Supreme Allied Commander Europe

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Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Flag of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe.svg
Gen. Tod D. Wolters SACEUR.jpg
General Tod D. Wolters

since May 3, 2019
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
Reports toNorth Atlantic Council,
through NATO Military Committee
ResidenceChateau Gendebien
SeatCasteau, Mons, Belgium
NominatorPresident of the United States,
with Senate advice and consent
AppointerNorth Atlantic Council
Formation2 April 1951
First holderGeneral of the Army
Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) is the commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) Allied Command Operations (ACO) and head of ACO's headquarters, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). The commander is based at SHAPE in Casteau, Belgium. SACEUR is the second-highest military position within NATO, below only the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee in terms of precedence.

SACEUR has always been held by a U.S. military officer, and the position is dual-hatted with that of Commander of United States European Command.

The current SACEUR is General Tod D. Wolters of the United States Air Force.


The NATO Military Command Structure consists of two strategic commands, directed by the International Military Staff:[1]

The commands under SACEUR - Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum, Allied Joint Force Command Naples and Joint Force Command Norfolk are Operational Level Commands, while Headquarters Allied Air Command, Headquarters Allied Maritime Command and Headquarters Allied Land Command are Tactical Level Commands.[2] SACEUR also has operational command of the Joint Support and Enabling Command.[3]

Liaison:       Provides advice and support to the NAC
Political strategic level:
North Atlantic Council
Secretary General of NATO
Brussels, BE
International Staff
Brussels, BE
Military strategic level:
Coat of arms of the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.svg
Golden star.svgGolden star.svgGolden star.svgGolden star.svg
Chair of the NATO Military Committee

Brussels, BE
Coat of arms of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.svg
Golden star.svgGolden star.svgGolden star.svgGolden star.svg
Mons, BE
Emblem of Allied Command Transformation.svg
Golden star.svgGolden star.svgGolden star.svgGolden star.svg
Norfolk, US
Operational level:
Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum JFCBS Brunssum, NLJoint Warfare Centre JWC Stavanger, NO
Allied Air Command AIRCOM Ramstein, DEJoint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre JALLC Lisbon, PT
Allied Maritime Command MARCOM Northwood, GBJoint Force Training Centre JFTC Bydgoszcz, PL
Allied Land Command LANDCOM İzmir, TR
NATO Communication and Information Systems Group CIS GP Mons, BE
Allied Joint Force Command Naples JFCNP Naples, IT
Joint Force Command Norfolk JFC-NF Norfolk, Virginia, US

List of holders[edit]

2013 SACEUR change of command at SHAPE

Since 2003 the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) has also served as the head of Allied Command Europe and the head of Allied Command Operations. The officeholders have been:[4]

No. Portrait Supreme Allied Commander Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Eisenhower, DwightGeneral of the Army
Dwight D. Eisenhower
April 2, 1951May 30, 19521 year, 58 days United States Army
Matthew Ridgway
Ridgway, MatthewGeneral
Matthew Ridgway
May 30, 1952July 11, 19531 year, 42 days United States Army
Alfred Gruenther
Gruenther, AlfredGeneral
Alfred Gruenther
July 11, 1953November 20, 19563 years, 132 days United States Army
Lauris Norstad
Norstad, LaurisGeneral
Lauris Norstad
November 20, 1956January 1, 19636 years, 42 days United States Air Force
Lyman Lemnitzer
Lemnitzer, LymanGeneral
Lyman Lemnitzer
January 1, 1963July 1, 19696 years, 181 days United States Army
Andrew Goodpaster
Goodpaster, AndrewGeneral
Andrew Goodpaster
July 1, 1969December 15, 19745 years, 167 days United States Army
Alexander M. Haig Jr.
Haig, AlexanderGeneral
Alexander M. Haig Jr.
December 15, 1974July 1, 19794 years, 198 days United States Army
Bernard W. Rogers
Rogers, BernardGeneral
Bernard W. Rogers
July 1, 1979June 26, 19877 years, 360 days United States Army
John Galvin
Galvin, JohnGeneral
John Galvin
June 26, 1987June 23, 19924 years, 363 days United States Army
John Shalikashvili
Shalikashvili, JohnGeneral
John Shalikashvili
June 23, 1992October 22, 19931 year, 121 days United States Army
George Joulwan
Joulwan, GeorgeGeneral
George Joulwan
(born 1939)
October 22, 1993July 11, 19973 years, 262 days United States Army
Wesley Clark
Clark, WesleyGeneral
Wesley Clark
(born 1944)
July 11, 1997May 3, 20002 years, 297 days United States Army
Joseph Ralston
Ralston, JosephGeneral
Joseph Ralston
(born 1943)
May 3, 2000January 17, 20032 years, 259 days United States Air Force
James L. Jones
Jones, JamesGeneral
James L. Jones
(born 1943)
January 17, 2003December 7, 20063 years, 324 days United States Marine Corps
Bantz J. Craddock
Craddock, BantzGeneral
Bantz J. Craddock
(born 1949)
December 7, 2006July 2, 20092 years, 207 days United States Army
James G. Stavridis
Stavridis, JamesAdmiral
James G. Stavridis
(born 1955)
July 2, 2009May 13, 20133 years, 315 days United States Navy
Philip M. Breedlove
Breedlove, PhilipGeneral
Philip M. Breedlove
(born 1955)
May 13, 2013May 4, 20162 years, 357 days United States Air Force
Curtis Scaparrotti
Scaparrotti, CurtisGeneral
Curtis Scaparrotti
(born 1956)
May 4, 2016May 3, 20192 years, 364 days United States Army
Tod D. Wolters
Wolters, Tod D.General
Tod D. Wolters
(born 1960)
May 3, 2019Incumbent3 years, 53 days United States Air Force


