Chief of the Defence Staff (France)

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Chief of the Defence Staff
Chef d'État-Major des Armées
Logoema.jpg
Insignia of the Chief of the Defence Staff
Marque CEMA.svg
François Lecointre (27116104389) (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Général François Lecointre

since 19 July 2017
Ministry of the Armed Forces
StatusHead of a military staff
Member ofChiefs of Staff Committee
Reports toMinister of the Armed Forces
SeatParis, France
NominatorMinister of the Armed Forces
AppointerThe President
with the countersignature of the Prime Minister
Term lengthNo fixed term
Formation28 April 1948
First holderJean-Louis Borel
Websitewww.defense.gouv.fr

The Chief of the General Staff of the Armies (French: (C)hef d'(É)tat-(M)ajor des (A)rmées) (acronym: C.E.M.A.) is the chief (French: Chef) of the general staff headquarters (French: État-Major) of the Armies (French: Armées) of France and leading senior military officer responsible for usage of the French Armed Forces, ensuring the commandment of all military operations (under reserve of the particular dispositions relative to nuclear deterrence).

C.E.M.A. is currently held by Général François Lecointre.

Functions[edit]

The Chef d'État-Major des Armées (French: C.E.M.A.) assists the Ministry of the Armed Forces (French: Ministère des Armées) in its capacity attributions to make use of the various required forces. C.E.M.A., in virtue of decree dispositions of 15 July 2009, under the authority of the President of France, the French government, and under the reserve of the particular dispositions relative to nuclear deterrence, is responsible for the use of forces and commandment of all military operations. CEMA is the military counselor of the government.

C.E.M.A. has authority over the:

C.E.M.A. responsibilities consist of:

  • The inter-arm organizations and the general organization of the armed forces
  • The expression of the need in material of human resources of the armed forces, the inter-arm institutions, and the definition of the ensemble format of the armed forces.
  • The preparation and condition assignments of recruiting in the armed forces
  • Support of the armed forces ( C.E.M.A. determines the general organizations and objectives. C.EM.A. assures the operational maintenance in condition of all equipments. C.E.M.A. determines the inter-arm needs of various material infrastructures and that of the armed forces while verifying status of operability)
  • The renseignement of military interest. C.E.M.A. ensures the general research direction and exploitation of the renseignement militaire and has authority on the direction du renseignement militaire
  • International military relations

Responsibilities and authorities[edit]

C.E.M.A is responsible for :

  • Conduct of operations : plans of use, general articulation of forces, distribution of operational means between theatre commanders (over whom he has full authority)
  • Forces preparation : CEMA is in check of forces aptitude in missions completion and has a permanent right of inspection over these forces;
  • Future Preparation : planning and programming of military capacities. Oversees in effect of coherence in means of the armed forces and participates to the preparation and various executions of associated military and defence budgets.
  • Inter-arm organization: Oversees the coherence of the armed forces organization
  • Military relations with foreign militaries: CEMA directs French foreign military missions in foreign theatres, organizes the participation of the armed forces in regards to military cooperations, following international mandated negotiations and represents France at the various military committees of international organizations.
The installation of L’État-Major des Armées between 1890 and 2015.

Directly under the CEMA authority are :

  • Les Chefs d’état-major de l'Armée de terre, de La Marine et de l’Armée de l’Air
  • l'État-Major des armées (EMA)
  • The Inspection of the Armed Forces (IDA)
  • Superior commanders in the collective and overseas territorial departments and the commanders of the French forces in foreign areas (COMSUP and COMFOR), the officiers généraux of the zones de défense et de sécurité (OGZDS) and the délégués militaires départementaux (DMD)
  • Inter-arm institutions:
    • Direction du renseignement militaire (DRM) – Directorate of Military Intelligence
    • French Special Operations Command (French: Commandement des Opérations Spéciales (COS))
    • état-major interarmées de force et d'entraînement (EMIA-FE)
    • Direction centrale du service de santé des armées (DCSSA) – Military Medical Services
    • Direction centrale du service des essences des armées (DCSEA) – Military Fuel Services
    • Direction interarmées des réseaux d'infrastructures et des systèmes d'information (DIRISI)– Inter-arm infrastructure and Information Systems Directorate
    • Direction centrale du service du commissariat des armées - DCSCA, created 1 January 2010
    • Service interarmées des munitions, created 25 March 2011
    • Enseignement militaire supérieur.

