artillery training courses and the Joint Air Defence course,
The “HAWK” missile air defence system courses in Greece and in the USA (Fort Bliss, Texas),
The “HAWK” system course in the NATO Programming Centre (NPC,Glons, Belgium),
The Hellenic Army War College,
The first NATO Operations Planning course at the Netherlands Defence Academy,
Changing Security Environment Course at the NATO Defense College,
The Hellenic National Defence College.
As junior and field Officer, he has served as:

Heavy Self Propelled Artillery and “HAWK” Missile Battery Commander,
“HAWK” Missile Battalion Operations Officer,
Field Artillery Battalion Deputy Commander,
Field Artillery Battalion Commander,
ADA “HAWK” Missile Battalion Commander,
Staff Officer in Artillery Command,
Staff Officer in the Intelligence Division of NATO International Military Staff (IMS/NATO),
Staff Officer in the Intelligence Division of HNDGS,
Military Assistant (MA) to the Chief, Hellenic Army General Staff (HAGS),
Section Chief, Current OPS for the Balkans in IMS/NATO,
Director of Staff, NATO Deployable Corps Greece,
Director, KFOR Joint Operation Centre.
As general Officer, his main duties were:

Deputy Chief of Staff, Hellenic C’ Army Corps/NDC-GR,
Commander, 96 Brigade level Command “CHIOS”,
Director, 3rd Staff Office (Current Operations), HAGS,
Director, Operations Division, HAGS,
Commanding General, XII Mechanised Infantry Division “EVROS”,
Commanding General, C’ Army Corps “ALEXANDER THE GREAT”,
Commanding General, NATO Deployable Corps Greece,
Chief, Hellenic National Defence General Staff (HNDGS).
The EU Foreign Affairs Council, based on the proposal of the EU Military Committee at the CHODs level, appointed him as the next Chairman of the Military Committee. He will take over his duties on 06 November 2015.

He has been awarded military medals and distinctions, as described below.

He holds a Political Science degree from the Law Faculty of the University of Athens and an MsC in “Diplomatic and Strategic Studies”.

He speaks both English and French.

General Mikhail Kostarakos is married to Ms Katerina Sgourou and the couple has two daughters.

1974 – Admitted to Evelpidon Military Academy
1978 – 2nd Lieutenant
1981 – Lieutenant
1985 – Captain
1990 – Major
1995 – Lt Colonel
2002 – Colonel
2006 – Brigadier General
2009 – Major General
2011 – Lt General
2011 – General

Grand Cross of the Order of Phoenix
Commanders High Cross of the Order of Honour
Medal of Military Merit A’ Class
Chief of General Staff Commendation Medal
Commendation Medal Star of Merit and Honour
Commendation Cross of Merit and Honour A’ Class
Force Formation Command Medal A’ Class
Force Meritorious Command Medal A’ Class
Staff Officer Service Commendation Medal A’ Class
Commendation Medal for Participation in Peacekeeping Missions
NATO Non-Article 5 medal for the Balkans
Military Cooperation Medal (Armenia)

General Tibor Benkő

Chief of Defence – Hungary


Personal Information:
Date of Birth: 16 October 1955
Place of Birth: Nyíregyháza
Married with Julianna and they have two daughters.
1975-1979 Kossuth Lajos Military College, Artillery branch
1985-1988 KALINYIN Artillery Academy, St. Petersburg,
2000-2001 Army War College, USA
2004-2006 Szent István University, Human Resource Management
2007-2010 Zrínyi Miklós National Defense University, Doctoral School of Military Sciences, PhD Degree
Military career:
2010 June Chief of Defense
2009- 2010 Commander of Joint Force Command, Székesfehérvár
2009 Lieutenant General
2007- 2009 Deputy Commander (Land Forces) of Joint Force Command, Székesfehérvár
2007 Major General
2006-2007 Acting Commander of Hungarian Land Forces Command, Székesfehérvár
2005-2006 Deputy Commander of the Hungarian Land Forces Command, Székesfehérvár
2001-2005 5th Bocskai István Light Infantry Brigade, Commander, Debrecen
2001 Brigadier General
1995-2000 36th Artillery Regiment, Commander, Kiskunhalas
1995 Colonel
1993-1995 36th Artillery Brigade, Commander, Kiskunhalas
1990-1993 36th Artillery Brigade, Deputy Commander, Kiskunhalas
1988-1990 5th Army Artillery Branch, staff officer, Székesfehérvár
1979-1985 36th Artillery Regiment, platoon leader, deputy battery commander, regiment operation officer, Kiskunhalas
Foreign languages:
English STANAG 6001
Russian advanced level
Medals and Decorations:
Service Medal for Flood Control
Service Award for Flood Control
Service Medal for Homeland Defence Bronze, Silver degree
Service Medal
Service Award First Class
Officer’s Service Award I. II. Class
Cross of Merit of 56 Patriotism
Hunyadi János Award
Service Award Decorated with Laurel Wreath
Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic, Officer’s Cross
Legion of Merit of the US Army, Degree of Commander

Arnór Sigurjónsson

Military Representative – Iceland


Born 17 April 1953

Academic Background
Graduate of Isafjörður College 1975
Graduate of the Norwegian Army’s Non-commissioned Officers School in Trondheim 1976.
Graduate of the Royal Norwegian Military Academy, Oslo 1977-1980 as B. Sc.
Various courses in anti-terrorism, IEOD´s etc. in Norway and the United Kingdom.
Professional Background
Sergeant, squad leader/Recce platoon/2/Bn. Northern Norway 1976-1977.
Commission Norwegian Army 1 May 1980 following graduation from Royal Military Academy.
Lieutenant, Instructor at the School for non-commissioned Officers in South-Norway 1980.
Service in NORBATT IV/UNIFIL Operations Center (UN PeaceKeeping Force) 1980-1981.
Service in Bn and Bde operational level 1981-1982.
Service with the Planning and Operations Department of the Defence command of North-Norway 1982.
Deputy Chief Superintendent with the Reykjavik Police 1982-1985 as Chief Instructor and CO for the “Viking-team” anti-terrorist unit.
Appointment to the Defence Department of the Icelandic Ministry of foreign Affairs 1985.
Seconded to Plans and Policy Division International Military Staff, NATO Headquarters, Brussels 1986 – 1989.
Defence Counselor, Defence Department, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 1989 – 1994 as Counselor (Defence).
Assigned to the Icelandic Embassy, Washington 1994 – 1998 as Counselor (Defence).
Assigned to the Icelandic Delegation to the North Atlantic Council on 1 July 1998, as Defence Advisor and Representative to the Military Committee.
Promoted to Minister-Counselor in January 1999.
Appointed to the Political Affairs Department, MFA 2002.
Appointed Director of the Iceland Crisis Response Unit, February 2004.
Appointed Director Strategic Planning, January 2007.
Appointed Minister and National Representative to the SHAPE NMR Echelon including JFC Brunssum, and US EUCOM, Stuttgart, from July 2008.
Appointed as National Representative to NATO’s Military Committee from September 2010 (in addition to SHAPE duties).
Appointed Director Security and Defense Department, MFA – CHOD from 1 August 2014.
Married to Gudrun Matthiasdóttir, two children.

