Captain (United States O-6)
In the United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, captain is the senior-most commissioned officer rank below that of flag officer. The equivalent rank is colonel in the United States Army, Air Force, Marine Corps. Reflecting its nautical heritage, the term "captain" sometimes is used as a military title by more junior officers who are serving as the commanding officer of a commissioned vessel of the Navy, Coast Guard, or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship of patrol boat size or greater, while officers below O-6 commanding aviation squadrons will use the less formal title of "skipper". In the United States Navy, captain is a senior officer rank, with the pay grade of O-6, it ranks below rear admiral. It is equivalent to the rank of colonel in the other uniformed services. Promotion to captain is governed by Department of Defense policies derived from the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act of 1980 or its companion Reserve Officer Personnel Management Act.
DOPMA/ROPMA guidelines suggest that no more than 50% of eligible commanders should be promoted to captain after serving a minimum of three years at their present rank and after attaining 21–23 years of cumulative commissioned service, although this percentage may be appreciably less, contingent on force structure and the needs of the service. With few exceptions, such as Naval Aviator Astronaut and Naval Flight Officer Astronaut, unrestricted line officer captains in the Navy will have completed at least one commanding officer assignment at the commander level a destroyer or frigate for surface warfare officers, a nuclear-powered attack submarine or ballistic missile submarine for submarine warfare officers, a SEAL team for special warfare officers, or an aviation squadron for Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers, before being selected for promotion to captain. Navy captains with sea commands in the surface warfare officer community command ships of cruiser size or larger; the more senior the officer, the larger the ship.
Others may hold command as commodores of destroyer squadrons consisting of multiple destroyers and frigates. Surface Warfare Officers may command large deck amphibious warfare ships or combat support ships and serve as commodores of amphibious squadrons or other type of surface ship squadrons. In the submarine community, a captain commanded a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine until the early 21st century when the requisite rank for the position was downgraded to that of a commander. Today, like their surface warfare counterparts, captains in the submarine community may serve as commodores of submarine squadrons, commanding a group of SSBNs or attack submarines. In Naval Aviation, captains with sea commands are Naval Aviators or Naval Flight Officers who are commanding officers of aircraft carriers, commanding officers of large-deck air-capable amphibious assault ships, commanders of carrier air wings, or commodores of functional or "type" air wings or air groups. A smaller cohort outside of sea and shore commands may serve as astronauts on loan to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
In the Naval Special Warfare "Sea Air Land" community, captains with sea commands are commodores in command of Naval Special Warfare Groups. In contrast, commanders of aircraft carrier strike groups and expeditionary strike groups are rear admirals, while subordinate destroyer squadron commodores, amphibious squadron commodores, carrier air wing commanders and the individual ship commanding officers within the strike group are of captain rank or lower. In addition, in the expeditionary strike group, the Marine Expeditionary Unit commanding officer will always be a Marine Corps colonel. Adding to the confusion, all commanding officers of commissioned U. S. Navy warships and submarines are called "captain" regardless of actual rank. Navy captains who are line officers may fill senior command and staff positions ashore as Chiefs of Staff/Executive Assistants or senior operations officers to flag officers, or they may hold shore command assignments such as commanding officers of naval bases, naval stations, naval air stations, naval air facilities, naval support activities, logistics groups, specialized centers or schools, or commanders of test wings or training air wings.
They may occupy senior leadership positions on fleet staffs, naval component commands staffs, the staffs of the joint Unified Combatant Commands, the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, or the Joint Staff. As opposed to unrestricted line captains, restricted line and staff corps captains will command facilities and organizations appropriate to their designators, such as intelligence centers commanded by intelligence officers; the United States Coast Guard uses the same naval rank system for its commissioned officers as the U. S. Navy, with a Coast Guard captain ranking
United States Maritime Service
The United States Maritime Service was established in 1938 under the provisions of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936. The mission of the organization is to train people to become officers and crewmembers on merchant ships that form the United States Merchant Marine per Title 46 U. S. Code 51701. Utilized during World War II, the USMS has since been dissolved and/or absorbed into other federal departments, but its commissioned officers continue to function as administrators and instructors at the United States Merchant Marine Academy and the several maritime academies; the U. S. Maritime Service falls under the authority of the Maritime Administration of the U. S. Department of Transportation; the Commandant of the United States Maritime Service is the Maritime Administrator, who serves as the Director of the National Shipping Authority and the Chairperson of the Maritime Subsidy Board. The Secretary of Transportation may determine the number of individuals in the service, set the rates of pay, prescribe the service's uniform, create and issue awards for the service.
