Chief of Defence (Finland)

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Chief of Defence of the Republic of Finland
puolustusvoimain komentaja
Kommendören för försvarsmakten
Flag of the commander of the Finnish Defence Forces.svg
Flag of the Chief of Defence
Incumbent
General Jarmo Lindberg

since 1 August 2014
Finnish Defence Forces
Reports to President of the Republic
Minister of Defence
Nominator The Government
Appointer President of the Republic
Formation 1918
First holder Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Defence Command
Website www.mil.fi

The Chief of Defence (Finnish: puolustusvoimain komentaja; lit. Commander of the Defence Forces, Swedish: kommendören för försvarsmakten) is the Chief of Defence and commander of the Finnish Defence Forces, under the authority of the President of Finland.

The Chief of Defence commands the Finnish Army, the Finnish Air Force, the Finnish Navy and is assisted by the Defence Command. He is the highest-ranking officer of the forces (Admiral or General) and his deputy is the Chief of Staff of the Defence Command (Finnish: pääesikunnan päällikkö).

The current Chief of Defence is General Jarmo Lindberg.

Role and functions[edit]

In contrast to many other Western countries, the Finnish Defence Forces have an actual military commander with direct authority over all forces, and the Chief of Staff is a separate position. The Chief of Defence is responsible for all operative aspects of the Defence Forces, while the Ministry of Defence, headed by the civilian minister, plans the long-term economical aspects. In administrative matters, the Chief of Defence has the authority to form or disband any unit below brigade level and to make any necessary reorganization to the command structure of the Defence Forces, unless such changes have wide impacts on the Finnish society, on the finances of the state or on the personnel of the Defence Forces.[1] In command matters, the Chief of Defence has the authority to make any command decision that is not reserved to the President of Finland.[2] In matters reserved to the Minister of Defence or to the President of Finland, the Chief of Defence prepares the decision and introduces his proposal to the Minister or to the President.

The immediate subordinates of the Chief of Defence are [3]

The Chief of Defence is appointed by the President on the nomination of the Finnish Council of State and may be asked to retire whenever a reason occurs. However, since 1972, all Chiefs of Defence have retired only after fulfilling the statutory retirement age of 63.

List of Finnish Chiefs of Defence[edit]

[4]

