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Chief of Defence (Netherlands)

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Title: Chief of Defence (Netherlands)  
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Subject: Ministry of Defence (Netherlands), Chief of Defence, Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld
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Chief of Defence (Netherlands)

Chief of Defence
Flag of the
Chief of Defence
Ministry of Defence
Appointer Recommendation of the Minister of Defence to the Prime Minister
Inaugural holder General Dick Berlijn
(September 5, 2005)
Website Chief of Defence

The Chief of Defence (CHOD) (Dutch: Commandant der Strijdkrachten) is the Chief of Defence and the highest-ranking officer of the Armed forces of the Netherlands.

The main role of the Chief of Defence is as an intermediary between the Minister of Defence and the Armed Forces of The Netherlands. He makes operational policy and is responsible to the minister for military-strategic planning, operations and deployment of the Armed Forces. The Chief of Defence is the direct commanding officer of the commanders of the branches of the Armed forces.

The branch commanders are responsible for preparedness and actual deployment of their military personnel in the Netherlands and the rest of the world. Regarding operational planning and deployment, the branch commanders take their orders directly from the Chief of Defence.

There is a fourth branch of the military, the Royal Marechaussee (Gendarmerie). This branch does not answer to the Chief of Defence, since it is the police force for the entirety of the Armed Forces. This requires that the Marechaussee be independent, so this branch took its orders directly from the State secretary for the Ministry of Defence. Since 2010 there is no State Secretary assigned to the Ministry of Defence.

In addition to his command tasks, the Chief of Defence is the senior military advisor to the Minister of Defence.

The current position of Chief of Defence (CHOD) is new since September 5, 2005, when it replaced the existing role of Chef-Defensiestaf (Chief of the Defence Staff) and was abbreviated as CDS). Just like its predecessor role the position of Chief of Defence will rotate between the branches of the military; the first Chief of Defence was General Dick Berlijn, of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The position of Chief of Defence is held by a Four-star officer (NATO OF-9, meaning a General or a Lieutenant admiral), which means that promotion to the position of Chief of Defence includes a promotion in rank as well as there is only one four-star officer in the current command structure.

Chiefs of Defence


External links

  • Ministry of Defence
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