Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

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Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Shield.svg
CMC shield
General Petr Pavel

since 26 June 2015
Member of Czech Republic Czech Republic
Reports to Secretary General of NATO
Formation 1949
First holder General Omar Bradley
Website NATO

The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (CMC) is the head of the NATO Military Committee, which advises the North Atlantic Council on military policy and strategy. The Chairman is one of the foremost officials of NATO, next to the Secretary General and the Supreme Allied Commander.

The current Chairman of the NATO Military Committee is Petr Pavel, former Chief of the General Staff of the Army of the Czech Republic, who took office on June 26, 2015, the next Chairman from June 2018 will be Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach from the United Kingdom.[1]


In accordance with Article 9 of the North Atlantic Treaty and the guidance given by the Working Group on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during the first Council session in Washington in 1949, the Defence Committee rapidly established the Military Committee,[2] during its few sessions held behind closed doors in Washington, the Military Committee gave policy guidance on military matters to the Standing Group, and advice on military questions to the Defence Committee and other bodies, and it recommended military measures for the unified defence of the North Atlantic region to the Defence Committee. The Military Committee was directly subordinate to the Defence Committee, and each member nation was represented by its chief of staff or a deputy. Iceland, which had no military forces, was represented by a civilian, each member state in turn held the Chair of the Military Committee for one year (C1 D-1/2,[3] DC 1/2[4]).

Two other groups which also sat in Washington came directly under the Military Committee:

  • the Standing Group, the executive body, set up at the beginning, responsible for Military Committee everyday business;
  • the Military Representatives Committee (MRC), created at the end of 1950, to ensure communication of information and points of view between the Standing Group and Alliance member states not represented on it.


The principal military member of each NATO country's delegation is the Military Representative, a senior officer from each country's armed forces, supported by the International Military Staff. Together the Military Representatives form the Military Committee (MC), a body responsible for assisting and advising the North Atlantic Council, Defence Planning Committee, and Nuclear Planning Group on military matters,[5] its principal role is to provide direction and advice on military policy and strategy. It provides guidance on military matters to the NATO Strategic Commanders, whose representatives attend its meetings, and is responsible for the overall conduct of the military affairs of the Alliance under the authority of the Council.

Like the Council, from time to time the Military Committee also meets at a higher level, namely at the level of Chiefs of Defence, the most senior military officer in each nation's armed forces, until 2008 the Military Committee excluded France, due to that country's 1966 decision to remove itself from NATO's integrated military structure, which it rejoined in 1995. Until France rejoined NATO, it was not represented on the Defence Planning Committee, and this led to conflicts between it and NATO members, such was the case in the lead up to Operation Iraqi Freedom.[6]

The operational work of the Committee is supported by the International Military Staff.

The Chairman of the Military Committee chairs all meetings and acts in an international capacity; in his absence, the Deputy Chairman of the Military Committee takes the chair. The current Chairman is Czech General Petr Pavel.

Since the formation of NATO, its Military Chairmen have been:[7]