Chief of Defence
General Claudio Graziano


General Claudio Graziano attended the Military Academy and the School of Applied Military Studies from 1972 to 1976. He received his commission as infantry officer in 1974.
In 1976 he got his first assignment as Leader of a mountain troops Rifle Platoon, Susa Battalion, in Pinerolo near Turin.
In 1977 he became Deputy Commander, Anti-tank Company, “Taurinense” mountain troops Brigade. As such, he has taken part to several international exercises in Denmark and Norway within the NATO Allied Mobile Force (Land Element) AMF(L).
In 1980, Gen. Graziano was reassigned to the “Tridentina” Brigade in Monguelfo, near Bolzano, where he commanded a Mortar Company and then a Rifle Company, both within the ”Trento” mountain troops Battalion. From 1983 to 1986, he was Commander, Cadet Company and then Commander, Headquarters Company at the mountain troops School in Aosta.
In 1987, following his promotion to Major, Graziano was reassigned to the Army General Staff in Rome, where he served for two years as Staff Officer in the Systems Development Section under the Chief, Logistic Division.
In 1990, after being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, Graziano served at the Office of the Chief of the General Staff as Military Assistant to the CGS.
In June 1992, he was appointed Commanding Officer, “Susa” mountain troops Battalion in Pinerolo and later deployed with his battalion on operation UNOMOZ in Mozambique.
At the end of 1993, he was appointed Head, Admin & Coord Section of the Chief of the General Staff.
Promoted to Colonel in 1996, Graziano was posted to Cuneo to become Commanding Officer, 2nd mountain troops Regiment. He deployed in Norway with the AMF(L) once again for exercises in arctic environments. In 1998, following his reassignment to the Army General Staff, he became Chief Plans and Policy Office.
In September 2001, he was assigned to the Italian Embassy in Washington DC as Military Attaché.
On 1 January 2002, he was promoted to Brigadier General. Once he came back from the United States in August 2004, he has become Commanding General, “Taurinense” mountain troops Brigade in Turin, a position he has hold until February 2006. Across this period, he deployed to Afghanistan as Commander, Kabul Multinational Brigade (KMNB)within ISAF VIII from July 2005 to February 2006.
He was promoted to Major General on 1 January 2006 and assigned to the Italian Joint Operations Headquarters (JOHQ) in March 2006, where he served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. As such, he was responsible for planning, deployment and employment of all operational missions and tasks of Italian military contingents in Italy and abroad.
On 19 January 2007 the Secretary General of the United Nations appointed him UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander. He has led the UN mission for three years, from 2 February 2007 to 29 January 2010.
Following his promotion to Lieutenant General on 1 January 2010, he was appointed Chief of Cabinet of the Minister of Defence on 9 February 2010.
On 14 October 2011 he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Italian Army, the appointment becoming effective on 6 December 2011.
On 24 December 2014 he was appointed Chief of the Italian Defence General Staff, the appointment becoming effective on 28 February 2015. The same day he was promoted to General.
As Chief of Defense he reports directly to the Minister of Defense, acting as his highest technical-military advisor. He is responsible for planning, arrangement and employment of the Armed Force as a whole. He prepares the general financial and joint operations planning, as well as all technical financial programs. He stands above all the Chiefs of the Armed Forces and, with regard to technical-operational matters, the Defense Secretary General.
He presides the Armed Forces Chiefs of Staff Committee ad is also a permanent member of the Supreme Defense Council.
General Graziano is a Mountain Warfare and skiing instructor and holds Airborne and Ranger badges. He attended both the Basic and the Advanced Command and Staff courses at the Italian Army Staff College. He is also a graduate of the United States Army War College in Carlisle.
General Graziano holds a degree in Strategic Military Studies and two Master Degrees, one in Human Sciences from the Catholic University in Rome and one in Strategic Military Sciences. Most recently he graduated in Diplomatic Sciences at the University of Trieste.
General Claudio Graziano is married to Mrs. Marisa Lanucara.
Military education
1972 – 1974 Military Academy
1974 – 1976 School of Applied Military Studies
1987 – 1988 Command and Staff College (Capt. level)
1990 – 1991 Command and General Staff College (Maj./LTC level)
1996 – 1997 U.S. Army War College

Military career
1976 – 1977 Mountain troops Rifle Platoon – Leader
1977 – 1980 Mountain troops Anti-Tank Company – Deputy Commander
1980 – 1983 Mountain troops Mortar / mountain troops Rifle Companies – Commander
1983 – 1987 Mountain troops Cadet Company – mountain troops Headquarters Company – Commander
1987 – 1990 Army General Staff – Procurement Division – Plans Office – Staff Officer
1990 – 1992 Army General Staff – Office of the Chief of the General Staff – Head of Section
1992 – 1993 Air Mobile mountain troops Battalion – Commanding Officer
1993 – 1996 Army General Staff – Chief of the General Staff – Admin & Coord Office – Head of Section
1997 – 1998 2nd mountain troops Regiment – Commanding Officer
1998 – 2001 Army General Staff – Force and Expenditure Planning Division – Plans & Policy Office – Head of Office
2001 – 2004 Italian Military Attaché to the United States
2004 – 2006 mountain troops Brigade – Commanding General
2006 – 01/2007 Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations – IT JOHQ
01/2007 – 01/2010 UNIFIL Head of Mission/Force Commander
02/2010 – 12/2011 Chief of Cabinet of the Minister of Defence
12/2011 – Chief of Staff of the Italian Army

Assignments abroad
1992 – 1993 UNOMOZ – Beira Corridor (Mozambique) – Commanding Officer, Italian Battalion
2005 – 2006 Kabul Multi-National Brigade – Commanding General
01/2007-01/2010 UNIFIL Head of Mission/Force Commander
Career development
1974 2nd Lieutenant
1976 1st Lieutenant
1980 Captain
1988 Major
1990 Lieutenant Colonel
1995 Colonel
2002 Brigadier General
2006 Major General
2010 Lieutenant General
2015 General