By law, the U. S. Maritime Service's rank structure must be the same as that of the U. S. Coast Guard, but uniforms worn are those of the U. S. Navy with distinctive USMS insignia and devices per 46 U. S. Code § 51701. Superintendents or presidents of the seven maritime academies in the U. S. are commissioned in the U. S. Maritime Service, such as the Superintendent of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Additionally, some administrators and instructors at the maritime academies may be assigned rank in the Maritime Service; those with U. S. Maritime Service rank indicate that by listing their rank and name, followed by "USMS"; the merchant marine in the United States was in a state of decline in the mid-1930s. At that time, few ships were being built, existing ships were old and inefficient, maritime unions were at war with one another, ship owners were at odds with the unions, the crews' efficiency and morale were at an ebb. Congress took action to fix the problems in 1936; the Merchant Marine Act, approved on 29 June 1936, created the U.
S. Maritime Commission "to further the development and maintenance of an adequate and well balanced American merchant marine, to promote the commerce of the United States, to aid in the national defense." The commission realized that a trained merchant marine work force was vital to the national interest. At the request of Congress, the chairman of the Maritime Commission, VADM Emory S. Land worked with ADM Russell R. Waesche, Commandant of the Coast Guard, to formulate a training program for merchant-marine personnel. Called the U. S. Maritime Service, the new training program was inaugurated in 1938, it used a combination of civilian Maritime Commission and uniformed Coast Guard instructors to advance the professional training of merchant mariners. As with the other military services, the entry of the United States into the Second World War necessitated the immediate growth of the merchant marine and the Coast Guard; the Maritime Commission spawned the War Shipping Administration in early February 1942.
This new agency received a number of functions considered vital to the war effort, including maritime training. Several weeks after the creation of the new agency, the Maritime Service was transferred again to the Coast Guard; the transfer allowed the War Shipping Administration to concentrate on organizing American merchant shipping, building new ships, carrying cargoes where they were needed most. The Maritime Service was transferred to another agency, while marine inspection and licensing continued to be Coast Guard missions; the need for administering the merchant marine during wartime was demonstrated during the First World War. Commerce warfare, carried on by submarines and merchant raiders, had a disastrous effect on the Allied merchant fleet. With the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917, U-boats sank ships faster than replacements could be built; the United States intended to meet this crisis with large numbers of mass-produced freighters and transports. When World War II loomed, the Maritime Commission began a crash shipbuilding program utilizing every available resource.
The experienced shipyards built complicated vessels, such as warships. New shipyards, which opened overnight around the country built less sophisticated ships such as the emergency construction Liberty ships. By 1945 the shipyards had completed more than 2,700 "Liberty" ships and hundreds of Victory ships and transports; the official song of the Maritime Service and Merchant Marine is "Heave Ho! My Lads, Heave Ho!". It was written by Lieutenant Jack Lawrence while he was assigned as the bandleader of the Sheepshead Bay Maritime Service Training Station in Brooklyn, New York. During his Merchant Marine service, Lawrence met his longtime companion, psychologist Walter David Myden. All of these new ships needed trained crews to operate them; the Coast Guard provided much of the advanced training for merchant marine personnel to augment the training of state merchant marine academies. The Maritime Commission requested that the Coast Guard provide training in 1938 when the Maritime Service was created.
