|Died||24 March 2018 (aged 44)|
|Alma mater||Lycée militaire de Saint-Cyr, School of Applied Artillery (1995), École militaire interarmes (1999–2001), École des officiers de la gendarmerie nationale (2001–2002), Institut supérieur du commerce de Paris (2015–2016)|
|Occupation||Senior Officer of the National Gendarmerie|
Marielle Beltrame (m. 2016)
|Years of service||2001–2018|
|Awards||Legion of Honour (Commander)|
Arnaud Jean-Georges Beltrame (18 April 1973 – 24 March 2018) was a lieutenant colonel in the French Gendarmerie nationale and deputy commander of the Departmental Gendarmerie's Aude unit, who was killed by a terrorist at Trèbes after having exchanged himself for a hostage. French President Emmanuel Macron said that Beltrame deserved "the respect and admiration of the whole nation" and United States President Donald Trump qualified him as a "great hero". For his bravery and adherence to duty he was posthumously promoted to colonel and made a Commander of the Legion of Honour.
Early life and education
Beltrame was a double Major de promotion who graduated at the top of his class in 2001 from the French Army EMIA military academy (École militaire interarmes) and in 2002 from French Gendarmerie nationale Officers School (École des officiers de la gendarmerie nationale).
After following a reserve officer cursus during his military service, Beltrame became a serving reserve artillery officer, assigned first to the 35th Airborne artillery regiment in Tarbes and then the 8th artillery regiment in Commercy. He then transferred to the Gendarmerie and was briefly assigned to the Mobile Gendarmerie armored unit in Satory, near Versailles, before being selected in 2003 for the elite gendarmerie parachute squadron (EPIGN), also based at Satory. He deployed to Iraq in 2005 and received military honors for his service there. He then joined the Republican Guard, part of the national gendarmerie that provides guards of honor and security for the State. He was stationed at the Élysée Palace between 2006 and 2010 and then took command of a Departmental Gendarmerie company in Avranches from 2010 to 2014. After staff service with the Ministry of Ecology and post-graduate training in Business administration and Economy, he joined the Carcassone Departmental gendarmerie unit in southwestern France in August 2017 as deputy commander.
Trèbes terrorist attack
At about 11 AM on 24 March 2018, a terrorist claiming allegiance to ISIS stormed a supermarket in Trèbes armed with a handgun, a hunting knife, and three homemade bombs. He shot two people dead and took others hostage. Police negotiated for release of the hostages, and Beltrame offered to take the place of the final one, a female cashier. Beltrame set his mobile phone on a table with its line open so that police outside could monitor activity inside. After a three-hour stand-off, the terrorist stabbed and shot Beltrame. In response, GIGN operatives stormed the supermarket at 2:40 PM and killed the assailant. An autopsy revealed that Beltrame had sustained four bullet wounds but died from stab wounds to the throat.
Beltrame was reared in a nonreligious family but, at age 33, he converted to Catholic Christianity, receiving the sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation in 2008 after spending two years as a catechumen. In 2015, he made a pilgrimage to Basilica of Sainte-Anne d'Auray, "where he asked the Virgin Mary to help him to meet the woman of his life" and shortly afterwards, "he became friends with Marielle, whose faith is deep and discreet." He had married his partner in a civil ceremony in August 2016, but they had planned a church wedding in June 2018 at the Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus. Prior to the terrorist attack at Trèbes, Beltrame made a pilgrimage to Compostela. Beltrame was also a Freemason and received public honors from his Grand Lodge. He had an interest in the history of France and its Christian roots. A week before his death, Beltrame buried his father, who had drowned in the Mediterranean in August 2017 and whose body had been recently recovered in the nets of a fishing boat.
A national tribute was paid to Beltrame at Les Invalides on 27 March 2018 with Macron presiding. French flags and the banners of the Gendarmerie and the National Assembly were lowered to half-staff and many cities announced that streets, squares or buildings would be named in the colonel's honour.
- Legion of Honour (Commander) – 2018, posthumous
- National Order of Merit (Knight) – 2012
- Cross for Military Valour (bronze star with brigade citation) – 2007
- Médaille de la Gendarmerie nationale – 2018, posthumous
- National Defence Medal (golden) – 2009
- Honour medal for courage and devotion – 2018, posthumous
- Medal for internal security – 2018, posthumous
- "Hommage au Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, l'un des nôtres - ISC Paris Alumni - Réseau des Diplômés ISC Paris". www.iscparis-alumni.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- officier adjoint au commandement du groupement de gendarmerie de l’Aude"Qui était Arnaud Beltrame, le gendarme mort en héros ?" (in French). Retrieved 25 March 2018.
- "Tributes paid for hostage-swap policeman". BBC News. 24 March 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2018..
- "Attentats dans l'Aude : Arnaud Beltrame est nommé au grade de colonel à titre posthume". 26 March 2018.
- "Des roses blanches en hommage au Lieutenant-colonel Beltrame, assassiné vendredi dans l'Aude". Liberation Champagne. 24 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- Part of the Saint Cyr academy unit, EMIA trains former NCOs or reserve officers.
- "Arnaud Beltrame, le gendarme qui s'est livré en échange des otages du supermarché, est mort". Le Monde. 23 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- Willsher, Kim (24 March 2018). "Gendarme who swapped place with hostages hailed a hero in France". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- "Attentat dans l'Aude : le gendarme Arnaud Beltrame est mort poignardé au cou". 25 March 2018.
- "Police officer who swapped places with hostage was a practising Catholic". The Catholic Herald. 25 March 2018. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
- In her first public statement, his widow said that "His was the heroic achievement of a gendarme and the heroic achievement of a Christian. For him, the two were bound together." Le Figaro.
- "Mort d'Arnaud Beltrame : l'hommage du prêtre qui l'a accompagné jusqu'à la mort".
- Early reports claimed that a priest had married the couple while Beltrame lay on his death bed, but Aude Bariéty, the priest himnself, refuted the story as nonsense, that the couple could not be married because Beltrame was unconscious at the time. Le Figaro, March 25, 2018.
- "The faith of Lieutenant-Colonel Beltrame, the French police officer who took place of hostage". Aleteia. 24 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
- "Beltrame, frère GLDF, tué par un terroriste,". 24 March 2018.
- "Gard:le corps repêché au Grau-du-Roi mi février était celui du père d'Arnaud Beltrame," MidiLibre.fr, March 26, 2018.
- Berdah, Arthur (27 March 2018). "Comment va se dérouler l'hommage national à Arnaud Beltrame". Le Figaro. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- Journal officiel de la République française, 5 May 2012
- "De la sécurité de l'Élysée à l'Irak, le parcours du "héros" Arnaud Beltrame". 24 March 2018.
- "Hommage à Arnaud Beltrame : une veillée pour ses "frères d'armes" avant un éloge de Macron aux Invalides, mercredi". Europe 1. 27 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- "L'hommage intégral du général Lizurey au lieutenant-colonel Arnaud Beltrame - L'Essor". 24 March 2018.
- Media related to Arnaud Beltrame at Wikimedia Commons