The Chief of the general staff headquarters of the Armies (CEMA), is assisted by a Major General of the Armies (French: Major Général des Armées), a senior ranked officer of the French Armed Forces.

Chefs d'État-Major des armées[edit]

Chef d'État-Major général de l'Armée (1874–1914)[edit]

Chef d'État-Major général de l'Armée Took office Left office Time in office
1
Jean-Louis Borel
Borel, JeanGénéral de division
Jean-Louis Borel
(1819–1884)
187418750–1 years
2
Henri Gresley
Gresley, HenriGénéral de division
Henri Gresley
(1819–1890)
187518771–2 years
3
Joseph de Miribel [fr]
Miribel, JosephGénéral de division
Joseph de Miribel [fr]
(1831–1893)
187818790–1 years
4
Léopold Davout [fr]
Davout, LéopoldGénéral de division
Léopold Davout [fr]
(1829–1804)
187918800–1 years
5
Omer Arsène Blot
Blot, OmerGénéral de division
Omer Arsène Blot
188018810–1 years
6
Achille Ernest Vuillemot [fr]
Vuillemot, AchilleGénéral de division
Achille Ernest Vuillemot [fr]
(1819–1903)
188218830–1 years
7
Amédée de Cools [fr]
Cools, AmédéeGénéral de division
Amédée de Cools [fr]
(1830–1904)
188418850–1 years
8
Savin de Larclause
Larclause, SavinGénéral de division
Savin de Larclause
188618870–1 years
9
Charles Haillot
Haillot, CharlesGénéral de division
Charles Haillot
188818901–2 years
(3)
Joseph de Miribel [fr]
Miribel, JosephGénéral de division
Joseph de Miribel [fr]
(1831–1893)
189118931–2 years
10
Raoul Le Mouton de Boisdeffre
Boisdeffre, RaoulGénéral de division
Raoul Le Mouton de Boisdeffre
(1839–1919)
189418983–4 years
11
Paul Marie Brault [fr]
Brault, PaulGénéral de division
Paul Marie Brault [fr]
(1837–1899)
189919011–2 years
12
Jean Pendezec
Pendezec, JeanGénéral de division
Jean Pendezec
190119053–4 years
13
Jean Brun [fr]
Brun, JeanGénéral de division
Jean Brun [fr]
(1849–1911)
190619092–3 years
14
Édouard Laffon de Ladebat [fr]
Ladebat, ÉdouardGénéral de division
Édouard Laffon de Ladebat [fr]
(1849–1925)
191019110–1 years
15
Augustin Dubail
Dubail, AugustinGénéral de division
Augustin Dubail
(1851–1934)
1911July 19110 years
16
Joseph Joffre
Joffre, JosephGénéral de division
Joseph Joffre
(1852–1931)
July 19111 August 19142–3 years

Commandant en chef des armées françaises (1915–1918)[edit]

While non official, the term Generalissimo or « (French: Généralissime) » was employed since 1914 to designate the individual who in reality was « Commandant en Chef des Armées du Nord et du Nord-Est » (English: Commander-in-Chief of the armies of the North and North-East). The term would be made official in 1915 when Joffre was also given command over the Salonika front (a degree of authority not enjoyed by his successors). The rank and post was successively occupied by three generals during World War I: Joseph Joffre, who occupied the rank and functions from August 1914 without bearing the official title, then Robert Nivelle and Philippe Pétain.

Général Ferdinand Foch was the Assistant Commander-in-Chief of the Northern Zone under Joseph Joffre in autumn 1914; this role later crystallised into command of French Army Group North, a position which Foch held until December 1916. Subsequently, Foch became Supreme Allied Commander on the Western Front with the title Généralissime in 1918 then was designated as « Commandant en Chef des Armées Alliées » (English:Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces) starting 14 May 1918.[1] Foch was promoted to Marshal of France prior the planning of the offensive that led to the Armistice of 11 November 1918. Following the armistice, Marshal Ferdinand Foch was elevated to the digniity of the Marshal of Great Britain and Poland.