The Maritime Service established several training centers throughout the United States: Port Hueneme, California Avalon, California Sheepshead Bay, New York Hoffman Island, New York Government Island, California Gallups Island, Massachusetts Huntington, New YorkT
Michelle Janine Howard is a retired United States Navy officer who last served as the commander of U. S. Naval Forces Europe while she concurrently served as the commander of U. S. Naval Forces Africa and commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, she served as the 38th Vice Chief of Naval Operations. She assumed her last assignment on June 7, 2016. Howard has achieved many historical firsts throughout her naval career, she was the first African-American woman to command a U. S. Navy ship, the USS Rushmore, the first to achieve two- and three-star rank. In 2006, she was selected for the rank of rear admiral, making her the first admiral selected from the U. S. Naval Academy class of 1982 and the first female graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy selected for flag rank. On July 1, 2014, Howard became the first woman to become a U. S. Navy four-star admiral; as Vice Chief of Naval Operations, which she began that same day, she was the first African-American and the first woman to hold that post. Howard became the first female four-star admiral to command operational forces, when she assumed command of U.
S. Naval Forces Europe and U. S. Naval Forces Africa. Howard retired on 1 December 2017 after nearly 36 years of service in the United States Navy. Howard was born at March Air Force Base in California, the daughter of former U. S. Air Force master sergeant, Nick Howard, his British wife, Phillipa, she is a 1978 graduate of Gateway High School in Colorado. She graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1982 and from the U. S. Army's General Staff College in 1998 with a Masters in Military Arts and Sciences. Howard's initial sea tours were aboard the USS Lexington. While serving on board USS Lexington, she received the Secretary of the Navy/Navy League Captain Winifred Collins award in May 1987; this award is given to one woman officer a year for outstanding leadership. She reported to USS Mount Hood as Chief Engineer in 1990 and served in the Persian Gulf War, during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, she assumed duties as First Lieutenant on board the USS Flint in July 1992. In January 1996, she became the Executive Officer of USS Tortuga and deployed to the Adriatic in support of Operation Joint Endeavor, a peacekeeping effort in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia.
Sixty days after returning from the Mediterranean deployment, Tortuga departed on a West African Training Cruise, where the ship's sailors, with embarked U. S. Marines and U. S. Coast Guard detachment, operated with the naval services of seven African nations. Howard took command of USS Rushmore on March 12, 1999, becoming the first African-American woman to command a ship in the U. S. Navy. Howard commanded Amphibious Squadron 7 from May 2004 to September 2005. Deploying with Expeditionary Strike Group 5, operations included tsunami relief efforts in Indonesia and maritime security operations in the North Persian Gulf. Howard's shore assignments include: Course Coordinator/Instructor for the Steam Engineering Officer of the Watch course. Howard was the Deputy Director, Expeditionary Warfare Division, OPNAV staff from July 2006 to December 2006, senior military assistant to the secretary of the Navy January 2007 – January 2009, she served as chief of staff to the director for Strategic Plans and Policy, J-5, Joint Staff from August 2010 until July 2012.
From August 2012 to July 2013 VAdm Howard served as Deputy Commander U. S. Fleet Forces Command headquartered in Norfolk, Va. Howard assumed command of Expeditionary Strike Group 2 and Combined Task Force 151 aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer in April 2009. Boxer was the flagship for CTF 151, a multinational task force established to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean, she played a key role in the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, whose kidnapping by Somali pirates became a major motion picture film. Howard was promoted to rear admiral, effective September 1, 2007 and to rear admiral, effective August 1, 2010, she was promoted to vice admiral on August 24, 2012. On July 1, 2014, Howard was promoted to admiral, she became the 38th Vice Chief of Naval Operations the same day. After Howard retired from the navy on December 1, 2017, she became the J. B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Visiting Professor of International Affairs at George Washington University, teaching cybersecurity and international policy.
International Business Machines Corporation announced that it appointed Howard to its board, effective March 1, 2019. She is the recipient of the 2008 Women of Color Science Technology Engineering and Math Career Achievement Award, 2009 Dominion Power Strong Men and Women Excellence in Leadership Award, the 2011 USO Military Woman of the Year. On February 1, 2013, Howard was honored with the "Chairman's Award" at the 44th NAACP Image Awards, she is a 1987 recipient of the Secretary of the Navy/Navy League Captain Winifred Collins Award. On June 13, 2015, Admiral Howard was awarded the Doctor of Public Service honorary degree from the American Public University System for her many years of service in the United States Navy, her contribution to the advancement of women in the United States Military, to her continued service to the people of the United States and around the world. A female voice identified as "Admiral Howard" is included in Captain Phillips. By radio, Admiral Howard coordinated the rescue of the
Major general (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, United States Air Force, major general is a two-star general-officer rank, with the pay grade of O-8. Major general ranks below lieutenant general. A major general commands division-sized units of 10,000 to 15,000 soldiers. Major general is equivalent to the two-star rank of rear admiral in the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard, is the highest-permanent rank during peacetime in the uniformed-services. Higher ranks are technically-temporary ranks linked to specific positions, although all officers promoted to those ranks are approved to retire at their highest earned rank; the United States Code explicitly limits the total number of general officers that may be on active duty at any given time. The total number of active duty general officers is capped at 231 for the Army, 62 for the Marine Corps, 198 for the Air Force; some of these slots are finitely set by statute. For example, the Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Army is a major general in the Army.