Awards and decorations
Military Order of Italy – Grand Officer
Order of Merit of the Italian Republic – Grand Officer
Mauritian Medal for 50 years of Military Service
Army Meritorious Service Silver Cross
Army Extended Command Medal of Merit (15 years)
Long Service Golden Cross
UN Mission In Mozambique Commemorative Medal
UN Mission In Lebanon Commemorative Medal
Italian Peacekeeping Commemorative Medal
NATO ISAF Mission Commemorative Medal
Italian Medal for Peace Operation in Afghanistan
Portuguese Army 1st Class Medal “D. Alfonso Henriques”
US Legion of Merit (degree of Commander)
French Legion d’Honneur – Officer
French Defence Golden Medal
National Order of the Cedar Medal – Commander (Lebanese)
Golden Medal of Polish Armed Forces
Meritorious Service Medal (German)
Meritorious Service Medal (Norwegian)
Golden Medal of merit of Italian Red Cross

Interests: History, travelling, reading, sports.

Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube

Chief of Defence – Latvia


Personal information
Date and birthplace: 28 February 1957, Riga, Latvia
Married, spouse Baiba Graube, 2 sons

2012 Lieutenant General
2010 Major General
2002 Brigadier General
1999 Colonel
1998 Lieutenant Colonel
1993 Major
2004-2005 National Defense University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, USA
1997-1998 Joint Services Command and Staff College, UK
2003 NATO Defense College, General and Flag officers course, Italy
2001 Royal College of Defence Studies, Foundation course, UK
1996 Netherlands Defence College, International staff officers orientation course, Netherland
1976 Riga Technical School, Latvia
Latvian – mother tongue
English – fluent
Russian – fluent
Military career
2010 Chief of Defence Republic of Latvia
2009 Ministry of Defence Deputy Secretary for Defence Capability Development
2008 Military Representative to NATO/EU
2003 Ministry of Defence Deputy Secretary in the Matters of NATO Integration
1999 Commander of the National Armed Forces
1998 Commander of the National Guard
1995 Chief of Staff of National Guard
1993 Commander of National Guard 1st Brigade
1992 Chief of Training Department of NG SOF
1992 Commander of Quick reaction Group of NG SOF
1991 Deputy Commander of 1st Guard Company of National Guard Staff
2009 “Medal for Merits” 1st Class
2007 Minister of Defence Commemorative Medal “NATO SUMMIT 2006”
2005 Commander of Viesturs’ Order
2004 Minister of Defence Commemorative Medal “ Promoting Latvia’s participation in NATO
2003 Minister’s of Defense Award “Medal of Honorary Recognition”
2002 Badge of Commemoration of Participant of Barricades 1991
1999 Minister’s of Defense Award “Medal of Honorary Merit”
1996 „Medal for Diligence in Military Service”
Foreign Awards
2012 The Royal Norwegian “Order of Merit”
2003 Award of the Republic of Estonia „Eagle Cross” 2nd Class
2003 Award of the Republic of Lithuania ”For Merits”
2001 Award of the Republic of France “L’Ordre National du Merite”
2001 Award of the Republic of Lithuania “For Merits”
2001 National Armed Forces of Estonia Commander’s Award
2000 Award of National Armed Forces of Estonia “Cross of Merit”

Major General Jonas Vytautas Žukas

Chief of Defence – Lithuania


1st June 1962 in Kaunas
Married to Vilma Žukienė, has a son Jonas
1985 – 1991 Vilnius University History faculty, Lithuania
1992 – 1994 Bundeswehr Command and Staff Academy, Germany
2006 – 2007 NATO Defence College in Rome, Italy
1991 Major
1994 Lieutenant Colonel
1997 Colonel
2007 Brigadier General
2010 Major General
1990 Inspector of section, National Defence Department
8th January Oath of allegiance to the Republic of Lithuania, Seimas of Lithuania
January/August 1991 took part in defence of Seimas against Soviet Union aggression
1991 Deputy Commander, Training Unit, National Defence Department
1992 Commander, Kaunas Airborne battalion, Army Brigade
1994 Chief of Staff / Deputy Commander, Motorized Infantry Brigade “Iron Wolf”
1995 Commander, Motorized Infantry Brigade “Iron Wolf”
2001 Defence Attaché to Germany, Austria, the Netherland and Luxembourg
2004 Commander, Training and Doctrine Command, Lithuanian Armed Forces
2007 Commander at interim, Lithuanian Land Forces
2008 Commander, Lithuanian Land Forces
2012 Lithuanian Military Representative to NATO and EU
2014 Chief of Defence
Cross of the Knight of the Vytis Cross
13th January medal
Lithuanian Army Volunteers-Founders medal
Independence medal
Republic of Poland Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit,
Lithuanian Armed Forces medal of Merit
National Defence System Commemorative medal of Lithuania’s Accession to NATO
National Defence System medal of Merit
Estonian Army Gold Officer’s Cross,
CISM Order of Merit
Lithuanian Armed Forces medal for Distinguished Service
English, German and Russian

General Romain Mancinelli

Chief of Defence – Luxembourg


Romain Mancinelli was born on 19 June 1959.

As a 1982 graduate of the Ecole Royale Militaire (ERM) in Brussels he holds a “Licence en sciences sociale et militaire”.

As an infantry officer he assumed the command of several units, including a reconnaissance company, which was the Luxembourg contribution to NATO’s earlier rapid reaction force AMF (L).

In the framework of existing arms control and disarmament agreements and their relevant verification regimes, he had been closely involved in the implementation of the Luxembourg inspection group GIVO (Groupe Inspections, Vérifications et Observations), while conducting different inspection missions from 1990 to 1992. He was Head of GIVO from 1992 to 1996.

In 1996, he assumed the command of the first Luxembourg detachment to IFOR.

After graduation at the Collège Interarmées de Défense in Paris 1997, he was assigned as Operations, Training and Security Officer (G2-3) at the Army Headquarter from September 1997 to June 2000.

In June 2000, he was appointed as a military expert to the European Union (EU) with a view to participating in the establishment of the EU Military Staff (EUMS). From July 2001 to July 2004, he worked as an exercise expert at the Operations and Exercises Division within the EUMS.

From July 2004 to August 2005, he was the Military Advisor to the Luxembourg Permanent Representative of the Political and Security Committee (PSC) at the EU, with Luxemburg holding the EU Presidency from January 2005 to July 2005.

His last assignment was as National Military Representative to SHAPE from September 2005 until 14 January 2008. In addition, he was Deputy Military Representative as well as Military Advisor to the Luxemburg’s Permanent Representative to NATO.

