Petr Pavel

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Petr Pavel
PavelPetr.jpg
Born (1961-11-01) 1 November 1961 (age 55)
Planá, Czechoslovakia
Allegiance  Czechoslovakia (1983–1992)
 Czech Republic (since 1992)
Service/branch Czech Army
Years of service 1983–present
Rank General
Battles/wars Evacuation of Karin military base, Bosnia
Awards Medal of Heroism
Legion of Honour, Officier
Croix de guerre, bronze star
Service for Peace

General Petr Pavel (born 1 November 1961) is a Czech army officer and since 26 June 2015 the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.[1] He is the first person from a former Eastern Bloc state to hold the position. Prior to his current role he was Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Army from 1 July 2012 to 1 May 2015.[2]

Military career[edit]

Pavel graduated at the Military gymnasium (high school) in Opava. He continued his military study at the Military university of the Army in Vyškov and he graduated in 1983. He started as Paratrooper in the Czechoslovak Army. He was a platoon leader.

He continued his military studies at the Military Academy (currently united with University of Defence) in Brno (1988–1991). After his graduation he worked in the military intelligence service (1991–1993). He served in the Czechoslovak troops of United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia. His unit was sent to evacuate a French military base in January 1993. The French military base Karin was attacked from the Croatian side. The French army was unable to evacuate this base due to the local infrastructure and bridge having been destroyed. The Czech army was entrusted to conduct the evacuation because of their proximity to the base. Pavel was recognized and rewarded both in the Czech Republic and in France.

Pavel served after the operation in Bosnia in different positions in the Czech Army - in military intelligence, in diplomacy (deputy of military attaché in Belgium), as commander of special forces' brigade. He was appointed Brigadier General in 2002. He served as the National Military Representative at US CENTCOM. He represented the Czech Army in different international and national organizations. He obtained an international education at universities in the United Kingdom: Staff College, Camberley; the Royal College of Defence Studies; and King's College London (Master's degree in International Relations).[3]

He served as Deputy Chief of the General Staff of Armed Forces of the Czech Republic from July 2011 to June 2012. Since 1 June 2012 he has served as Chief of the General Staff of Armed Forces of the Czech Republic. He was nominated by the Czech government for the position of Chairman of the NATO Military Committee in July 2014. He was appointed for this function in Vilnius in September 2014.[4] He is the first Chairman to come from a country formerly part of the Warsaw Pact. His mandate commenced in summer 2015.

Timeline of Czech Army rank[edit]

Date Rank
Brigadier general 1 December 2002
Major general 8 May 2010
Lieutenant general 8 May 2012
General (General of the Army in Czech terminology - four stars) 8 May 2014

Personal life[edit]

Petr Pavel speaks Czech, English, French and Russian. He is divorced and has two sons with his former wife.

References[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Vlastimil Picek
Chief of the General Staff
2012–2015
Succeeded by
Josef Bečvář
Preceded by
Knud Bartels
Chairperson of the Nato Military Committee
Since 2015
Incumbent