Chief of Defence Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch
1
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim(as Supreme Commander of the forces of the Republic of Finland)
Mannerheim, CarlField marshal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
(as Supreme Commander of the forces of the Republic of Finland)
28 January 1918 30 May 1918 122 days Finnish Army seal Army
2
Karl Fredrik Wilkama(as Supreme Commander of the Finnish Military Forces)
Wilkama, KarlMajor General Karl Fredrik Wilkama
(as Supreme Commander of the Finnish Military Forces)
31 May 1918 12 August 1918 74 days Finnish Army seal Army
3
Vilhelm Aleksander Thesleff(as Minister of Defence)
Thesleff, VilhelmMajor General Vilhelm Aleksander Thesleff
(as Minister of Defence)
13 August 1918 27 November 1918 106 days Finnish Army seal Army
4
Rudolf Walden(as Minister of War)
Walden, RudolfColonel Rudolf Walden
(as Minister of War)
27 November 1918 31 December 1918 34 days Finnish Army seal Army
(2)
Karl Fredrik Wilkama(as Commander of the Finnish Army)
Wilkama, KarlMajor General Karl Fredrik Wilkama
(as Commander of the Finnish Army)
1 January 1919 19 June 1919 169 days Finnish Army seal Army
5
Kaarlo Edward Kivekäs(as Commander of the Finnish Army)
Kivekäs, KaarloMajor General Kaarlo Edward Kivekäs
(as Commander of the Finnish Army)
1 January 1919 11 September 1919 83 days Finnish Army seal Army
(2)
Karl Fredrik Wilkama(as Commander of the Hosts)
Wilkama, KarlMajor General Karl Fredrik Wilkama
(as Commander of the Hosts)
12 September 1919 7 August 1924 4 years, 330 days Finnish Army seal Army
6
Vilho Petter Nenonen(as Commander of the Hosts)
Nenonen, VilhoLieutenant General Vilho Petter Nenonen
(as Commander of the Hosts)
8 August 1924 16 April 1925 251 days Finnish Army seal Army
7
Lauri Malmberg(as Commander of the Hosts)
Malmberg, LauriJaeger Colonel Lauri Malmberg
(as Commander of the Hosts)
16 April 1925 1 October 1925 168 days Finnish Army seal Army
(2)
Karl Fredrik Wilkama(as Commander of the Hosts)
Wilkama, KarlLieutenant General Karl Fredrik Wilkama
(as Commander of the Hosts)
2 October 1925 21 May 1926 231 days Finnish Army seal Army
8
Aarne Sihvo(as Commander of the Hosts)
Sihvo, AarneLieutenant General Aarne Sihvo
(as Commander of the Hosts)
21 May 1926 15 January 1933 6 years, 239 days Finnish Army seal Army
9
Hugo Viktor Österman(as Commander of the Hosts)
Österman, HugoLieutenant General Hugo Viktor Österman
(as Commander of the Hosts)
15 January 1933 16 October 1939 6 years, 274 days Finnish Army seal Army
(1)
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim[5][note 1]
Mannerheim, CarlField Marshal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim[5][note 1] (Acting) 17 October 1939 20 November 1939 34 days Finnish Army seal Army
(1)
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim[5][note 2](as Commander-in-Chief )
Mannerheim, CarlMarshal of Finland Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim[5][note 2]
(as Commander-in-Chief )
20 November 1939 12 January 1945 5 years, 53 days Finnish Army seal Army
10
Erik Heinrichs
Heinrichs, ErikGeneral of the Infantry Erik Heinrichs 12 January 1945 1 July 1945 170 days Finnish Army seal Army
11
Jarl Lundqvist
Lundqvist, JarlLieutenant General Jarl Lundqvist 2 July 1945 3 June 1946 336 days Finnish Air Force seal Air Force
(8)
Aarne Sihvo
Sihvo, AarneGeneral of the Infantry Aarne Sihvo 4 June 1946 31 May 1953 6 years, 361 days Finnish Army seal Army
12
Kaarlo Heiskanen
Heiskanen, KaarloGeneral of the Infantry Kaarlo Heiskanen 1 June 1953 28 October 1959 6 years, 149 days Finnish Army seal Army
13
Sakari Simelius
Simelius, SakariGeneral of the Infantry Sakari Simelius 29 October 1959 12 November 1965 5 years, 348 days Finnish Army seal Army
14
Yrjö Keinonen
Keinonen, YrjöGeneral of the Infantry Yrjö Keinonen 13 November 1965 30 April 1969 3 years, 199 days Finnish Army seal Army
15
Kaarlo Leinonen
Leinonen, KaarloGeneral Kaarlo Leinonen 1 May 1969 14 March 1974 4 years, 317 days Finnish Army seal Army
16
Lauri Sutela
Sutela, LauriGeneral Lauri Sutela 15 March 1974 11 October 1983 9 years, 210 days Finnish Army seal Army
17
Jaakko Valtanen
Valtanen, JaakkoGeneral Jaakko Valtanen 12 October 1983 28 February 1990 6 years, 139 days Finnish Army seal Army
18
Jan Klenberg
Klenberg, JanAdmiral Jan Klenberg 1 March 1990 31 October 1994 4 years, 244 days Finnish Navy seal Navy
19
Gustav Hägglund
Klenberg, JanGeneral Gustav Hägglund 1 November 1994 3 June 2001 6 years, 214 days Finnish Army seal Army
20
Juhani Kaskeala
Kaskeala, JuhaniAdmiral Juhani Kaskeala 4 June 2001 31 July 2009 8 years, 57 days Finnish Navy seal Navy
21
Ari Puheloinen
Puheloinen, AriGeneral Ari Puheloinen 1 August 2009 31 July 2014 4 years, 364 days Finnish Army seal Army
22
Jarmo Lindberg
Lindberg, JarmoGeneral Jarmo Lindberg 1 August 2014 Incumbent 2 years, 270 days Finnish Army seal Army

References[edit]

  1. ^ Laki puolustusvoimista. (551/2007) §29. Retrieved 30-10-2008. (Finnish)
  2. ^ Laki puolustusvoimista. (551/2007) §£30, 33. Retrieved 30-10-2008. (Finnish)
  3. ^ Tasavallan presidentin asetus toimivallan jaosta sotilaskäskyasioissa (1089/2007) § 2. Retrieved 30-10-2008. (Finnish)
  4. ^ Suomen itsenäisyyden ajan puolustusvoimain komentajat. Finnish Defence Forces. 2014-08-01. Retrieved 2016-01-16. (Finnish)
  5. ^ a b Klinge, Matti (1997) Gustaf Mannerheim. Kansallisbiografia. Retrieved 2016-01-15. (Finnish)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The official list of Chiefs of Defence on the Finnish Defence Forces site (Retrieved 2016-01-15) does not list Mannerheim as a Chief of Defence. This is because the position of sotaväen päällikkö (Commander of the Hosts) was not abolished. Instead, the newly formed position of puolustusvoimain komentaja was the commander of puolustuslaitos, the contemporary name of the Defence Forces, the Finnish Border Guard and the White Guard.
  2. ^ From 1942 onwards, prior to that, Field Marshal

External links[edit]