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Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

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Title: Chairman of the NATO Military Committee  
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Subject: NATO, Augustin Guillaume, Wolfgang Altenburg, Giampaolo Di Paola, Vigleik Eide
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Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee's authority stems from the NATO Military Committee, to which he is responsible in the performance of his duties.

The principal military member of each NATO country's delegation is the Military Representative, a senior officer from each country's armed forces, supported by the International Military Staff. Together the Military Representatives form the Military Committee (MC), a body responsible for recommending to NATO’s political authorities those measures considered necessary for the common defence of the NATO area. Its principal role is to provide direction and advice on military policy and strategy. It provides guidance on military matters to the NATO Strategic Commanders, whose representatives attend its meetings, and is responsible for the overall conduct of the military affairs of the Alliance under the authority of the Council. The current Chairman of the NATO Military Committee is Knud Bartels of Denmark (since 2011).

Like the Council, from time to time the Military Committee also meets at a higher level, namely at the level of Chiefs of Defence, the most senior military officer in each nation's armed forces. Until 2008 the Military Committee excluded France, due to that country's 1966 decision to remove itself from NATO's integrated military structure, which it rejoined in 1995. Until France rejoined NATO, it was not represented on the Defence Planning Committee, and this led to conflicts between it and NATO members. Such was the case in the lead up to Operation Iraqi Freedom.[1]

The operational work of the Committee is supported by the International Military Staff.

The Chairman of the Military Committee chairs all meetings and acts in an international capacity. In his absence, the Deputy Chairman of the Military Committee takes the chair. The previous Chairman is Italian Admiral Giampaolo di Paola, as the current Chairman is Danish General Knud Bartels.

Since the formation of NATO, its Military Chairmen have been:[2]

  1. General of the Army Omar N. Bradley (United States): 1949, to 1951
  2. Lt. General Etienne Baele (Belgium): 1951, to 1952
  3. Lt. General Charles Foulkes (Canada): 1952, to 1953
  4. Admiral E.J.C. Quistgaard (Denmark): 1953, to 1954
  5. General Augustin Guillaume (France): 1954, to 1955
  6. Lt. General Stylianos Pallis (Greece): 1955, to 1956
  7. General Giuseppe Mancinelli (Italy): 1956, to 1957
  8. General B.R.P.F. Hasselman (Netherlands): 1957, to 1958
  9. Lt. General Bjarne Øen (Norway): 1958, to 1959
  10. General J.A. Beleza Ferras (Portugal): 1959, to 1960
  11. General Ruştü Erdelhun (Turkey): 1960
  12. Admiral of the Fleet Earl Mountbatten of Burma (United Kingdom): 1960, to 1961
  13. General Lyman L. Lemnitzer (United States): 1961, to 1962
  14. Lt. General C.P. de Cumont (Belgium): 1962, to 1963
  15. General Adolf Heusinger (Germany): 1963, to 1964
  16. Lt. General C.P. de Cumont (Belgium): 1964, to 1968
  17. Admiral Sir Nigel Henderson (United Kingdom): 1968, to 1971
  18. General Johannes Steinhoff (Germany): 1971, to 1974
  19. Admiral of the Fleet Sir Peter Hill-Norton (United Kingdom): 1974, to 1977
  20. General Herman F. Zeiner-Gundersen (Norway): 1977, to 1980
  21. Admiral Robert H. Falls (Canada): 1980, to 1983
  22. General Cornelis De Jager (Netherlands): 1983, to 1986
  23. General Wolfgang Altenburg (Germany): 1986, to 1989
  24. General Vigleik Eide (Norway): 1989, to 1993
  25. Field Marshal Sir Richard Vincent (United Kingdom): 1993, to 1996
  26. General Klaus Naumann (Germany): 1996, to 1999
  27. Admiral Guido Venturoni (Italy): 1999, to 2002
  28. General Harald Kujat (Germany): 2002, to 2005
  29. General Raymond Henault (Canada): 2005, to 2008
  30. Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola (Italy): 2008 to 2011
  31. General Knud Bartels (Denmark): 2011, to present


  1. ^ Fuller, Thomas (18 February 2003). "'"Reaching accord, EU warns Saddam of his 'last chance. International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2007. 
  2. ^ official list
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