Elmar Mäder

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Elmar Theodor Mäder (born 28 July 1963) was the thirty-third and former Commandant of the Pontifical Swiss Guards. He held the rank of colonel in the Guards.


Mäder was born in Niederuzwil, Switzerland, Europe. He grew up in Zuzwil in the canton of St. Gallen, one of five children of Theo and Katharina Mäder. He studied at the Hochschule in St. Gallen and at the University of Freiburg before entering the Swiss Army where he attained the rank of First Lieutenant in the Air Defense Troops. He entered the Papal Swiss Guards in 1998 and was named commandant in 2002, succeeding Pius Segmüller.[citation needed]

Mäder made headlines when he said that there was no plan to allow women into the Swiss Guards. His reason was that the Guard's quarters were too small and the entry of women would lead to discipline problems.[1][2]

He was walking along the Popemobile on June 6, 2007 when a German man jumped over the security cordons and tried to jump into the Popemobile.[3] Mäder is married to Theresia Blöchliger and they have four children.[citation needed]


National orders[edit]

Foreign orders[edit]


Military offices
Preceded by
Pius Segmüller
Commander of the Pontifical Swiss Guard
2002– 2008
Succeeded by
Daniel Anrig