Chief of Defence (Netherlands)

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Chief of Defence
Commandant der Strijdkrachten
NL-VLAG-CDS.svg
Flag of the Chief of Defence
Lieutenant-admiral Bauer in 2017
Incumbent
Lieutenant admiral
Rob Bauer

since 5 October 2017
Armed forces of the Netherlands
Style His Excellency
Abbreviation CHOD
Member of Central Staff
Reports to Minister of Defence
Precursor Chief of the Defence Staff
Formation 5 September 2005
First holder General Dick Berlijn
Deputy Vice Chief of Defence
Website (in English) Chief of Defence

The Chief of Defence (Dutch: Commandant der Strijdkrachten, CHOD) is the highest-ranking military officer in the Armed forces of the Netherlands and is the principal military advisor to the Minister of Defence. On behalf of the Minister of Defence, he is responsible for operational policy, strategic planning and for preparing and executing military operations carried out by the Armed forces. The Chief of Defence is in charge of the central staff and is the direct commanding officer of all the commanders of the branches of the Armed forces. In this capacity the Chief of Defence directs all the activities of the Royal Netherlands Army, the Royal Netherlands Navy and Royal Netherlands Air Force. He is also in charge of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, when it is operating under the responsibility of the Minister of Defence.

Responsibilities[edit]

The main role of the Chief of Defence is as an intermediary between the Minister of Defence and the Central Staff of 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 Secretary-general for the Ministry of Defence. The current Secretary-General is Wim Geerts.

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]

On 24 February 2017 the Ministry of Defence announced that Vice-admiral Rob Bauer will be the next Chief of Defence [2]

On 3 October 2017 the chief of defence General Tom Middendorp resigned after severe problems with the Dutch defence,[3] on 5 October 2017 he is succeeded by Lieutenant admiral Rob Bauer[4]

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

Commander-in-chief of the Armed forces (1914–1949)[edit]

Commander-in-chief of the Armed forces Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch
1
Cornelis Snijders
Snijders, CornelisGeneral
Cornelis Snijders
(1852–1939)
31 July 19149 November 19184 years, 101 daysRoyal Netherlands Army /
Royal Netherlands East Indies Army
2
Willem Frederik Pop
Pop, Willem FrederikLieutenant general
Willem Frederik Pop
(1852–1939)
9 November 191820 November 19191 year, 11 daysLogo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
Vacant
Interbellum
3
Izaak Reijnders
Reijnders, IzaakGeneral
Izaak Reijnders
(1879–1966)
28 August 19396 February 1940162 daysLogo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
4
Henri Winkelman
Reijnders, IzaakGeneral
Henri Winkelman
(1876–1952)
6 February 194015 May 194099 daysLogo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
Vacant
German occupation
5
Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld
Lippe-Biesterfeld, BernhardGeneral
Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld
(1911–2003)
3 September 194413 September 19451 year, 10 daysRoyal Netherlands Army /
Royal Netherlands East Indies Army /
Royal Netherlands Navy
6
Hendrik Johan Kruls
Kruls, Hendrik JohanGeneral
Hendrik Johan Kruls
(1902–1975)
13 September 19451 January 19493 years, 110 daysLogo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army

Chairman of the United Defence Staff (1949–1976)[edit]

Chairman of the United Defence Staff Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch
1
Hendrik Johan Kruls
Kruls, Hendrik JohanGeneral
Hendrik Johan Kruls
(1902–1975)
1 January 19495 January 19512 years, 4 daysLogo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
2
Edzard Jacob van Holthe
Holthe, Edzard Jacob vanVice admiral
Edzard Jacob van Holthe
(1896–1967)
5 January 195110 January 19532 years, 5 daysNaval Jack of the Netherlands.svg
Royal Netherlands Navy
3
Fons Aler
Aler, FonsLieutenant general
Fons Aler
(1896–1981)
10 January 19531 October 1953264 daysRoyal Netherlands Air Force emblem.svg
Royal Netherlands Air Force
4
Ben Hasselman
Hasselman, BenGeneral
Ben Hasselman
(1898–1984)
1 October 19531 November 19574 years, 31 daysLogo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
5
Heije Schaper
Schaper, HeijeLieutenant general
Heije Schaper
(1906–1996)
1 November 195710 May 19591 year, 190 daysRoyal Netherlands Air Force emblem.svg
Royal Netherlands Air Force
6
Henry Propper
Propper, HenryLieutenant admiral
Henry Propper
(1906–1995)
10 May 195910 May 19623 years, 0 daysNaval Jack of the Netherlands.svg
Royal Netherlands Navy
7
Gillis le Fèvre de Montigny
le Fèvre de Montigny, GillisGeneral
Gillis le Fèvre de Montigny
(1901–1982)
10 May 19625 May 19652 years, 360 daysLogo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
8
Hein Zielstra
Zielstra, HeinGeneral
Hein Zielstra
(1908–1985)
5 May 196530 December 19683 years, 239 daysRoyal Netherlands Air Force emblem.svg
Royal Netherlands Air Force
9
Hugo van den Wall Bake
Wall Bake, Hugo van denLieutenant admiral
Hugo van den Wall Bake
(1913–1981)
5 January 196915 January 19723 years, 10 daysNaval Jack of the Netherlands.svg
Royal Netherlands Navy
10
Willem van Rijn
Rijn, Willem vanLieutenant general
Willem van Rijn
(1915–1997)
15 January 19721 November 19731 year, 290 daysLogo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
11
Robbie Wijting
Wijting, RobbieGeneral
Robbie Wijting
(1925–1986)
1 November 197310 December 19763 years, 39 daysRoyal Netherlands Air Force emblem.svg
Royal Netherlands Air Force