On the 15th January 2008 he took over the command of the Military Centre of DIEKIRCH, the operational and training centre of Luxembourg Armed Forces. He was promoted to Colonel in March 2008.

In November 2014, General MANCINELLI is designated by the council of ministers to become chief of defence. He took up his duties on 01st December 2014.

General MANCINELLI is married and has two girls.

His national military decorations are:

Commandeur dans l’Ordre de Mérite,
Croix de 25 années de service,
Croix d’Honneur et de Mérite Militaire en Bronze,
Médaille commémorative Prince Jean de Luxembourg ;
Commandeur dans l’Ordre grand-ducal de la Couronne de Chêne,
Officier dans l’Ordre de Mérite civil et militaire d’Adolphe de Nassau,
While his foreign and international military decorations are:

Gran de Cavaleiro da Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique (Portugal),
Médaille commémorative pour missions ou opérations à l’étranger (Belgium),
Médaille de l’OTAN pour services rendus à l’OTAN.

Tom Middendorp

Chief of Defence – Netherlands


General Tom Middendorp was born in Rheden, the Netherlands, in 1960. He began his military career in 1979 as a cadet at the Royal Military Academy in Breda and graduated in 1983 as an officer in the Engineer Corps.

After several operational postings in the Netherlands and Germany in (armoured) engineer units, he followed the Staff Service Course and attended Advanced Military Studies at the Army Staff College.

In 1993, he was posted at the Army Staff, at the Policy Development Division where he designed the transformation plans for all NLD barracks to make them suited for an all-volunteer army.

In 1997, he graduated from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, USA, followed by a posting as an assistant to the Vice Chief of Defence. In 1999, he moved back to Germany, this time to the 1 (GE/NL) Corps in Münster as Head of the National Plans Office, after which he assumed command of 101 Engineer Battalion in Wezep. Parts of his unit participated in several operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.

In March 2004, he was appointed as a senior policy adviser to the Minister of Defence. Here he was responsible for all policy development regarding the national deployment of the armed forces. In cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice, he developed several policy papers on the use of military forces for disaster response, border protection and counter-terrorism.

In November 2006, he deployed to Afghanistan as the deputy NATO Senior Civil Representative in Afghanistan, working directly for the NATO Secretary General and responsible for the coordination of the civil-political aspects of the mission. In January 2008, he assumed command over 13 Mechanized Brigade in Oirschot after a short assignment as Head of the Policy Division of the Royal Netherlands Army. In the period from February to August 2009, he was again deployed to Afghanistan, this time as the commander of the multinational Taskforce Uruzgan (TFU 6).

On 24 December 2009, he was promoted to Major General upon his appointment as Director of Operations at the Defence Staff in The Hague. After being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General in January 2012, he was appointed Chief of Defence on June 28th 2012 and became the highest ranking officer in the Netherlands’ defense organization.

Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen

Chief of Defence – Norway


Admiral Bruun-Hanssen was born in Bergen on 8th July 1960. He started his military career at naval petty officer training course in Stavanger in 1980, and served at the recruit training centre until he started the naval academy in 1983.

Haakon Bruun-Hanssen, Chief of Defence of Norway
After graduating from the naval academy in 1987 Bruun-Hanssen served in various positions onboard the Kobben class submarines before he attended the commanding officer qualifying course in 1991. On completion he served as Commanding officer of HNoMS Kobben (1991-92) and later as Commanding officer of the newer Ula-class submarine HNoMS Utstein (93-95).

Following his second command tour, Bruun-Hanssen was promoted Commander and joined the Navy Staff, Plans & Policy department as a staff officer. During this appointment he was the Norwegian project officer to BALTRON, the NATO support to the three Baltic countries during their establishment of a common Mine Counter Measure Squadron. In 1998-99 Bruun-Hanssen attended the Dutch higher level staff college (IDL) in Hague, Holland, after which he served 4 years at the national staff college in Oslo – first as a faculty advisor for military operations, and later as tutor in military history and strategy.

Bruun-Hanssen attended the national defence college in 2003. He was subsequently promoted Captain (N) and appointed chief of the naval operation center at the national joint headquarters in Stavanger. In this position he was maritime adviser to Joint Force Commander Norway and was responsible for the execution of his command over and control with all Norwegian maritime units, navy and coastguard.

In November 2006 Bruun-Hanssen was promoted to Commodore and appointed as Chief of Staff, Naval Staff. In this function he supported the final stages of the transformation of the Norwegian Navy into more modern, agile and deployable force. Bruun-Hanssen also attended NATO Combined Maritime Component Commander Flag Course during this period after which he was promoted Rear Admiral and Chief Royal Norwegian Navy on 26th August 2008. During his tenure as Navy Chief, his main focus was to complete the successful renewal of the navy’s surface fleet. To this end, the navy now operates Aegis frigates of the Nansen class, Skjold class corvettes and plans for a new fleet support ship are now being realised.

Haakon Bruun-Hanssen was promoted Vice Admiral and COM Norwegian Joint Headquarters 24th of May 2011. In this position he was responsible for all Norwegian military operations, domestic and abroad. His focus was on establishing a fully operational HQ, the cooperation with Russia and the HQs connection to NATO.

The 19th November 2013 Bruun-Hanssen was promoted to Admiral and Chief of Defence Norway.

Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen is married to Hege, and they have two children.

Haakon Bruun-Hanssen
Born: 08.07.1960

Started his service in 1980

2013- Chief of Defence
2011 – 13 Commander, Norwegian Joint Headquarters
Vice Admiral
2008 – 11 Chief of the Royal Norwegian Navy
Rear Admiral
2006 – 08 Chief of Staff/Naval Staff/ Defence Staff Norway
2003 -06 Chief Naval Operations Centre, JFC Norway
Captain (Navy)
2001 – 03 Tutor in Military History and Strategy, Joint Staff College
Commander Senior Grader
1999 – 01 Faculty Advisor, Joint Staff College
1995 – 98 Staff Officer, Plans and Policy, Naval Staff
Lieutenant Commander/Commander
1993 – 95 Commanding Officer, HNoMS Utstein
Lieutenant Commander
1991 – 92 Commanding Officer, HNoMS Kobben
Lieutenant Commander
1989 – 91 Executive Officer, HNoMS Utstein
Lieutenant/Lieutenant Commander
1988 – 89 Navigations Officer, HNoMS Utstein
1987 – 88 Torpedo Officer, HNoMS Utstein
1981 – 83 Instructor Petty Officer Training School, Stavanger
Second Lieutenant
2003 Defence College, Oslo
1998-1999 Instituut Defencie Leergangen, Higher Staff College, Netherlands
1995 Naval Staff College 1
1991 Submarine Commanding Officer Qualifying Course
1983-1987 Naval Academy
1980 Petty Officer Training School
2013 Norwegian Defence Cross of Honour
2011 The Norwegian Civilian Rifle Assosiations Medal of Honour
2011 The Legion of Merit, USA, Commander
2010 Defence Service Medal with Star
2009 Defence Service Medal with Laurel Branch
2009 Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, Grand Officer
1982 National Service Medal – Navy with Three Stars

Admiral Bruun-Hanssen is married to Hege. Together they have two children.

