Chief of defence

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Three CHODs leaving Lancaster House in London, 10 June 2011. L-R: U.S. Navy Adm. Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; French Navy Adm. Édouard Guillaud, Chief of Defence Staff; British Gen. Sir David Richards, Chief of Defence Staff.

The Chief of Defence (CHOD) is the highest ranked commissioned officer of a nation's armed forces. The term CHOD is in common use within NATO and the European Union as a generic term for the highest national military position within the NATO and EU member states, rather than the actual term used for individual positions. Thus, irrespective if the formal national designation of that position is some variation on Commander-in-Chief, Chief of Staff, Supreme Commander or something else, they can all be referred to unambiguously as CHODs in NATO and EU terminology, although other terms are sometimes also seen within NATO. Thus, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the CHOD of the United States, the Chief of the Defence Staff is the CHOD of United Kingdom, and the Chief of Defence (Forsvarssjefen) is the CHOD of Norway.

Both NATO and EU occasionally hold CHODs meetings of the NATO Military Committee and the European Union Military Committee respectively.

CHOD positions by NATO country[edit]

Within member states of NATO, the following national positions are the CHOD positions. Sometimes more than one form of translation into English is encountered.

Country Position Alternative translations[1] Term in national language used for the position
 Albania
Emblem of the Albanian General Staff.svg
Chief of the General Staff
Albanian: Shefi i shtabit të përgjithshëm
 Belgium
Chief of Defence
Chief of the General Staff[2] Dutch: Chef Defensie
French: Chef de la Défense
 Bulgaria
Logo of Ministry of Defense of Bulgaria.svg
Chief of the Defence[3]
Bulgarian: Началник на отбраната
 Canada
Chief of the Defence Staff
French: Chef d'état-major de la défense
 Croatia
Seal of Armed General Staff of the Armed Forces of Croatia.png
Chief of the General Staff
Croatian: Načelnik Glavnog stožera
 Czech Republic
Insignia of General Staff of the Czech Republic.svg
Chief of the General Staff[4]
Czech: Náčelník Generálního štábu
 Denmark
Standard of the Chief of the Defense Staff of Denmark.svg
Chief of Defence
Danish: Forsvarschefen
 Estonia
Commander of the Defence Forces[5]
Estonian: Kaitseväe juhataja
 France
Logoema.jpg
Chief of the Defence Staff
French: Chef d'état-major des armées
 Germany
Flagge Generalinspekteur Bundeswehr.svg
Inspector General of the Bundeswehr
Chief of the General Staff, Chief of the Defence Staff[6] German: Generalinspekteur der Bundeswehr
 Greece
Hellenic National Defence General Staff Seal.svg
Chief of the National Defence General Staff[7]
Greek: Αρχηγός του Γενικού Επιτελείου Εθνικής Άμυνας
 Hungary
Honvéd vezérkar arany szőtt karjelvény.jpg
Chief of the General Staff[8]
Hungarian: Vezérkari főnök
 Iceland
Director of the Defence Department[9][10]
 Italy
Flag of the chief of staff of defence of Italy.svg
Chief of the Defence Staff[11]
Italian: Capo di Stato Maggiore della Difesa
 Latvia
Commander of the National Armed Forces[12]
Latvian: Bruņoto spēku komandieris
 Lithuania
Chief of Defence[13]
Lithuanian: Kariuomenės vadas
 Luxembourg
Chief of Staff[14]
Chief of Defence French: Chef d’Etat-Major
 Netherlands
NL-VLAG-CDS.svg
Chief of Defence[15]
Dutch: Commandant der Strijdkrachten
 Norway
Flag of the Norwegian Chief of Defence.svg
Chief of Defence
Chief of the General Staff[16] Norwegian: Forsvarssjefen
 Poland
Flaga Szefa Sztabu Generalnego Wojska Polskiego.svg
Chief of the General Staff[17]
Polish: Szef Sztabu Generalnego
 Portugal
Chief of the General Staff[18]
Portuguese: Chefe do Estado-Maior General das Forças Armadas
 Romania
Statul Major General.png
Chief of Defence[19]
Chief of the General Staff Romanian: Şeful Statului Major General
 Slovakia
Regrut 01 znak ossr.jpg
Chief of the General Staff[20]
Slovak: Náčelník generálneho štábu
 Slovenia
Flag of Chief of General Staff of the Slovenian Army.svg
Chief of the General Staff[21]
Slovene: Načelnik Generalštaba
 Spain
Coat of Arms of the Spanish Defence Staff-EMAD.svg
Chief of the Defence Staff[22]
Spanish: Jefe del Estado Mayor de la Defensa
 Turkey
Standard of President of Turkey as Supreme Chief of Armed Forces.svg
Chief of the General Staff
Commander of the Armed Forces[23] Turkish: Genelkurmay Başkanı
 United Kingdom
MinistryofDefence.svg
Chief of the Defence Staff
 United States
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

CHOD positions by non-NATO EU country[edit]

Within the EU member states that are not members of NATO, the following national positions are the CHOD positions.