# Photo Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Rank Nationality Took office Left office Length of term Service
1 General of the Army Omar Bradley.jpg Bradley, Omar N.Omar N. Bradley U.S. Army O-11 shoulderboard (1959-2015).svg
General of the Army
 United States 1949 1951 2 years United States Army
2 Baele, EtienneEtienne Baele Army-BEL-OF-08.svg
Lt. General
 Belgium 1951 1952 1 year Belgian Army
3 LGen Charles Foulkes.jpg Foulkes, CharlesCharles Foulkes British Army OF-8.svg
Lt. General
 Canada 1952 1953 1 year Canadian Army
4 EJC Qvistgaard.jpeg Qvistgaard, Erhard J.C.Erhard J.C. Qvistgaard Generic-Navy-O11.svg
 Denmark 1953 1954 1 year Royal Danish Navy
5 Augustin Guillaume.jpg Guillaume, AugustinAugustin Guillaume Army-FRA-OF-08.svg
 France 1954 1955 1 year French Army
6 Pallis, StylianosStylianos Pallis GR-Army-OF8-1959.svg
Lt. General
 Greece 1955 1956 1 year Hellanic Army
7 Mancinelli, GiuseppeGiuseppe Mancinelli Rank insignia of generale di corpo d'armata con incarichi speciali of the Army of Italy (1973).svg
 Italy 1956 January 1, 1957 1 year Italian Army
8 Ben Hasselman (1957).jpg Hasselman, BenBen Hasselman Nl-landmacht-generaal.svg
 Netherlands January 1, 1957 February 1, 1958 1 year, 31 days Royal Netherlands Army
9 Bjarneoen littlenorway.jpg Øen, BjarneBjarne Øen Norway-air force-OF-8.svg
Lt. General
 Norway 1958 1959 1 year Royal Norwegian Air Force
10 Ferraz, J.A. BelezaJ.A. Beleza Ferraz Army-POR-OF-09.svg
 Portugal 1959 1960 1 year Portuguese Army
11 Erdelhun, RuştüRuştü Erdelhun Turkey-army-OF-9a.svg
 Turkey 1960 June 3, 1960 <1 year Turkish Land Forces
12 Mountbatten.jpg Mountbatten of Burma, EarlEarl Mountbatten of Burma Generic-Navy-O12.svg
Admiral of the Fleet
 United Kingdom 1960 1961 1 year Royal Navy
13 Lyman L. Lemnitzer.jpg Lemnitzer, Lyman L.Lyman L. Lemnitzer US Army O10.svg
 United States 1961 1962 1 year United States Army
14 de Cumont, C.P.C.P. de Cumont Army-BEL-OF-08.svg
Lt. General
 Belgium 1962 1963 1 year Belgian Army
15 Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2005-0030, Adolf Heusinger.jpg Heusinger, AdolfAdolf Heusinger HD H 64 General.svg
Germany West Germany 1963 1964 1 year West German Army
(14) de Cumont, C.P.C.P. de Cumont Army-BEL-OF-08.svg
Lt. General
 Belgium 1964 1968 4 years Belgian Army
16 Nigel Henderson.jpg Henderson, Sir NigelSir Nigel Henderson Generic-Navy-O11.svg
 United Kingdom 1968 1971 3 years Royal Navy
17 Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1997-041-03, Johannes Steinhoff.jpg Steinhoff, JohannesJohannes Steinhoff LD B 64 General.svg
Germany West Germany 1971 1974 3 years West German Air Force
18 Hill-Norton, Sir PeterSir Peter Hill-Norton Generic-Navy-O12.svg
Admiral of the Fleet
 United Kingdom 1974 1977 3 years Royal Navy
19 Herman Fredrik Zeiner-Gundersen 1979.jpg Zeiner-Gundersen, Herman FredrikHerman Fredrik Zeiner-Gundersen Norway-army-OF-9.svg
 Norway March 20, 1977 1980 3 years Norwegian Army
20 Falls, Robert H.Robert H. Falls CDN-Navy-Adm-Shoulder.svg
 Canada 1980 1983 3 years Canadian Forces Maritime Command
21 Cor de Jager (1979).jpg de Jager, CorCor de Jager Nl-landmacht-generaal.svg
 Netherlands November 1983 September 30, 1986 2 years, 333 days Royal Netherlands Army
22 Wolfgang Altenburg 1983.jpg Altenburg, WolfgangWolfgang Altenburg HD H 64 General.svg
Germany West Germany September 30, 1986 September 5, 1989 2 years, 340 days West German Army
23 Vigleik Eide.jpg Eide, VigleikVigleik Eide Norway-army-OF-9.svg
 Norway September 5, 1989 October 1993 4 years, 26 days Norwegian Army
24 Vincent, Sir RichardSir Richard Vincent British Army OF-10.svg
Field Marshal
 United Kingdom October 1993 February 14, 1996 2 years, 136 days British Army
25 Klaus Naumann.jpg Naumann, KlausKlaus Naumann HD H 64 General.svg
 Germany February 14, 1996 May 6, 1999 3 years, 81 days German Army
26 Admiral Guido Venturoni.jpg Venturoni, GuidoGuido Venturoni Rank insignia of ammiraglio of the Italian Navy.svg
 Italy May 6, 1999 July 2002 3 years, 56 days Italian Navy
27 Harald Kujat.jpg Kujat, HaraldHarald Kujat LD B 64 General.svg
 Germany July 2002 June 17, 2005 2 years, 351 days German Air Force
28 Raymond Henault NATO.jpg Henault, RaymondRaymond Henault Canadian Air Command (1984-2014) OF-9.svg
 Canada June 17, 2005 June 27, 2008 3 years, 10 days Canadian Forces Air Command
29 Giampaolo Di Paola DN-SD-07-18149.jpg Di Paola, GiampaoloGiampaolo Di Paola Rank insignia of ammiraglio of the Italian Navy.svg
 Italy June 27, 2008 November 18, 2011 3 years, 144 days Italian Navy
LtGen Walter E. Gaskin.jpg Gaskin, Walter E.Walter E. Gaskin
US Marine O9 shoulderboard vertical.svg
Lieutenant General
 United States November 18, 2011 January 2, 2012 45 days United States Marine Corps
30 General Knud Bartels NATO.jpg Bartels, KnudKnud Bartels Rank insignia of general of the Royal Danish Army.svg
 Denmark January 2, 2012 June 26, 2015 3 years, 175 days Royal Danish Army
31 PavelPetr.jpg Pavel, PetrPetr Pavel CzArmy 2011 OF9 Grey.svg
General of the Army
 Czech Republic June 26, 2015 Incumbent 2 years, 88 days Army of the Czech Republic


  1. ^ "UK Defence Chief appointed as NATO Chairman of Military Committee". UK Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  2. ^ Description at NATO Archives site.;isad
  4. ^ "Directive To The Military Committee (Mc) - Nato Archives Online". Retrieved 2017-09-19. 
  5. ^ NATO Handbook, 50th Anniversary Edition, 1998-99, 234.
  6. ^ Fuller, Thomas (18 February 2003). "Reaching accord, EU warns Saddam of his 'last chance'". International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2007. 
  7. ^ official list

Further reading[edit]

  • Douglas S. Bland, 'The Military Committee of the North Atlantic Alliance: A Study of Structure and Strategy,' New York, Praeger, 1991.