Hellenic National Defence General Staff

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Hellenic National Defence General Staff
Γενικό Επιτελείο Εθνικής Άμυνας
Hellenic National Defence General Staff Seal.svg
Emblem of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff. The Corinthian helmet represents the Hellenic Army, the anchor the Hellenic Navy, and the wings the Hellenic Air Force
BranchArmed forces
TypeMilitary staff
Part ofHellenic Armed Forces
HeadquartersMinistry of National Defence, Psychiko, Athens, Greece
Motto(s)Αἰὲν Ἀριστεύειν ("Ever to Excel")
ChiefAir Chief Marshal Christos Christodoulou.[1]
Deputy ChiefLt. Gen. Konstantinos Floros
Staff ChiefAir Mshl Nikolaos Dimitrios Christopoulos
Alexandros Papagos
FlagFlag of Hellenic National Defence General Staff.svg

The Hellenic National Defence General Staff (Greek: Γενικό Επιτελείο Εθνικής Άμυνας, abbr. ΓΕΕΘΑ) is the senior staff of the Hellenic Armed Forces. It was established in 1950, when the separate armed services ministries were consolidated into the Ministry of National Defence. Its role in peacetime was as a coordinating and senior consultative body at the disposal of the Greek government, and in wartime as the overall headquarters of the Armed Forces. In recent years, through ongoing efforts at increased inter-services cooperation and integration, the HNDGS has assumed peacetime operational control over the separate branches. Between 19 December 1968 and 10 August 1977, the HNDGS was abolished, and the Armed Forces Headquarters (Greek: Αρχηγείο Ενόπλων Δυνάμεων, abbr. ΑΕΔ) established in its place.

The Chief of the HNDGS[edit]

The Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff (Greek: Αρχηγός ΓΕΕΘΑ, Α/ΓΕΕΘΑ) conducts the HNDGS and is the main adviser to the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense (KYSEA) and to the Minister of Defence on military issues. Through the Chiefs of General Staffs, he carries out the operational commanding of the Joint Headquarters and the units that come under them, as well as the rest forces, when it comes to the issues of operation plans implementation and the Crises management System implementation, conduction of operations outside the national territory and participation of the Armed Forces in the confrontation of special situations during peace time.

He constructs the National Military Strategy after taking into consideration the suggestions of the General Staffs of the Armed Forces Services and according to the directions of the Ministry of Defence he manages and proposes the priority of the armament programs and suggests the general policy directions and priorities on every operational objective.

Traditionally, since c. 1970, the Chief of the HNDGS holds the rank of full General, Admiral or Air Chief Marshal, and is the only serving four-star officer of the Hellenic Armed Forces (as opposed to retired, since three-star ranks are often promoted one rank on retirement).

Since 25 January 2019, the incumbent Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, is Air Chief Marshal Christos Christodoulou.[1]

List of chiefs of the HNDGS[edit]