General Mieczysław Gocuł

Chief of Defence – Poland


General Mieczysław Gocuł was born on 21 May 1963 in Choszczno in North-Western Poland and began his military career in 1983. After graduating from the Armoured Officer College in 1987, he took command of a tank platoon in the 9th Mechanised Regiment, 12th Mechanised Division followed by command of a training tank platoon and training armoured company within the same Regiment.

After graduating from the National Defence University in Warsaw general Gocuł was appointed Tank Battalion Commander in the 6th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, 12th Mechanised Division. In 1999 he graduated from the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College and joined the 6th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, 12th Mechanised Division as the Chief of the Training Section in this unit.

Between 2001 and 2003 general Gocuł was the Chief of the Operation Section and subsequently the Chief of the G3 Operational Branch within 1st Mechanised Corps. In 2003 he served in the stabilisation mission in Iraq as Chief of the G3/5 Operational Branch of the Multinational Division Centre-South. From 2004 to 2005 he served in the Polish Joint Operational Command, firstly as the Chief of the Operational Team, within the Organisational Group, and latterly as Chief of the Operational Planning Branch, within the Planning Centre, before becoming Deputy Chief of the Planning Centre.

In 2005 general Gocuł attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in Great Britain. Upon graduation he was appointed to the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces as the Deputy Chief of the J3 Operational Planning Directorate. He was then appointed as Chief of the J2 Military Intelligence and Reconnaissance Directorate. Simultaneously, at the same time he assumed the position of the Polish Member to the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission in the Republic of Korea. In 2008 general Gocuł became the Chief of the J5 Strategic Planning Directorate and subsequently in October 2010 he became the First Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General in 2011. On the 7th of May 2013 he was appointed as the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces. On 15th August 2014, by the decision of the President of the Republic of Poland, he was promoted to the rank of General.

General Gocuł is married to Hanna and they have two children. His interests include bridge and football (in a watching capacity only in recent years).

General Artur Neves Pina Monteiro

Chief of Defence – Portugal


General Artur Neves Pina Monteiro was born in Vila Fernando, Guarda, in 1952.

He is currently the Chief of General Staff of the Portuguese Armed Forces, having assumed the current functions on February 7th 2014, by presidential appointment.

He graduated from the Military Academy, Infantry Course, in 1974.

During the early period of his career, from 1974 to 1985, he served in several Army military units such as the Infantry Training School and the Infantry Regiment in Ponta Delgada, Azores. He also held several duties at the office of the Army Chief of Staff from 1986 to 1988 and from 1998 to 1999. In the meantime, he was a lecturer of Tactics (1988) and Strategy (1991-1996) at the Joint Staff and War College. From 1994 to 1995 he served as Military Assistant to the Minister of National Defense for External Relations of Defense.

As a Lieutenant-Colonel, and from 1997 to 1998, he commanded the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion from the Independent Mechanized Brigade, which became the National Contingency Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina theater of operations. Upon promotion to Colonel he was assigned a position at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium, where he served as the Chief of Policy Section – Operations Division (1999-2002).

As a Major-General, and from 2003 to 2006, he became Chief of Cabinet to the Chief of Staff of the Portuguese Army. Later on, from 2006 to 2007, he was Chief of Cabinet to the Chief of Defense (CHOD).

As a Lieutenant-General, and from 2007 to 2009, he served as the Land Forces Operational Commander, and as Military Representative to NATO and EU Military Committees (2009-2011).

Most recently, as a General, and from December 19th 2011 to February 6th 2014, he was the Chief of Staff of the Portuguese Army.

General Pina Monteiro is a graduate from the Portuguese Joint Staff and War College and attended the Infantry Officer Advanced Course in the USA and Staff Course in Brazil.

He was awarded several commendations by the Minister of Defence, the Chief of General Staff of the Portuguese Armed Forces and the Chief of Staff of the Portuguese Army.

His decorations include, among others, the Degree of Chevalier and Officer of the Military Order of Avis, three gold Distinguished Service Medals, three silver Distinguished Service Medals, one of which with palm, the St. George Cross, the D. Afonso Henriques Medal, the Peacemaker Medal of the Federal Republic of Brazil the NATO Commemorative Medal for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the French Commemorative Medal for Bosnia and Herzegovina and with the Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur, grade officier, given by the President of the French Republic.

General Pina Monteiro is married to Maria da Conceição and they have two children.

Chief of General Staff
Lieutenant General Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă


Personal data:

Place of birth: February 07, 1967;
Date of birth: Pleniţa, Dolj County;
Nationality: Romanian;
Civilian status: Married, a child.

Education and further development:

2012 – Post–academic course in security and national defence “Security and efficient governing“ – National Defence College;
2006 – War College, Ground Troops, MD in Strategic Studies, USA;
2005 – English Language Course – NATO, York Sr. John University terminology;
2004 – CIMIC Course in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Hulburt, Florida, USA;
2003 – PhD in Military Science with the paper entitled “The engagement scope of the Romanian Armed Forces in Joint Multinational Operations“, National Defence University, Bucharest;
2001 – Joint and Multinational Operations Course, PfP Centre, Bucharest;
2000 – English Language Course, Land Forces Academy, Sibiu;
2000 – PSO Course PfP Centre, Bucharest;
1997 – Peace–keeping instructor Course, PfP Centre, Ankara, Turkey;
1997 – Brigade–type Staff Course, PfP Centre, Bucharest;
1993 – 1995 – Academy for Advanced Military Studies, Interbranch Faculty, Combined Arms Section, Bucharest;
1990 – Reconnaissance Company Commander Further–development Course, Făgăraş;
1988 – Active–duty Commissioned Officer School “Nicolae Bălcescu“, Sibiu;
1985 – “Tudor Vladimirescu“ Military High–school, Craiova.