The United States Code limits the total number of general officers that may be on the Reserve Active Status List in the Reserve Component, defined in the case of general officers as the Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve. To be promoted to the permanent grade of major general, officers who are eligible for promotion to this rank are screened by an in-service promotion board comprising other general officers from their branch of service; this promotion board generates a list of officers it recommends for promotion to general rank. This list is sent to the service secretary and the Joint Chiefs of Staff for review before it can be sent to the President, through the Secretary of Defense for consideration; the President nominates officers to be promoted from this list with the advice of the Secretary of Defense, the service secretary, if applicable, the service's chief of staff or commandant. The President may nominate any eligible officer, not on the recommended list if it serves in the interest of the nation, but this is uncommon.
The Senate must confirm the nominee by a majority vote before the officer can be promoted. Once confirmed, the nominee is promoted to that rank on assuming a position of office that requires an officer to hold the rank. For positions of office that are reserved by statute, the President nominates an officer for appointment to fill that position. For all three of the applicable uniformed services, because the grade of major general is a permanent rank, the nominee may still be screened by an in-service promotion board to add their input on the nominee before the nomination can be sent to the Senate for approval. Since the grade of major general is permanent, the rank does not expire when the officer vacates a two-star position. Tour length varies depending on the position, by statute, and/or when the officer receives a new assignment or a promotion, but the average tour length per two-star billet is two to four years. In the Army, Major Generals serve as division commanders, training center commanders, joint task force commanders, deputy commanding generals to 3-star generals, chief of staff in 4-star commands, senior directors on Army and joint staffs, and, in the case of the Army National Guard, as The Adjutant General for their state, commonwealth or territory.
In the Marine Corps, Major Generals serve as commanding generals or deputy commanding generals of Marine Expeditionary Forces, Marine Divisions, Marine Aircraft Wings, Joint Task Force Commanders, or senior directors on Marine Corps and joint staffs. In the Air Force, Major Generals serve as Numbered Air Force commanders, vice commanders of 3-star commands, joint task force commanders, warfare center, training center, weapons center, or logistics center commanders, or senior directors on Air Force and joint staffs. In the case of the Air National Guard, they may serve as The Adjutant General for their state, commonwealth or territory. Other than voluntary retirement, statute sets a number of mandates for retirement of general officers. All major generals must retire after five years in grade or 35 years of service, whichever is unless appointed for promotion or reappointed to grade to serve longer. Otherwise, all general officers must retire the month after their 64th birthday; the Continental Army was established on June 15, 1775 when the Continental Congress commissioned George Washington as a general and placed him in command of the Army of Observation besieging Boston.
The rank of major general was first established two days on June 17, 1775 when two major generals were commissioned by Congress soon followed by two more major generals being appointed on June 19. Following the disbanding of the Continental Army at the end of 1783 only one major general, Henry Knox, remained in service until his resignation in June 1784; the rank was revived on March 4, 1791 when Arthur St. Clair was appointed as major general in command of the U. S. Army. St. Clair was succeeded by Major General Anthony Wayne who commanded the Army until his death on December 15, 1796; the rank was revived on July 19, 1798 when Alexander Hamilton and Charles C. Pinckney were commissioned as major generals during the Quasi War with France; the expanded Army was demobilized on June 15, 1800 when it was reduced to
An officer of one-star rank is a senior commander in many of the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO code of OF-6. The term is used by some armed forces which are not NATO members. One-star officers hold the rank of commodore, flotilla admiral, brigadier general, brigadier, or in the case of those air forces with a separate rank structure, air commodore. Officers of one-star rank are either the most junior of the flag and air officer ranks, or are not considered to hold the distinction at all. In many navies, one-star officers are not considered to be flag officers, although this is not always the case; the army and air force rank of brigadier general is, by definition, a general officer rank. However, the equivalent rank of brigadier is not designated as a general officer; the air force rank of air commodore is always considered to be an air-officer rank. In the Australian Defence Force the following ranks of commissioned officers are awarded one-star ranks: Commodore Brigadier Air commodore Commodore Brigadier-general/brigadier-général The maple leaf appears with St. Edward's crown and crossed sabre and baton.