Commandant en chef des armées françaises Took office Left office Time in office Minister of War President
16
Joseph Joffre
Joffre, JosephGeneralissimo
Général de division[a]
Joseph Joffre
(1852–1931)
(elevated to the digniity of
Maréchal de France)
2 December 191517 December 19161 year, 15 daysJoseph Gallieni
Pierre Roques
Louis Lyautey
Raymond Poincaré
17
Robert Nivelle
Nivelle, RobertGénéral de division
Robert Nivelle
(1856–1924)
17 December 191615 May 1917149 daysLouis Lyautey
Lucien Lacaze
Paul Painlevé
Raymond Poincaré
18
Philippe Pétain
Pétain, PhilippeGénéral de division
Philippe Pétain
(1856–1951)
(elevated to the digniity of
Maréchal de France)
17 May 191728 March 1918315 daysPaul Painlevé
Georges Clemenceau
Raymond Poincaré

Commandant en chef des Armées alliées (1918–1920)[edit]

Commandant en chef des Armées alliées Took office Left office Time in office Minister of War President
19
Ferdinand Foch
Foch, FerdinandMaréchal de France
Ferdinand Foch
(1851–1929)
[b]
28 March 191810 January 19201 year, 15 daysGeorges ClemenceauRaymond Poincaré

Chef d'État-Major général des armées françaises (1920–1940)[edit]

Chef d'État-Major général des armées françaises Took office Left office Time in office President of the Council President
20
Edmond Buat
Buat, EdmondGénéral de division
Edmond Buat
(1868–1923)
24 June 192030 December 1923 †3 years, 189 daysAlexandre Millerand
Georges Leygues
Aristide Briand
Raymond Poincaré
Paul Deschanel
(1920 – 1920)
Alexandre Millerand
(1920 – 1924)
21
Marie-Eugène Debeney
Debeney, Marie-EugèneGeneralissimo
Marie-Eugène Debeney
(1864–1943)
1 January 19242 January 19306 years, 1 dayRaymond Poincaré
Frédéric François-Marsal
Édouard Herriot
Paul Painlevé
Aristide Briand
Alexandre Millerand
(1920 – 1924)
Gaston Doumergue
(1924 – 1931)
22
Maxime Weygand
Weygand, MaximeGénéral d'armée
Maxime Weygand
(1867–1965)
2 January 193021 January 19355 years, 19 daysCamille Chautemps
André Tardieu
Théodore Steeg
Pierre Laval
Gaston Doumergue
(1924 – 1931)
23
Maurice Gamelin
Gamelin, MauriceGénéral d'armée
Maurice Gamelin
(1872–1958)
21 January 193518 May 19405 years, 118 daysPierre Laval
Albert Sarraut
Léon Blum
Camille Chautemps
Édouard Daladier
Gaston Doumergue
(1924 – 1931)
Paul Doumer
(1931 – 1932)
Albert François Lebrun
(1932 – 1940)

Chef d'État-Major général des forces armées (1948–1950)[edit]

Chef d'État-Major général des forces armées Took office Left office Time in office President of the Council President
24
Henri Zeller [fr]
Zeller, HenriGénéral de division
Henri Zeller [fr]
(1896–1971)
28 April 194831 March 19501 year, 337 daysRobert Schuman
André Marie
Henri Queuille
Georges Bidault
Vincent Auriol
(1947 – 1954)

Chef d'État-Major combiné des forces armées (1950–1953)[edit]

Chef d'État-Major combiné des forces armées Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch President of the Council President
(24)
Henri Zeller [fr]
Zeller, HenriGénéral de division
Henri Zeller [fr]
(1896–1971)
1 April 195020 August 19511 year, 141 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Queuille, HenriHenri Queuille
René Pleven
Vincent Auriol
(1947 – 1954)
25
Charles Léchères [fr]
Léchères, CharlesGénéral
Charles Léchères [fr]
(1895–1960)
20 August 195120 August 19521 year, 0 daysLogo of the French Air Force (Armee de l'Air).svg
French Air Force
Henri Queuille
René Pleven
Edgar Faure
Antoine Pinay
Vincent Auriol
(1947 – 1954)
26
Alphonse Juin
Juin, AlphonseGénéral d'armée
Alphonse Juin
(1897–1975)
(elevated to the dignity of Maréchal de France)
20 August 195217 August 1953362 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Antoine Pinay
René Mayer
Joseph Laniel
Vincent Auriol
(1947 – 1954)