Country Position Alternative translations Term in national language used for the position
 Austria
Chief of the General Staff
German: Chef des Generalstabes
 Cyprus
Supreme Commander
Greek: Αρχηγός
 Finland
Flag of the commander of the Finnish Defence Forces.svg
Chief of Defence
Finnish: Puolustusvoimain komentaja
Swedish: Kommendören för Försvarsmakten
 Ireland
Chief of Staff
Irish: Ceann Foirne na bhFórsaí Cosanta
 Malta
Commander Armed Forces Malta (AFM)[24]
Maltese: Kmandant Forzi Armati ta 'Malta
 Sweden
Command sign of the Swedish supreme commander.png
Supreme Commander
Swedish: Överbefälhavaren

Other Chief of Defence positions by (non-NATO and non-EU) country[edit]

Note that in many countries outside of NATO and EU, the concept of civilian control of the military is inapplicable. In some countries the minister of defence is often a senior military officer. However, the list below only lists CHOD equivalents and not defense ministers.

Country Position Alternative translations Term in national language used for the position
 Algeria
Chief of Staff of the People's National Army
Chief of the Defence Staff Arabic: رئيس أركان الجيش الوطني الشعبي‎‎
 Australia
Chief of the Defence Force
 Brazil
Emcfa.gif
Chief of the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces
Portuguese: Chefe do Estado Maior Conjunto das Forças Armadas
 China
Chief of Staff
Chief of General Staff
Commanding General of the People's Liberation Army General Staff Department
Chinese: 中国人民解放军总参谋部
 Ghana
Chief of the Defence Staff
 India
Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee
 Indonesia
Commander of the Armed Forces
Indonesian: Panglima Tentara Nasional Indonesia
 Israel
Flag of IDF Chief of Staff.svg
Chief of General Staff
Hebrew: ראש המטה הכללי
 Japan
Chief of Staff, Joint Staff
Japanese: 統合幕僚長
 New Zealand
Chief of Defence Force
 Nigeria
Chief of the Defence Staff
 North Korea
Chief of the General Staff of the Korean People's Army
Korean: 조선인민군 총참모장
 Russia
Flag of Russia's Chief of Staff.svg
Chief of the General Staff
Russian: Начальник Генерального штаба
 Serbia
Generalštab VS.gif
Chief of the General Staff
Serbian: Начелник Генералштаба
 Singapore
Chief of Defence Force
 South Africa
Chief of the National Defence Force
 South Korea
Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff insignia.png
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Korean: 대한민국 합동참모본부
 Sri Lanka
Chief of the Defence Staff
  Switzerland
Chief of the Armed Forces
French: Chef de l'Armée
German: Chef der Armee
Italian: Capo dell'Esercito
 Thailand
Flag Thai Chief of the Defence Forces.svg
Chief of the Defence Forces
Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters Thai: ผู้บัญชาการทหารสูงสุด
 Ukraine
Нн ГШ ЗСУ.png
Chief of the General Staff
Ukrainian: Начальник Генерального штабу
 Vietnam
Vietnam People's Army General Staff insignia.jpg
Chief of the Staff
Chief of the General Staff of the People's Army of Vietnam Vietnamese: Tổng Tham mưu trưởng Quân đội Nhân dân Việt Nam

References and footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ This is provided when the term given on NATO's homepage is different from the one used in the Wikipedia entry for the position.
  2. ^ NATO: Chief of the General Staff of Belgium, accessed on October 30, 2008
  3. ^ NATO: Chief of General Staff of the Bulgarian Armed Forces, accessed on October 30, 2008
  4. ^ NATO: Chief of the General Staff Armed Forces of the Czech Republic, accessed on October 30, 2008
  5. ^ Estonian Defence Forces: Commander, accessed on November 12, 2014
  6. ^ NATO: Chief of the General Staff, Federal Armed Forces of Germany, accessed on October 30, 2008
  7. ^ NATO: Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, accessed on October 30, 2008
  8. ^ NATO: Chief of Defence Staff Hungarian Army, accessed on October 30, 2008
  9. ^ NATO: Director of the Defence Department and Chief of Defence of Iceland, accessed on October 30, 2008
  10. ^ Iceland presents a special case since the country does not have its own armed forces as such. Thus, a civilian at the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs fulfills the role of CHOD in relation to NATO.
  11. ^ NATO: Chief of Defense Staff of Italy, accessed on October 30, 2008
  12. ^ NATO: Commander of the Latvian National Armed Forces, accessed on October 30, 2008
  13. ^ NATO: Chief of Defence of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, accessed on October 30, 2008
  14. ^ NATO: Chief of Staff of the Luxembourg Army, accessed on October 30, 2008
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-04-01. Retrieved 2012-11-21. , accessed on November 20, 2012
  16. ^ NATO: Chief of the General Staff of Norway, accessed on October 30, 2008
  17. ^ NATO: Chief of General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, accessed on October 30, 2008
  18. ^ NATO: Chief of Defence of Portugal, accessed on October 30, 2008
  19. ^ NATO: Chief of Defence of Romania, accessed on October 30, 2008
  20. ^ NATO: Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic, accessed on October 30, 2008
  21. ^ NATO: Chief of General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces, accessed on October 30, 2008
  22. ^ NATO: Chief of Defence Staff of Spain, accessed on October 30, 2008
  23. ^ NATO: Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces, accessed on October 30, 2008
  24. ^ http://www.afm.gov.mt/commander?l=1 , accessed February 16, 2014

External links[edit]