Chief of the HNDGS Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch
Alexandros Papagos
Papagos, AlexandrosField Marshal
Alexandros Papagos
195019510–1 years Hellenic Army
Theodotos Grigoropoulos
Grigoropoulos, TheodotosLieutenant General
Theodotos Grigoropoulos
195119520–1 years Hellenic Army
Stylianos Kitrilakis
Kitrilakis, StylianosLieutenant General
Stylianos Kitrilakis
195219541–2 years Hellenic Army
Konstantinos Dovas
Dovas, KonstantinosLieutenant General
Konstantinos Dovas
195419594–5 years Hellenic Army
Athanasios Frontistis
Frontistis, AthanasiosLieutenant General
Athanasios Frontistis
195919622–3 years Hellenic Army
Ioannis Pipilis
Pipilis, IoannisLieutenant General
Ioannis Pipilis
196219652–3 years Hellenic Army
Konstantinos Tsolakas
Tsolakas, KonstantinosLieutenant General
Konstantinos Tsolakas
196519671–2 years Hellenic Army
Spyridon Avgeris
Avgeris, SpyridonVice Admiral
Spyridon Avgeris
30 March 196714 December 1967259 days Hellenic Navy
Odysseas Angelis
Angelis, OdysseasGeneral
Odysseas Angelis
196716 August 19735–6 years Hellenic Army
Dimitrios Zagorianakos
Zagorianakos, DimitriosGeneral
Dimitrios Zagorianakos
16 August 197325 November 1973101 days Hellenic Army
Grigorios Bonanos
Bonanos, GrigoriosGeneral
Grigorios Bonanos
25 November 197319740–1 years Hellenic Army
Dionysios Arbouzis
Arbouzis, DionysiosGeneral
Dionysios Arbouzis
197419761–2 years Hellenic Army
Ioannis Davos
Davos, IoannisGeneral
Ioannis Davos
14 September 197610 January 19803 years, 118 days Hellenic Army
Agamemnon Gratzios
Gratzios, AgamemnonGeneral
Agamemnon Gratzios
11 January 198019 January 19822 years, 8 days Hellenic Army
Theodoros Degiannis
Degiannis, TheodorosAdmiral
Theodoros Degiannis
198219841–2 years Hellenic Navy
Nikolaos Kouris
Kouris, NikolaosAir Chief Marshal
Nikolaos Kouris
(born 1930)
198419894–5 years Hellenic Air Force
Stamatis Vellidis
Vellidis, StamatisGeneral
Stamatis Vellidis
(born 1928)
198919900–1 years Hellenic Army
Ioannis Veryvakis
Veryvakis, IoannisGeneral
Ioannis Veryvakis
199016 October 19932–3 years Hellenic Army
Dimitrios Skarvelis
Skarvelis, DimitriosGeneral
Dimitrios Skarvelis
(born 1933)
16 October 199316 December 199361 days Hellenic Army
Christos Lymberis
Lymberis, ChristosAdmiral
Christos Lymberis
(born 1935)
16 December 199319962–3 years Hellenic Navy
Athanasios Tzoganis
Tzoganis, AthanasiosAir Chief Marshal
Athanasios Tzoganis
(born 1939)
199619992–3 years Hellenic Air Force
Manousos Paragioudakis
Paragioudakis, ManousosGeneral
Manousos Paragioudakis
(born 1938)
199920022–3 years Hellenic Army
Georgios Antonakopoulos
Antonakopoulos, GeorgiosGeneral
Georgios Antonakopoulos
(born 1943)
200216 February 20052–3 years Hellenic Army
Panagiotis Chinofotis
Chinofotis, PanagiotisAdmiral
Panagiotis Chinofotis
(born 1949)
16 February 200521 August 20072 years, 186 days Hellenic Navy
Dimitrios Grapsas
Grapsas, DimitriosGeneral
Dimitrios Grapsas
(born 1948)
21 August 20076 August 20091 year, 350 days Hellenic Army
Ioannis Giangos
Giangos, IoannisAir Chief Marshal
Ioannis Giangos
(born 1951)
6 August 20091 November 20112 years, 87 days Hellenic Air Force
Michail Kostarakos
Kostarakos, MichailGeneral
Michail Kostarakos
(born 1956)
1 November 201115 December 20154 years, 44 days Hellenic Army
Evangelos Apostolakis
Apostolakis, EvangelosAdmiral
Evangelos Apostolakis
(born 1957)
15 December 201514 January 20193 years, 30 days Hellenic Navy
Konstantinos Floros
Floros, KonstantinosLieutenant General
Konstantinos Floros
14 January 201925 January 201911 days Hellenic Army
Christos Christodoulou
Christodoulou, ChristosAir Chief Marshal
Christos Christodoulou
(born 1958)
25 January 2019Incumbent151 days Hellenic Air Force


  1. ^ Resigned to found Greek Rally party
  2. ^ Held the post at the time of the coup d'état in April 1967 which established the military regime. Dismissed by the military regime following the failed counter-coup of King Constantine II in December 1967
  3. ^ Installed by the military regime. "Chief of the Armed Forces" from December 1968
  4. ^ a b Chief of the Armed Forces during the military regime
  5. ^ Chief of the Armed Forces following the fall of the military regime
  6. ^ Chief of the Armed Forces, from August 1977 Chief of the re-formed HNDGS
  7. ^ Dismissed following the Imia crisis


  1. ^ a b "Νέος Αρχηγός ΓΕΕΘΑ ο Χρήστος Χριστοδούλου" (in Greek). in.gr. 25 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.

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