Chef d'État-Major des forces armées (1953–1958)[edit]

Chef d'État-Major des forces armées Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch President of the Council President
27
Paul Ély
Ély, PaulGénéral d'armée
Paul Ély
(1897–1975)
18 August 19533 June 1954289 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Laniel, JosephJoseph LanielVincent Auriol
(1947 – 1954)
René Coty
(1954 – 1959)
28
Augustin Guillaume
Guillaume, AugustinGénéral d'armée
Augustin Guillaume
(1895–1983)
4 June 195428 February 19561 year, 269 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Joseph Laniel
Pierre Mendès France
Edgar Faure
Guy Mollet
René Coty
(1954 – 1959)
(27)
Paul Ély
Ély, PaulGénéral d'armée
Paul Ély
(1897–1975)
2 March 195616 May 19582 years, 75 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Laniel, JosephJoseph Laniel
Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury
Félix Gaillard
Pierre Pflimlin
René Coty
(1954 – 1959)

Chef d'État-Major général des armées (1958–1961)[edit]

Chef d'État-Major général des armées Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch President of the Council then
Prime Minister of France
President
29
Henri Lorillot
Lorillot, HenriGénéral d'armée
Henri Lorillot
17 May 19588 June 195852 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Pierre Pflimlin
Charles de Gaulle
René Coty
(1954 – 1959)
(27)
Paul Ély
Ély, PaulGénéral d'armée
Paul Ély
(1897–1975)
9 June 195811 February 1959218 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Charles de Gaulle
Michel Debré
René Coty
(1954 – 1959)
Charles de Gaulle
(1959 – 1969)
30
Gaston Lavaud [fr]
Lavaud, GastonGénéral d'armée
Gaston Lavaud [fr]
(1897–1975)
25 February 195910 April 19612 years, 44 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Michel DebréCharles de Gaulle
(1959 – 1969)

Chef d'État-Major interarmées (1961–1962)[edit]

Chef d'État-Major interarmées Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch Prime Minister of France President
31
André Martin
Martin, AndréGénéral
André Martin
(1911–2001)
11 April 196115 July 19621 year, 95 daysLogo of the French Air Force (Armee de l'Air).svg
French Air Force
Michel Debré
Georges Pompidou
Charles de Gaulle
(1959 – 1969)

Chef d'État-Major des armées (1962–present)[edit]