Chiefs of the Defence Staff (1976–2005)[edit]

Chief of the Defence Staff Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch
1
Robbie Wijting
Wijting, RobbieGeneral
Robbie Wijting
(1925–1986)
10 December 19761 November 19803 years, 327 daysRoyal Netherlands Air Force emblem.svg
Royal Netherlands Air Force
2
Cor de Jager
Jager, Cor deGeneral
Cor de Jager
(1925–2001)
1 November 19805 July 19832 years, 246 daysLogo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
3
Govert Huijser
Huijser, GovertGeneral
Govert Huijser
(1931–2014)
5 July 198310 December 19885 years, 158 daysLogo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
4
Peter Graaff
Graaff, PeterGeneral
Peter Graaff
(1936–2014)
10 December 198810 May 19923 years, 152 daysLogo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
5
Adrianus van der Vlis
Vlis, Arie van derGeneral
Adrianus van der Vlis
(born 1940)
10 May 199215 August 19942 years, 97 daysLogo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
6
Henk van den Breemen
Breemen, Henk van denGeneral
Henk van den Breemen
(born 1941)
15 August 19945 June 19983 years, 294 days
Royal Netherlands Marine Corps
7
Luuk Kroon
Kroon, LuukLieutenant admiral
Luuk Kroon
(1942–2012)
5 June 19985 June 20046 years, 0 daysNaval Jack of the Netherlands.svg
Royal Netherlands Navy
8
Dick Berlijn
Berlijn, DickGeneral
Dick Berlijn
(born 1950)
5 June 20045 September 20051 year, 92 daysRoyal Netherlands Air Force emblem.svg
Royal Netherlands Air Force

Chiefs of the Defence (2005–present)[edit]

Chief of the Defence Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch
1
Dick Berlijn
Berlijn, DickGeneral
Dick Berlijn
(born 1950)
5 September 200517 April 20082 years, 225 daysRoyal Netherlands Air Force emblem.svg
Royal Netherlands Air Force
2
Peter van Uhm
Uhm, Peter vanGeneral
Peter van Uhm
(born 1955)
17 April 200828 June 20124 years, 72 daysLogo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
3
Tom Middendorp
Middendorp, TomGeneral
Tom Middendorp
(born 1960)
28 June 20123 October 20175 years, 97 daysLogo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
4
Rob Bauer
Bauer, RobLieutenant admiral
Rob Bauer
(born 1962)
5 October 2017Incumbent313 daysNaval Jack of the Netherlands.svg
Royal Netherlands Navy

List of Vice Chiefs of Defence[edit]

Vice Chiefs of Defence Military branch Term of office
Army-personnel-icon.png Lieutenant general
Hans Sonneveld
Royal Netherlands Army 5 September 2005 – 1 December 2006
(1 year, 87 days)
Rob Bertholee in 2005.jpg Lieutenant general
Rob Bertholee
(Born 1955)
Royal Netherlands Army 1 December 2006 – 3 March 2008
(1 year, 93 days)
Air-force-personnel-icon.png Lieutenant general
Freek Meulman
Royal Netherlands Air Force 3 March 2008 – 3 March 2012
(2 years, 0 days)
Navy-personnel-icon.png Vice admiral
Wim Nagtegaal
Royal Netherlands Navy 3 March 2010 – 14 May 2012
(2 years, 72 days)
Air-force-personnel-icon.png Lieutenant general
Hans Wehren
Royal Netherlands Air Force 14 May 2012 – 1 September 2015
(3 years, 110 days)
Rob Bauer Vice admiral
Rob Bauer
(born 1962)
Royal Netherlands Navy 1 September 2015 – 13 Juli 2017
(1 year, 315 days)
Army-personnel-icon.png Lieutenant general
Martin Wijnen
(Born 1966)
Royal Netherlands Army 13 July 2017 – incumbent
(1 year, 32 days)

References[edit]

  1. ^ (in Dutch) Generaal-majoor Middendorp nieuwe Commandant der Strijdkrachten, Rijksoverheid, 2 October 2011
  2. ^ (in Dutch) [1]
  3. ^ (in Dutch) [2]
  4. ^ (in Dutch)[3]

External links[edit]

Official