Chief of Defence (Netherlands)

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Chief of Defence
Flag of the Dutch Ministry of Defence.svg
Flag of the
Chief of Defence
= General Tom Middendorp
General Tom Middendorp

since 28 June 2012
Style Lieutenant admiral
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 5 September 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.[1]

List of Chiefs of the Defence Staff / Chiefs of Defence[edit]

(List incomplete)

Chief of the Defence Staff Military branch Period Age Life Minister(s) of Defence Prime Minister(s)
Born Died
General Robbie Wijting Royal Netherlands Air Force 10 December 1976 - 1 November 1980
(3 years, 327 days)
51-55 (1925-06-29)29 June 1925 27 August 1986(1986-08-27) (aged 61) Vredeling
De Koning
De Geus
Den Uyl
Van Agt
Cor de Jager
General Cor de Jager
Royal Netherlands Army 1 November 1980 - 5 July 1983
(2 years, 246 days)
55-57 (1925-08-17)17 August 1925 1 December 2001(2001-12-01) (aged 76) De Geus
Van Mierlo
De Ruiter
Van Agt
Govert Huyser
General Govert Huijser
Royal Netherlands Army 5 July 1983 - 10 December 1988
(5 years, 158 days)
52-57 (1931-02-06)6 February 1931 5 January 2014(2014-01-05) (aged 82) De Ruiter
Van Eekelen
Peter Graaff
General Peter Graaff
Royal Netherlands Army 10 December 1988 - 10 May 1992
(3 years, 152 days)
52-56 (1936-01-21)21 January 1936 14 March 2014(2014-03-14) (aged 78) Bolkestein
Ter Beek
Arie van der Vlis
General Arie van der Vlis
Royal Netherlands Army 10 May 1992 - 15 August 1994
(2 years, 97 days)
51-53 (1940-08-20) 20 August 1940 (age 74) Alive Ter Beek Lubbers
Henk van den Breemen
General Henk van den Breemen
Royal Netherlands Marine Corps 15 August 1994 - 5 June 1998
(3 years, 294 days)
53-57 (1941-03-23) 23 March 1941 (age 74) Alive Ter Beek
Luuk Kroon
Lieutenant admiral Luuk Kroon
Royal Netherlands Navy 5 June 1998 - 5 June 2004
(6 years, 0 days)
55-61 (1942-12-13)13 December 1942 19 June 2012(2012-06-19) (aged 69) Voorhoeve
De Grave
Dick Berlijn
General Dick Berlijn
Royal Netherlands Air Force 5 June 2004 - 5 September 2005
(1 years, 92 days)
54-55 (1950-03-18) 18 March 1950 (age 65) Alive Kamp Balkenende
Chief of Defence Military branch Period Age Life Minister(s) of Defence Prime Minister(s)
Born Died
Dick Berlijn
General Dick Berlijn
Royal Netherlands Air Force 5 September 2005 - 17 April 2008
(2 years, 225 days)
55-58 (1950-03-18) 18 March 1950 (age 65) Alive Kamp
Van Middelkoop
Peter van Uhm
General Peter van Uhm
Royal Netherlands Army 17 April 2008 - 28 June 2012
(4 years, 72 days)
52-57 (1955-06-15) 15 June 1955 (age 59) Alive Van Middelkoop
Tom Middendorp
General Tom Middendorp
Royal Netherlands Army Since 28 June 2012
(2 years, 311 days)
52- (1960-09-06) 6 September 1960 (age 54) Alive Hillen


External links[edit]