Professional experience:

– January 15, 2015– Chief of General Staff – October 15, 2014 – January , 2015– Deputy Chief of General Staff;
– January, 2014 – October, 2014 –Chief of Land Forces Staff;
– January, 2011 – January, 2014 – Commander of 2 Infantry Division, Buzău;
– February, 2009 – January, 2011 – Commander of 282 Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Focşani;
– March, 2007 – February, 2009 – Deputy Commander of 282 Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Focşani;
– October, 2006 – March, 2007– Staff Commander, 2 Infantry Brigade, Craiova;
– October, 2004 – October, 2006 – Chief of Operations, 2 Infantry Brigade, Craiova;
– January, 2004 – July, 2004 – Commander of the ROU Infantry Battalion, Iraq;
– June, 2002 – January, 2003 – Commander of the ROU Battalion participating in “Enduring Freedom” Mission, Afghanistan;
– February, 2001 – October, 2004 – Commander of 26 Infantry Battalion, Craiova;
– 2000 – Chief of Staff of 26 Infantry Battalion –SACEUR Strategic Reserve;
– November,1998 – February, 2001 – Chief of Staff of 26 Infantry Battalion, Craiova;
– May, 1997 – November, 1998 – Staff Officer, Operations and Combat Training Office, 2 Mechanized Brigade, Craiova;
– May, 1996 – May, 1997 – Staff Officer, UNAVEM III Mission, Angola;
– July, 1995 – May, 1996 – Staff Officer, Operations and Combat Training Office, 2 Mechanized Brigade, Craiova;
– September, 1992 – October, 1993 – Staff Officer, Operations Office, 121 Reconnaissance Battalion, Craiova;
– March, 1989 – September, 1992 – Reconnaissance and Training Platoon leader, 121 Reconnaissance Battalion, Craiova;
– August, 1988 – March, 1989 – Platoon Leader, 26 Mechanized Regiment, Craiova.

– 2010 – Brigade Commander of “Eurasian Star“ Exercise (NRDC – Turkey);
– 2003 – OCE/EXDIR Exercise, as part of ISAF;
– 2001 – Commander of 26 Infantry Battalion –SACEUR, in “Dynamic Response“ Multinational Exercise, Bosnia and Herzegovina;
– 2000 – Commander of Ground Component in the “Blue Danube 2000“ Multinational Exercise.

Distinctions and Awards:

– The Emblem of Honor of the Military Intelligence;
– Logistics’ Emblem of Honor;
– Air Force’ Emblem of Honor;
–”În Serviciul Patriei” Honorary Sign for 25 years of military service;
– Military Medicine Emblem of Honor;
– Naval Forces’ Emblem of Honor;
– Communications and Information Technology Emblem of Honor;
–”Virtutea Militară” Order in the Rank of Knight;
–”În Serviciul Armatei României”, Emblem of Merit, IIIrd Class;
–”În Slujba Păcii” Emblem of Merit, IIIrd Class;
–The General Staff’s Emblem of Honor;
–”Pentru Merit” National Order, in the rank of Officer;
–The Romanian Armed Forces Emblem of Honor;
–”În Serviciul Patriei” Honorary Sign 20 years of military service;
–Land Forces’ Emblem of Honor;
–The Romanian Armed Forces’ Emblem of Honor;
–”Militar Veteran” Honorary Title for Soldiers;
–”Ştiinţa Militară” Ist class Emblem of Merit;
–”În Serviciul Patriei” Honorary Sign for 15 years of military service;
–”Pentru Merit” National Order in the rank of Knight;
– United Nations Medal.

Foreign Languages:

– English.

Lieutenant General Milan Maxim

Chief of Defence – Slovak Republic


Lieutenant General Milan Maxim was born on 13 April, 1956 in Michalovce, the Slovak Republic. In 1976, he graduated from an officers’ school. He continued his military education at the Military Academy in Vyškov na Morave. Then he did postgraduate studies at the Military Academy in Brno. He also studied at the Defence Academy in Paris from 2000-2001.

During his military career he has held a variety of command positions within the land forces, the training and support forces and the general staff. He also served as the Defence Attaché in Prague recently.

Lieutenant General Maxim is married to Darina, and they have one son Filip and two daughters Zuzana and Oľga. His interests include factual literature and music.

1976-1977 Tank Platoon Commander, 21st tank regiment Holýšov (the Czech Republic)
1980-1987 Tank Coy Commander, Battalion Commander, Tank Regiment Deputy Commander, 21st tank regiment Žatec (the Czech Republic)
1990-1995 Regimental Commander, 63rd motor rifle regiment, Michalovce
1995-1996 Commander of 21st mechanized brigade, Michalovce
1996-2000 Deputy Commander of 2nd army corps Prešov
2001-2002 Chief of Logistics Staff (J-4), the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic, Bratislava
2002-2004 Commander of the Training and Support Forces, Trenčín
2004-2009 Commander of the Land Forces, Trenčín
2009-2014 Defence Attaché in Prague

Lt Gen Milan Maxim assumed duties as the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic on 6 May 2014.

Language skills:
French – STANAG 6001 SLP 2
English – STANAG 6001 SLP 2
Awards and decorations
Commemorative Medal of the Minister of Defence of the Slovak Republic – First Degree
Military Badge of Honour – Second Degree
Medal for Allegiance to the Slovak Republic Armed Forces – Second Degree
Medal for Service in Peacemaking and Observing Missions – Third Degree
Military Badge of the Chief of the General Staff of the Slovak Armed Forces – First Degree

Andrej Osterman

Chief of Defence – Slovenia


Major General Andrej Osterman was born on 4 October 1960 in Kranj.


1986: Bachelor of Laws (Faculty of Law, Ljubljana)
2005: Master of Laws (Faculty of Law, Ljubljana)
2010: PhD (Faculty of Logistics, Celje)


1979 – 1981: Reserve Officer School (during military service)
1999 – 2000: General Staff Course (Command and Staff School, SAF)
2001: Senior executive seminar 01-5; College of International and Security studies (Marshall Center, Germany)


Comprehensive Approach to Peace Operations in the Balkans


1981: Second Lieutenant

1985: First Lieutenant

1989: Captain

1993: Captain 1st Class

1993: Major

1995: Lieutenant Colonel

1997: Colonel

2009: Brigadier General

2014: Major General


13 October 2014: Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces


1991 – 1992: Chief of Training Section, 3rd Territorial Defence Regional Headquarters, Kranj

1992 – 1993: Commandant, 510th Training Centre, Ljubljana

1993 – 1994: Chief, Military Unit Officer School

1995 – 1999: Deputy Director, Intelligence and Security Service

1999 – 2001: Advisor to the SAF Chief of the General Staff

2002 – 2002: Chief of the Personnel Division, SAF General Staff

2002 – 2004: Chief of the Personnel and Legal Affairs Division, SAF Force Command

