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 1914 9 November 1918 4 years, 101 days Royal Netherlands Army /
Royal Netherlands East Indies Army
2
Willem Frederik Pop
Pop, Willem FrederikLieutenant general
Willem Frederik Pop
(1852–1939)
9 November 1918 20 November 1919 1 year, 11 days Logo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
Vacant
Interbellum
3
Izaak Reijnders
Reijnders, IzaakGeneral
Izaak Reijnders
(1879–1966)
28 August 1939 6 February 1940 162 days Logo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
4
Henri Winkelman
Reijnders, IzaakGeneral
Henri Winkelman
(1876–1952)
6 February 1940 15 May 1940 99 days Logo 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 1944 13 September 1945 1 year, 10 days Royal Netherlands Army /
Royal Netherlands East Indies Army /
Royal Netherlands Navy
6
Hendrik Johan Kruls
Kruls, Hendrik JohanGeneral
Hendrik Johan Kruls
(1902–1975)
13 September 1945 1 January 1949 3 years, 110 days Logo 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 1949 5 January 1951 2 years, 4 days Logo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
2
Edzard Jacob van Holthe
Holthe, Edzard Jacob vanVice admiral
Edzard Jacob van Holthe
(1896–1967)
5 January 1951 10 January 1953 2 years, 5 days Naval Jack of the Netherlands.svg
Royal Netherlands Navy
3
Fons Aler
Aler, FonsLieutenant general
Fons Aler
(1896–1981)
10 January 1953 1 October 1953 264 days Royal Netherlands Air Force emblem.svg
Royal Netherlands Air Force
4
Ben Hasselman
Hasselman, BenGeneral
Ben Hasselman
(1898–1984)
1 October 1953 1 November 1957 4 years, 31 days Logo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
5
Heije Schaper
Schaper, HeijeLieutenant general
Heije Schaper
(1906–1996)
1 November 1957 10 May 1959 1 year, 190 days Royal Netherlands Air Force emblem.svg
Royal Netherlands Air Force
6
Henry Propper
Propper, HenryLieutenant admiral
Henry Propper
(1906–1995)
10 May 1959 10 May 1962 3 years, 0 days Naval 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 1962 5 May 1965 2 years, 360 days Logo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
8
Hein Zielstra
Zielstra, HeinGeneral
Hein Zielstra
(1908–1985)
5 May 1965 30 December 1968 3 years, 239 days Royal 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 1969 15 January 1972 3 years, 10 days Naval Jack of the Netherlands.svg
Royal Netherlands Navy
10
Willem van Rijn
Rijn, Willem vanLieutenant general
Willem van Rijn
(1915–1997)
15 January 1972 1 November 1973 1 year, 290 days Logo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
11
Robbie Wijting
Wijting, RobbieGeneral
Robbie Wijting
(1925–1986)
1 November 1973 10 December 1976 3 years, 39 days Royal 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 1976 1 November 1980 3 years, 327 days Royal Netherlands Air Force emblem.svg
Royal Netherlands Air Force
2
Cor de Jager
Jager, Cor deGeneral
Cor de Jager
(1925–2001)
1 November 1980 5 July 1983 2 years, 246 days Logo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
3
Govert Huijser
Huijser, GovertGeneral
Govert Huijser
(1931–2014)
5 July 1983 10 December 1988 5 years, 158 days Logo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
4
Peter Graaff
Graaff, PeterGeneral
Peter Graaff
(1936–2014)
10 December 1988 10 May 1992 3 years, 152 days Logo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
5
Adrianus van der Vlis
Vlis, Arie van derGeneral
Adrianus van der Vlis
(born 1940)
10 May 1992 15 August 1994 2 years, 97 days Logo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
6
Henk van den Breemen
Breemen, Henk van denGeneral
Henk van den Breemen
(born 1941)
15 August 1994 5 June 1998 3 years, 294 days
Royal Netherlands Marine Corps
7
Luuk Kroon
Kroon, LuukLieutenant admiral
Luuk Kroon
(1942–2012)
5 June 1998 5 June 2004 6 years, 0 days Naval Jack of the Netherlands.svg
Royal Netherlands Navy
8
Dick Berlijn
Berlijn, DickGeneral
Dick Berlijn
(born 1950)
5 June 2004 5 September 2005 1 year, 92 days Royal 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 2005 17 April 2008 2 years, 225 days Royal Netherlands Air Force emblem.svg
Royal Netherlands Air Force
2
Peter van Uhm
Uhm, Peter vanGeneral
Peter van Uhm
(born 1955)
17 April 2008 28 June 2012 4 years, 72 days Logo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
3
Tom Middendorp
Middendorp, TomGeneral
Tom Middendorp
(born 1960)
28 June 2012 3 October 2017 5 years, 97 days Logo landmacht.svg
Royal Netherlands Army
4
Rob Bauer
Bauer, RobLieutenant admiral
Rob Bauer
(born 1962)
5 October 2017 Incumbent 254 days Naval 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
(338 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