Édouard Guillaud

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Officier général francais 5 etoiles.svgÉdouard Guillaud
Eurocorps Strasbourg passage de commandement 28 juin 2013 36.jpg
Admiral Édouard Guillaud, France
21st Chief of the Defence Staff
Born (1953-07-10) 10 July 1953 (age 61)
Allegiance  France
Service/branch Roundel of the French Navy French Navy
Years of service 1973 – 2014
Rank French Navy-Rama NG-OF9.svg Admiral
Commands held Chief of the Defence Staff
Chief of the Military Staff of the President of the Republic
Corvette captain on the French nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle
Ship-of-the-Line Captain on the French aircraft carrier Georges Clemenceau
Ship-of-the-line captain of the BATRAL Dumont d'Urville
Battles/wars Lebanese Civil War
Gulf War
2011 Libyan civil war
Northern Mali conflict
Awards Legion Honneur GO ribbon.svg Grand Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour
National Order of Merit Officer Ribbon.png Officer of the National Order of Merit
Ordre du Merite maritime Officier ribbon.svg Officer of the Order of Maritime Merit
Medaille d'Outre-Mer (Coloniale) ribbon.svg Overseas Medal
Medaille de la Defense Nationale Bronze ribbon.svg National Defense Medal Bronze level
Medaille de Reconnaissance de la Nation (d'Afrique du Nord) ribbon.svg Recognition Medal of the Nation
Croix Croix du Mérite ordre de Malte militaire.PNG Merit Cross of the Order of Malta
Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Admiral Édouard Guillaud (born 10 July 1953)[1] is a French Navy officer and admiral. He devoted a significant part of his career to the design of the Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier, and eventually captained her. He served as Chief of the Defence Staff from 25 February 2010 to 2014.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Édouard Guillaud was born to the family of Jean-Louis Guillaud, former president of Agence France-Presse and TF1.[1]

He studied at the lycée Hector Berlioz in Vincennes and at the Ecole Sainte Geneviève in Versailles. He joined the École navale in 1973.[2]

Junior officer[edit]

Upon graduation, in 1978, he served on the escort Paimpolaise, monitoring the nuclear trials in Mururoa,[3] and on the SNLE Indomptable and on the Redoutable. In 1979 Guillaud took command of the minesweeper Lobelia, for one year. The next year, he studied for a specialisation in gunnery and missiles.

In the early 1980s, Guillaud was sent in exchange in the United States. He then served on the aviso Amyot d'Inville and the T 47-class destroyers Du Chayla and Kersaint, cruising off Iran and Lebanon in 1983.[2][3]

From 1984 to 1987, he worked on the nuclear aircraft carrier programme, particularly on expert systems in the computer environment of the ship.[4] He was promoted to capitaine de corvette in 1985.[2]

Senior officer[edit]

In 1987 he took command of the BATRAL Dumont d'Urville for one year, taking part in the operations related to the Ouvéa cave hostage taking on Ouvéa, New Caledonia.[3]

Guillaud went on to study at the École supérieure de guerre navale and at the cours supérieur interarmées, rising to capitaine de frégate in 1989.[2] He specialised in nuclear engineering, obtaining a degree in 1990.[2]

In 1991, with the start of the Gulf War, Guillaud was sent on the Clemenceau, where he served as a maneuver officer.[2]

In 1992, he took command of the light escort Enseigne de vaisseau Henry (F749). In 1993, he re-integrated the design team for the nuclear carrier. Guillaud was promoted to capitaine de vaisseau in 1996. The following year, he took the position of second officer on the Charles De Gaulle, which was then being completed in Brest.[2]

From 1999 to 2001, Guillaud captained the nuclear carrier Charles De Gaulle, supervising her trials and fittings. The next year, he studied at the Centre des hautes études militaires and at the Institut des hautes études de Défense nationale.

Admiral[edit]

Guillaud in Brazil for negotiations regarding export of Dassault Rafale aircraft to Brazil, 1 October 2009

From 2002 to 2004, he served as the naval aid to the chief of the personal staff of the President of the Republic.

Between 2004 and 2006, Guillaud was préfet maritime for the English Channel and the North Sea. He was promoted to vice-amiral on 1 April 2006.[2] The same year, he was called by Jacques Chirac to take on the position of Chief of the Military Staff of the President of the Republic, replacing General Georgelin; Guillaud took the office on 4 October, and was confirmed in this role in May 2007 after the election of Nicolas Sarkozy. In December 2007 he was promoted to admiral.

Guillaud has taken office as Chief of the Defence Staff on 25 February 2010.[5]

Since 19 March 2011, he has commanded the French forces enforcing the Libyan no-fly zone.[6]

In 2013 he commands the French Forces in the Mali Civil War.

In popular culture[edit]

In January 2014, a photoshopped screenshot from a French TV show from January 2012 started circulating the internet and quickly went viral where Admiral Édouard Guillaud's name in the onscreen caption had been replaced by Général Arse Biscuités.[7] "Arse Biscuits" is a phrase made popular in the television show Father Ted.

Honours[edit]

Decorations and badges[edit]

Ribbons French decorations
Legion Honneur GO ribbon.svg Great Officer of the Legion of honour,
Ordre national du Merite Officier ribbon.svg Officer of the Order of Merit
Ordre du Merite maritime Officier ribbon.svg Officer of the Ordre du Mérite Maritime
Medaille d'Outre-Mer (Coloniale) ribbon.svg Médaille d'Outre-Mer
Medaille de la Defense Nationale Bronze ribbon.svg Médaille de la Défense nationale échelon bronze
Medaille de Reconnaissance de la Nation (d'Afrique du Nord) ribbon.svg Médaille de reconnaissance de la Nation
BRA Ordem de Rio Branco Gra-Cruz BAR.svg Grand Cross of the Order of Rio Branco
Order of Merit for Defence - Knight (Brazil) - ribbon bar.png Order of Merit for Defence (Brazil)
OPMM-gcsX.svg Croix du Mérite de l'ordre de Malte
Order of Naval Merit - Commander (Brazil) - ribbon bar.png Commander of the Order of Naval Merit (Brazil)
US Legion of Merit Chief Commander ribbon.png Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit
ESP Isabella Catholic Order OFF.svg Officer of the Order of Isabella the Catholic
POL Order Zaslugi RP kl3 BAR.png Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland
MRT Commander Order of National Merit.png Commander of the Order of National Merit (Mauritania)
Burkina Faso Ordre national Commandeur ribbon.svg National Order of Burkina Faso, Commander
LBN Order of Merit of Lebanon 1st class BAR.svg Order of Merit, First Class (Lebanon)
Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (United Kingdom)

Sources and references[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Jean-Louis Georgelin
Chief of the Defence Staff
25 February 2010 –14 February 2014
Succeeded by
Pierre De Villiers