2004 – 2005: Chief of Staff, SAF Force Command

2005 – 2008: Chief, SAF Doctrine and Development Centre

2008 – 2008: Chief, SAF Verification Centre

2008 – 2009: Commander, SAF Support Command

2009 – 2012: Deputy Commander, SAF Force Command

2012 – 2014: Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces


2005 – 2008: National representative to NATO Committee for Standardisation

2008 – 2009: National representative to National Advisory Group


Gold Award of the Chief of the General Staff

Gold Medal of General Maister

Silver Medal of General Maister

Bronze Medal of General Maister

Silver Medal of the Slovenian Armed Forces

Bronze Medal of the Slovenian Armed Forces

“For Slovenia” Memorial Badge

“Manoeuvre Structure of National Defence” Memorial Badge

Gold Medal of the Doctrine, Development, Education and Training Command

Gold Medal of the Support Command

Gold Plaque of the Doctrine Development, Education and Training Command

Silver Sword of the SAF Force Command

Gold Plaque of the Military Unit Officer School

Silver Plaque of the Military Schools Centre


Plaque of the Slovenian Officers Association

Cooperation Award of the Ministry of the Interior

Commendation of the Association of Military Mountaineers of the Republic of Slovenia




Brigadier General Osterman is married to Sonja and they have two children.


In 1986, Major General Osterman acquired his Bachelor of Laws degree from the Faculty of Law, Ljubljana. In 2004, he completed master’s studies at the same faculty (“Law and State Theory” programme). In 2010, he obtained his PhD in System Logistics from the Faculty of Logistics in Celje. In addition to post-graduate education, he also completed various military education programmes.

Major General Osterman began his military career in 1981 as a reserve officer in a detachment of the Territorial Defence Regional Headquarters in Tržič. In 1991, he took up permanent employment in the Territorial Defence. So far, he has performed various staff and command duties at various command and control levels. He was member of the Manoeuvre Structure of National Defence and is a veteran of the 1991 War for Slovenia.

For several years, he has been member of the Employment Appeals Commission of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. He was a member of the Science and Technology Council of the Slovenian Armed Forces, member of the Council of Experts for the Targeted Research Programme “Science for Security and Peace” and Council for Technological Programmes “Technology for Security and Peace 2006 – 2012”. He has given a number of lectures in the Slovenian Armed Forces and at different faculties and has authored and co-authored several articles and conference papers in Slovenia and abroad.

He is member of the Union of Veterans of the War for Slovenia, Association for the Values of Slovenian Independence, Slovenian Officer Association and Association of Military Mountaineers of the Republic of Slovenia.

Major General Osterman is married and lives in Breznica, the municipality of Žirovnica.

Admiral Fernando García Sánchez

Chief of Defence – Spain


Born in Granada on the 25th September 1953.

Married to Mª. Jesús Tobío Cendón.

He has got 3 children.

Entered the Naval Academy in 1971
Promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade in 1976
Promoted to Lieutenant in 1979
Promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1989
Promoted to Commander in 1996
Promoted to Captain in 2001
Promoted to Rear-Admiral in 2005
Promoted to Vice-Admiral in 2008
Promoted to Admiral in 2011
Appointed as Chief of Staff of Defence on December the 30th, 2011

He is fluent in English and French language

He has got the Diploma in Naval Warfare

He has been embarked in different units in the course of 21 years, with over 2,000 days at sea, and was in command of:

Mine Counter Measures Diver Unit
Patrol Boat “VILLAAMIL”
Fleet Combat Support and Assessment Centre (CEVACO)
Served on board as Officer:

Patrol Boat “CADARSO”
Submarine “COSME GARCÍA”
Executive Officer of Submarine Rescue and Divers Support “POSEIDÓN”
Chief of Operations on Frigate “BALEARES”
Executive Officer of the 41st Escort Squadron
Chief of Staff of the Fleet ALFA Group (Aircraft-carrier and Escorts)
Lecturer at the Tactical Action Course for Officers (TAO)
Chief of Operations Department at the Naval Warfare College
Lecturer in Operations at the Armed Forces High College (ESFAS)
Chief of the Strategic Plans Section, Plan Division of the Spanish Navy Staff
During the year 2003, he took on command twice, as Commander of the NATO 441.01 Operational Group within “Active Endeavour” escort operations in the Strait of Gibraltar.
Deputy Chief of Staff Spanish Navy.
Royal Military Order of “San Hermenegildo” (Badge) -16 Aug. 2001
Royal Military Order of “San Hermenegildo” (Great Cross) -1 Aug. 2006
Naval Merit Cross -24 Jun. 82
Royal Military Order of “San Hennenegildo” (Cross) -16 Aug. 91
Naval Merit Cross -23 Jun. 93
Royal Military Order of “San Hennenegildo” (Commendation) – 16 Aug. 96
Naval Merit Cross – 5 Jan. 99
Naval Merit Cross – 24 Jun. 05
Great Cross of Naval Merit – 4 Jan. 08

General Necdet Özel

Chief of Defence – Turkey


The 28th Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces, General Necdet ÖZEL was born in Ankara/Turkey in 1950. He graduated from the Military Academy in 1969 and the Infantry School in 1970.

He served as a platoon leader and company commander in various units of the Turkish Land Forces Command (TLFC) until 1978. Following his graduation from the Army War College in 1980 as a staff officer, he respectively served as Operations Plan Officer at the Turkish Peace Forces HQ in Cyprus, Branch Chief and then as the Secretary General at the General Secretariat of the Turkish Land Forces, Chief of Staff at the Turkish Military Academy, and as the Commander of the 17th Infantry Regiment.

Having promoted to Brigadier General in 1995, he served as the Commander of the 172nd Armored Brigade and as the Chief of Internal Security Operations Department, TLFC.

After his promotion to Major General in 1999, he assumed the command of the 39th Mechanized Infantry Division and of the Army War College.

In 2003, he was promoted to Lieutenant General and served as the Commander of the 7th Corps and then as the Deputy Commander of Training and Doctrine Command, TLFC.

As a General, he served as the Commander of Aegean Army between 2007-2008, as the Commander of the 2nd Army between 2008-2010, and as the Commander of the Gendarmerie General Command between 2010-2011. After serving as the Commander of TLFC and as the Acting Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces between 29 July and 04 August 2011, he assumed the command of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) on 04 August 2011.