The position of Deputy Supreme Allied Command Europe (DSACEUR) has been known as deputy head of Allied Command Operations from 2003. From January 1978 until June 1993 there were two DSACEURs, one British and one German, but from July 1993 this reverted to a single DSACEUR. With a small number of exceptions who were German military officers DSACEUR is normally a British military officer. The officeholders have been:

Name Photo Term began Term ended Branch
1. Field Marshal the Viscount Montgomery Bernard Law Montgomery.jpg April 2, 1951 September 23, 1958 United Kingdom British Army
2. General Sir Richard Gale Richard Gale in Normandy June 1944 IWM B 5352.jpg September 23, 1958 September 22, 1960 United Kingdom British Army
3. General Sir Hugh Stockwell The Suez Operation October - December 1956 MH29031.jpg September 22, 1960 January 1, 1964 United Kingdom British Army
4. Marshal of the RAF Sir Thomas Pike Air Marshal Sir Thomas Pike.jpg January 1, 1964 March 1, 1967 United Kingdom Royal Air Force
5. General Sir Robert Bray General RNHC Bray GBE KCB DSO.jpg March 1, 1967 December 1, 1970 United Kingdom British Army
6. General Sir Desmond Fitzpatrick December 1, 1970 November 12, 1973 United Kingdom British Army
7. General Sir John Mogg John Mogg.jpg November 12, 1973 March 12, 1976 United Kingdom British Army
8. General Sir Harry Tuzo March 12, 1976 November 2, 1978 United Kingdom British Army
9. General Gerd Schmückle January 3, 1978 April 1, 1980 Germany German Army
10. General Sir Jack Harman November 2, 1978 April 9, 1981 United Kingdom British Army
11. Admiral Günter Luther Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F047568-0012, Günther Luther.jpg April 1, 1980 April 1, 1982 Germany German Navy
12. Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Terry April 9, 1981 July 16, 1984 United Kingdom Royal Air Force
13. General Günter Kießling Guenter Kiessling.jpg April 1, 1982 April 2, 1984 Germany German Army
14. General Hans-Joachim Mack April 2, 1984 October 1, 1987 Germany German Army
15. General Sir Edward Burgess July 16, 1984 June 26, 1987 United Kingdom British Army
16. General Sir John Akehurst June 26, 1987 January 17, 1990 United Kingdom British Army
17. General Eberhard Eimler October 1, 1987 October 2, 1990 Germany German Air Force
18. General Sir Brian Kenny January 17, 1990 April 5, 1993 United Kingdom British Army
19. General Dieter Clauss October 2, 1990 July 1, 1993 Germany German Army
20. General Sir John Waters April 5, 1993 December 12, 1994 United Kingdom British Army
21. General Sir Jeremy Mackenzie December 12, 1994 November 30, 1998 United Kingdom British Army
22. General Sir Rupert Smith November 30, 1998 September 17, 2001 United Kingdom British Army
23. General Dieter Stöckmann Dieter Stockmann.jpg September 17, 2001 September 18, 2002 Germany German Army
24. Admiral Rainer Feist September 18, 2002 October 1, 2004 Germany German Navy
25. General Sir John Reith John Reith Turkish Cpt (cropped).JPG October 1, 2004 October 22, 2007 United Kingdom British Army
26. General Sir John McColl Royal Visit 2012 0043 (McColl cropped).jpg October 22, 2007 March 2011 United Kingdom British Army
27. General Sir Richard Shirreff Richard Shirreff (cropped).jpg March 2011 March 2014 United Kingdom British Army
28. General Sir Adrian Bradshaw Siradrianbradshaw.jpg March 2014 March 2017 United Kingdom British Army
29. General Sir James Everard James Everard in 2018.jpg March 2017 April 2020 United Kingdom British Army
30. General Sir Tim Radford Gen Radford at Desk.jpg April 2020 Incumbent United Kingdom British Army

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Command Structure" (PDF). NATO. Retrieved 19 October 2019. and "Military Command Structure". Supreme Head Allied Powers Europe. 12 February 2020. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  2. ^ "MILITARY COMMAND STRUCTURE". NATO. 7 October 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  3. ^ Boeke, Sergei (13 January 2020). "Creating a secure and functional rear area : NATO's new JSEC Headquarters". NATO. Retrieved 9 October 2020. JSEC is part of the NATO Force Structure and under the operational command of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).
  4. ^ List of Former SACEURs

External links[edit]