Chief of Staff of the French Navy

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Chief of Staff of the French Navy
Chef d'État-Major de la Marine
Logo of the French Navy (Marine Nationale).svg
Logo of the French Navy
Marque cemm.svg
Admiral Bernard Rogel

since 12 September 2011
French Navy
Member of Chiefs of Staff Committee
Reports to Minister of Defence
Chief of the Defence Staff
Seat Paris, France
Nominator Minister of Defence
Appointer President of the Republic
Require Prime Minister's countersignature
Term length No fixed term
Formation 1892
First holder Alfred Gervais

The Chief of the Staff of the French Navy (French: Chef d'État-Major de la Marine, CEMM) is the head of the French Navy and is responsible to the Minister of Defence in relation to preparation and deployment.

CEMM as a naval expert, assists:

CEMM has authority over:

  • Territorial organization of the navy : préfets maritime and commandants de la marine, in mainland France and overseas
  • Services and organizations :
    • Direction du personnel militaire de la marine (DPMM)
    • Direction centrale du commissariat de la marine (DCCM)
    • Direction centrale des systèmes d'information de la marine (DCSIM)
    • Direction centrale du service de soutien de la flotte (DCSSF)
    • Direction centrale des travaux immobiliers et maritimes (DCTIM)
    • Naval aeronautical service
  • Over the état-major de la marine who oversees, through the four divisions (human resources, planning, programmes and logistical operations), the general direction of La Marine.

CEMM presides over the board of directors of the hydrographic and oceanographic service of the navy (SHOM).

Le chef d’état-major de la Marine[edit]

Historic of the function[edit]

Prior First World War, the Chef d'état-major de la Marine (CEMM) is first, the Chief of the Military Cabinet of the Minister of the Navy (French: Chef du cabinet militaire du ministre de la Marine), and this mode of functioning was at origin of the utilization designation; the Military figure which had effective authority on the Navy (French: La Marine) was then, the Admiral commanding the armed naval force (French: armée navale), often designated as « amiralissime », in reference to the title of « généralissime » utilized in the French Army (French: l'Armée de terre)[1]

The First World War replaced all these functionalities in cause, with major incorporation of various tasks in order to conduct a long term industrial maritime warfare in light of disposing and having the means to confront new menaces constituted by submarines and mine explosions: in accordance, various designated naval command directorates were put into effect, which were eventually dissolved at the end of the war.

In order to dispose of a permanent system allowing a uniform transition between times of peace - preparation periods - and times of war - action periods, the Vice-Admiral chef d'état-major général de la Marine became, in the 1920's, the designated commandant of French maritime forces in case of war, and the various functionalities of the headquarter staff (French: d'état-major) would be in such circumstances at the disposition of the major general of the navy (French: Major général de la Marine), his first adjoint in times of peace.

After the Second World War, the progressive disappearing of the portfolio of the Minister of the Navy (French: Ministre de la Marine) led to confine the prerogative of the naval minister to the Chef d’état-major de la Marine, prerogatives which were in a progressive manner adopted at the inter-arm (French: interarmées) level by the État-Major des armées and the respective chief : chef d'État-Major des armées (CEMA). CEMA accordingly inherited the direction responsibility of maritime operations from CEMM in 1971[2].

In the 2000's, a large part of these organic prerogatives - forces preparations - were transferred to CEMA, however, the CEMM remains the principal counselor and adviser in relation to the preparation of use of the French Navy (French: La Marine).

Chefs d’état-major de la marine[edit]

List Chefs d’état-major de la marine since 1892[3]:

Equivalent roles[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ généralissime had for vocation to assume command of the armies of the North-East, destined to defend the French frontiers in that geographical zone, in case of war.
  2. ^ In title of comparison, the French Army and French Air Force had their direction responsibility of operations transferred to CEMA ten years earlier in 1961.
  3. ^ On the "Mer et Marine" site "Les Chefs d'Etat-Major de la Marine". Retrieved 19 December 2008. 
  4. ^ From 26 August 1939 to 6 June 1943 the structure of the La Marine did not include a general headquarter staff (French: état-major general), however, a general headquarter staff of maritime forces (French: état-major des forces maritimes françaises) had lieu in place which was the office for the duration of the war. Admiral Darlan became then the commander-in-chief of French maritime forces (French: commandant en chef des forces maritimes françaises) before being called upon to serve other functions in February 1941 in the France of Vichy. Darlan then sided with the Allies on November 1942.
  5. ^ On November 11 1942, gave orders to the fleet to scuttle itself, order executed November 27 1942. He resigned from his functions on November 18 1942.
  6. ^ Admiral Lemonier was designated to this post by the French Committee of National Liberation (French: comité français de Libération nationale), which came after the French National Committee (French: comité national français) in June 1943, the exile government of Free France. Accordingly, the Free French Naval Forces (French: Forces navales françaises libres) and the French Navy of North Africa (French: Marine française d’Afrique du Nord), under the impulsion of général de Gaulle, Henri Giraud, then French Military and Civilian Commander-in-Chief (French: commandant en chef français civil et militaire) and the major general of the latter, Admiral Philippe Auboyneau.

External links[edit]