General Necdet ÖZEL was awarded TAF Courage and Self-Sacrifice Medal, TAF Distinguished Service Medal, TAF Medal of Honor, Romanian Military Legion of Merit, Hero of the Kyrgyz Republic, Kyrgyzstan 70th Anniversary Commemorative Medal, 20th Annniversary of Kazakhstan’s Independence Order, Mongolian Distinguished Service Medal, Korean Republic National Security Legion of Merit, Saudi Arabia King Abdulaziz Medal of Excellent Rank, Jordan Excellent Gendarmerie Medal, Pakistan Nishan-e-Imtiaz Medal and the Medals “For Merits in Military Cooperation” by both Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense, Azerbaijani State Border Service, Kazakhstan Foreign Affairs Ministry Medal, Kyrgyzstan Armed Forces General Staff Distinguished Service Medal. General Necdet ÖZEL is married to Mrs. Kamuran ÖZEL, with a child.

Chief of the Defence Staff
General Sir Nicholas Houghton GCB CBE ADC Gen

The current Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton GCB, CBE, ADC Gen. Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of General Sir Nicholas Houghton to take over from General Sir David Richards as Chief of the Defence Staff. Sir Nicholas was previously Vice Chief of the Defence Staff in 2009-2013 and deputised for the Chief of the Defence Staff on all defence matters. Since his appointment to the MOD, Nicholas has held a number of senior posts. The Chief of the Defence Staff is the professional head of the British Armed Forces and the most senior uniformed military adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence and the Prime Minister.
The current Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton GCB, CBE, ADC Gen.
Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of General Sir Nicholas Houghton to take over from General Sir David Richards as Chief of the Defence Staff.
Sir Nicholas was previously Vice Chief of the Defence Staff in 2009-2013 and deputised for the Chief of the Defence Staff on all defence matters.
Since his appointment to the MOD, Nicholas has held a number of senior posts.
The Chief of the Defence Staff is the professional head of the British Armed Forces and the most senior uniformed military adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence and the Prime Minister.

General Nick Houghton was born in 1954 in Otley, West Yorkshire. He was educated at Woodhouse Grove School in Bradford, RMA Sandhurst and St Peter’s College, Oxford, where he did an in-service degree in modern history. Commissioned into the Green Howards in 1974, General Houghton was both a Company Commander in and Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion in the Mechanised and Air Mobile Roles and in Northern Ireland. He attended the Army Command and Staff Course at both Shrivenham and Camberley and the Higher Command and Staff Course.

After Regimental duty General Houghton commanded 39 Infantry Brigade in Belfast during the period which led to the Good Friday Agreement. He was the Director of Military Operations in the Ministry of Defence at the time of 9/11; at the outset of operations in Afghanistan; and during the foot and mouth crisis. Subsequently he was Chief of Staff of the ACE Rapid Reaction Corps from July 2002 to April 2004 and Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Operations) from May 2004 to October 2005.

More recently General Houghton was the Senior British Military Representative and Deputy Commanding General of the Multi-National Force-Iraq from October 2005 until March 2006. He became Chief of Joint Operations (CJO) in April 2006 at the time of the commitment of UK Forces to southern Afghanistan and, subsequently, during the extraction of UK forces from southern Iraq. He was appointed both OBE and CBE for his time in command in Northern Ireland and awarded the US Legion of Merit for his service in Iraq. He was appointed KCB for his time as CJO.

General Houghton became VCDS in May 2009. He was central to implementing the outcomes of the 2010 SDSR and was the sole military member of Lord Levene’s Defence Reform team. He was advanced to GCB in 2011. He assumed the appointment of Chief of the Defence Staff in July 2013.

General Houghton is married to Maggie, they have two grown up children (Tom and Sophie) and their family home is in Richmond, North Yorkshire.

of Defence
Chief of the Defence Staff
The Chief of the Defence Staff is the professional head of the Armed Forces and principal military adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence and the government. The role reports to the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister.

The Chief of the Defence Staff’s responsibilities include:

leading defence (with the Permanent Secretary (PUS))
setting strategy for defence, including the future development of the Armed Forces (subject to ministers’ direction, and together with PUS)
the conduct of current operations (as strategic commander)
leading relationships with other countries’ Armed Forces
Previous roles in government
Vice Chief of the Defence Staff
2009 to 2013

General Martin E. Dempsey

Chief of Defence – United States


General Martin E. Dempsey serves as the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he serves as the principal military adviser to the President, the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council. By law, he is the nation’s highest-ranking military officer. Prior to becoming Chairman, the general served as the Army’s 37th Chief of Staff.

Past assignments have taken him and his family across the globe during both peace and war from Platoon Leader to Combatant Commander. He is a 1974 graduate of the United States Military Academy and a career armor officer.

As a company grade officer, he served with the 2nd Cavalry in United States Army Europe and with the 10th Cavalry at Fort Carson. Following troop command he earned his Masters of Arts in English from Duke University and was assigned to the English Department at West Point. In 1991, GEN Dempsey deployed with the Third Armored Division in support of OPERATION DESERT STORM. Following DESERT STORM, he commanded 4th Battalion 67th Armor (Bandits) in Germany for two years and then departed to become Armor Branch Chief in US Army Personnel Command. From 1996-1998 he served as the 67th Colonel of the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment. Following this assignment as the Army’s “senior scout” he served on the Joint Staff as an Assistant Deputy Director in J-5 and as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. From September 2001 to June 2003, General Dempsey served in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia training and advising the Saudi Arabian National Guard. In June of 2003, General Dempsey took command of the 1st Armored Division in Baghdad, Iraq. After 14 months in Iraq, General Dempsey redeployed the division to Germany and completed his command tour in July of 2005. He then returned to Iraq for two years in August of 2005 to train and equip the Iraqi Security Forces as Commanding General of MNSTC-I. From August 2007 through October 2008, GEN Dempsey served as the Deputy Commander and then Acting Commander of U.S. Central Command. Before becoming Chief of Staff of the Army, he commanded US Army Training and Doctrine Command from December 2008-March 2011.

General Dempsey’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star with “V” Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge. In addition to his Masters’ Degree in English, he holds Masters’ Degrees in Military Art and in National Security Studies.

General Dempsey and his high school sweetheart Deanie have three children: Chris, Megan, and Caitlin. Each has served in the United States Army. Chris remains on active duty. They have five wonderful grandchildren: Kayla, Mackenna and Finley by Chris and daughter-in-law Julie, Luke by Caitlin and son-in-law Shane, and Alexander and Hunter by Megan and son-in-law Kory. Caitlin and Shane are expecting their second child next spring.

Source: NATO


L. J. De Rothschild

Senior Editor

NATO Section


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Karl William

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