Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
General Petr Pavel

since 26 June 2015
Member of Czech Republic Czech Republic
Reports to Secretary General of NATO
Formation 1949
First holder General Omar Bradley
Website NATO

The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee's (CMC) authority stems from the NATO Military Committee, to which he is responsible in the performance of his duties. The current Chairman of the NATO Military Committee is Petr Pavel, former Chief of the General Staff of the Army of the Czech Republic, who took office on June 26, 2015.


In accordance with Article 9 of the North Atlantic Treaty and the guidance given by the Working Group on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during the first Council session in Washington in 1949, the Defence Committee rapidly established the Military Committee.[1] During its few sessions held behind closed doors in Washington, the Military Committee gave policy guidance on military matters to the Standing Group, and advice on military questions to the Defence Committee and other bodies, and it recommended military measures for the unified defence of the North Atlantic region to the Defence Committee. The Military Committee was directly subordinate to the Defence Committee, and each member nation was represented by its chief of staff or a deputy. Iceland, which had no military forces, was represented by a civilian. Each member state in turn held the Chair of the Military Committee for one year (C1 D-1/2,[2] DC 1/2[3]).

Two other groups which also sat in Washington came directly under the Military Committee:


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 assisting and advising the North Atlantic Council, Defence Planning Committee, and Nuclear Planning Group on military matters.[4] 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.

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.[5]

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 current Chairman is Czech General Petr Pavel.

Since the formation of NATO, its Military Chairmen have been:[6]

#Photo Chairman of the NATO Military CommitteeRankNationalityTook officeLeft officeLength of term
1 Bradley, Omar N.Omar N. Bradley General of the Army  USA 1949 1951 2 years
2 Baele, EtienneEtienne Baele Lt. General  Belgium 1951 1952 1 year
3 Foulkes, CharlesCharles Foulkes Lt. General  Canada 1952 1953 1 year
4 Qvistgaard, Erhard J.C.Erhard J.C. Qvistgaard Admiral  Denmark 1953 1954 1 year
5 Guillaume, AugustinAugustin Guillaume General  France 1954 1955 1 year
6 Pallis, StylianosStylianos Pallis Lt. General  Greece 1955 1956 1 year
7 Mancinelli, GiuseppeGiuseppe Mancinelli General  Italy 1956 1957 1 year
8 Hasselman, B.R.P.F.B.R.P.F. Hasselman General  Netherlands 1957 1958 1 year
9 Øen, BjarneBjarne Øen Lt. General  Norway 1958 1959 1 year
10 Ferras, J.A. BelezaJ.A. Beleza Ferras General  Portugal 1959 1960 1 year
11 Erdelhun, RuştüRuştü Erdelhun General  Turkey 1960 1960 >1 year
12 Mountbatten of Burma, EarlEarl Mountbatten of Burma Admiral of the Fleet  UK 1960 1961 1 year
13 Lemnitzer, Lyman L.Lyman L. Lemnitzer General  USA 1961 1962 1 year
14 de Cumont, C.P.C.P. de Cumont Lt. General  Belgium 1962 1963 1 year
15 Heusinger, AdolfAdolf Heusinger General  West Germany 1963 1964 1 year
16 de Cumont, C.P.C.P. de Cumont Lt. General  Belgium 1964 1968 4 years
17 Henderson, Sir NigelSir Nigel Henderson Admiral  UK 1968 1971 3 years
18 Steinhoff, JohannesJohannes Steinhoff General  West Germany 1971 1974 3 years
19 Hill-Norton, Sir PeterSir Peter Hill-Norton Admiral of the Fleet  UK 1974 1977 3 years
20 Zeiner-Gundersen, Herman FredrikHerman Fredrik Zeiner-Gundersen General  Norway 1977 1980 3 years
21 Falls, Robert H.Robert H. Falls Admiral  Canada 1980 1983 3 years
22 De Jager, CornelisCornelis De Jager General  Netherlands 1983 1986 3 years
23 Altenburg, WolfgangWolfgang Altenburg General  West Germany 1986 1989 3 years
24 Eide, VigleikVigleik Eide General  Norway 1989 1993 4 years
25 Vincent, Sir RichardSir Richard Vincent Field Marshal  UK October 1993 1996 3 years
26 Naumann, KlausKlaus Naumann General  Germany February 14, 1996 May 6, 1999 3 years, 81 days
27 Venturoni, GuidoGuido Venturoni Admiral  Italy May 6, 1999 July 2002 3 years, 55 days
28 Kujat, HaraldHarald Kujat General  Germany July 2002 June 17, 2005 2 years, 352 days
29 Henault, RaymondRaymond Henault General  Canada June 17, 2005 June 27, 2008 3 years, 10 days
30 Di Paola, GiampaoloGiampaolo Di Paola Admiral  Italy June 27, 2008 November 18, 2011 3 years, 144 days
31 Bartels, KnudKnud Bartels General  Denmark January 2, 2012 June 26, 2015 3 years, 175 days
32 Pavel, PetrPetr Pavel General of the army  Czech Republic June 26, 2015 Incumbent 1 year, 164 days


Further reading

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