Chef d'État-Major des armées Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch Prime Minister of France President
32
Charles Ailleret [fr]
Ailleret, CharlesGénéral d'armée
Charles Ailleret [fr]
(1907–1968)
16 July 19629 March 19685 years, 237 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Georges PompidouCharles de Gaulle
33
Michel Fourquet [fr]
Fourquet, MichelGénéral
Michel Fourquet [fr]
(1914–1992)
1 April 19688 June 19713 years, 68 daysLogo of the French Air Force (Armee de l'Air).svg
French Air Force
Georges Pompidou
Maurice Couve de Murville
Jacques Chaban-Delmas
Charles de Gaulle
Georges Pompidou
34
François Maurin [fr]
Maurin, FrançoisGénéral
François Maurin [fr]
(1918–2018)
9 June 197130 June 19754 years, 21 daysLogo of the French Air Force (Armee de l'Air).svg
French Air Force
Jacques Chaban-Delmas
Pierre Messmer
Jacques Chirac
Georges Pompidou
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
35
Guy Méry [fr]
Méry, GuyGénéral d'armée
Guy Méry [fr]
(1919–1999)
1 July 197519 July 19805 years, 18 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Jacques Chirac
Raymond Barre
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
36
Claude Vanbremeersch [fr]
Vanbremeersch, ClaudeGénéral d'armée
Claude Vanbremeersch [fr]
(1921–1981)
20 July 198031 January 1981195 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Raymond BarreValéry Giscard d'Estaing
37
Jeannou Lacaze
Lacaze, JeannouGénéral d'armée
Jeannou Lacaze
(1924–2005)
1 February 198131 July 19854 years, 180 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Raymond Barre
Pierre Mauroy
Laurent Fabius
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
François Mitterrand
38
Jean Saulnier (pilot) [fr]
Saulnier, JeanGénéral
Jean Saulnier (pilot) [fr]
(1930–2013)
1 August 198513 November 19872 years, 104 daysLogo of the French Air Force (Armee de l'Air).svg
French Air Force
Laurent Fabius
Jacques Chirac
François Mitterrand
39
Maurice Schmitt
Schmitt, MauriceGénéral d'armée
Maurice Schmitt
(born 1930)
14 November 198723 April 19913 years, 160 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Jacques Chirac
Michel Rocard
François Mitterrand
40
Jacques Lanxade
Lanxade, JacquesAmiral
Jacques Lanxade
(born 1934)
24 April 19918 September 19954 years, 137 daysLogo of the French Navy (Marine Nationale).svg
French Navy
Michel Rocard
Édith Cresson
Pierre Bérégovoy
Édouard Balladur
Alain Juppé
François Mitterrand
Jacques Chirac
41
Jean-Philippe Douin
Douin, Jean-PhilippeGénéral
Jean-Philippe Douin
(1940–2016)
9 September 19957 April 19982 years, 210 daysLogo of the French Air Force (Armee de l'Air).svg
French Air Force
Alain Juppé
Lionel Jospin
Jacques Chirac
42
Jean-Pierre Kelche [fr]
Kelche, Jean-PierreGénéral d'armée
Jean-Pierre Kelche [fr]
(born 1942)
9 April 199829 October 20024 years, 203 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Lionel Jospin
Jean-Pierre Raffarin
Jacques Chirac
43
Henri Bentégeat
Bentégeat, HenriGénéral d'armée
Henri Bentégeat
(born 1946)
30 October 20023 October 20063 years, 338 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Jean-Pierre Raffarin
Dominique de Villepin
Jacques Chirac
44
Jean-Louis Georgelin
Georgelin, Jean-LouisGénéral d'armée
Jean-Louis Georgelin
(born 1948)
[2]
4 October 200624 February 20103 years, 143 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Dominique de Villepin
François Fillon
Jacques Chirac
Nicolas Sarkozy
45
Édouard Guillaud
Guillaud, ÉdouardAmiral
Édouard Guillaud
(born 1953)
[3]
25 February 201014 February 20143 years, 354 daysLogo of the French Navy (Marine Nationale).svg
French Navy
François Fillon
Jean-Marc Ayrault
Nicolas Sarkozy
François Hollande
46
Pierre de Villiers
de Villiers, PierreGénéral d'armée
Pierre de Villiers
(born 1956)
[4]
15 February 201419 July 20173 years, 154 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Jean-Marc Ayrault
Manuel Valls
Bernard Cazeneuve
François Hollande
Emmanuel Macron
47
François Lecointre
Lecointre, FrançoisGénéral d'armée
François Lecointre
(born 1962)
20 July 2017Incumbent1 year, 244 daysLogo of the French Army (Armee de Terre).svg
French Army
Édouard PhilippeEmmanuel Macron

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The highest rank then
  2. ^ Supreme Allied Commander on the Western Front with title bearing Généralissime
    (British Field Marshal,
    22nd Royal First Honorary Colonel,
    Marshal of Poland following the war))

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lexique des termes employés en 1914-1918
  2. ^ "Jean-Louis Georgelin nommé chef d'état-major des armées" [Jean-Louis Georgelin nommé chef d'État-Major des armées]. Le Monde (in French). 30 August 2006. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  3. ^ « L’amiral Guillaud, nouveau chef d’État-Major des armées », sur le site defense.gouv.fr.
  4. ^ Mesures d'ordre individuel Archived 22 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine.

Sources[edit]