Before unification in 1968, the rank of air commodore was the one-star rank equivalent for the Royal Canadian Air Force, brigadier for the Canadian Army. Army and Air Force: Brigadegeneral Generalarzt Generalapotheker Navy: Flottillenadmiral Admiralarzt Admiralapotheker Air commodore Brigadier Commodore Deputy inspector-general Brigadir Jendral - Indonesian Army, Indonesian Marine Corps and Indonesian National Police one-star rank Laksamana Pertama - Indonesian Navy and Indonesian Maritime Security Agency one-star rank Marsekal Pertama - Indonesian Air Force one-star rank Air commodore Brigadier Commodore Deputy Inspector General of Police Deputy Inspector General of Prisons Brigadier General Brigadier General Commodore Commodore Police Chief Superintendent Fire Chief Superintendent Jail Chief Superintendent Commodore Brigadier Air commodore Rear admiral Brigadier general In the modern naval services of Belgium, Denmark and Sweden, the one-star rank is flotilla admiral. Ranks and insignia of NATO Two-star rank
Commodore (United States)
Commodore was an early title and a rank in the United States Navy, United States Coast Guard and the Confederate States Navy. For over two centuries, the designation has been given varying levels of formality. Today, it is no longer a specific rank, but it continues to be used as an honorary title within the U. S. Navy and the U. S. Coast Guard for those senior captains in command of operational organizations composed of multiple independent subordinate naval units. Use of the term "commodore" dates from 1775 in the then–Continental Navy, the predecessor of the modern U. S. Navy, when it was established as a courtesy title reserved for captains in command of a fleet or squadron; the first U. S. naval officer to become a commodore was John Barry, a senior officer of the Navy, appointed in 1794 after the former Continental Navy was reorganized into what would become the current U. S. Navy; because the U. S. Congress was unwilling to authorize more than four officer ranks in the navy until 1862, considerable importance was attached to the title of commodore.
Captain Isaac Hull, chafing at not being able to progress further in rank, wrote in 1814 that, if no admirals were to be authorized, something should be done to prevent, "...every midshipman that has command of a gunboat on a separate station taking upon himself the name of Commodore". Like its Royal Navy counterpart at the time, the U. S. Navy commodore was not a higher rank, but a temporary assignment for navy officers, as Herman Melville wrote in his 1850 novel, White-Jacket. An American commodore in the early period, like an English commodore or a French chef d'escadre, was an officer assigned temporary command of more than one ship, he continued his regular rank during the assignment. Once employed as a commodore, many jealously held onto the impressive title after their qualifying assignment ended; the Navy Department tried to discourage such continuing usage because it led to confusion and unnecessary rivalries. The title of commodore was defined more and was reserved for captains so designated by the Navy Department, although the practice of retaining the title for life added some confusion.
In 1857, Congress established the grade of flag officer. This generic title was intended "to promote the efficiency of the Navy", but differed little from the previous practice. Like the courtesy-title commodores, "flag officers" reverted to captain once their squadron command assignment was completed; because of the acute need for officers at the beginning of the American Civil War, naval tradition was ignored and commodore became for the first time a permanent commissioned rank in the U. S. Navy. Eighteen commodores were authorized on July 16, 1862; the rank title lost its "line command" status when, in 1863, the chiefs of the Bureaus of Medicine and Surgery and Clothing, Steam Engineering, Construction and Repair were all given the rank of commodore. The rank of commodore continued in the Navy until March 3, 1899, when the Naval Personnel Act disestablished the title and made all commodores into rear admirals. According to Laws Relating to the Navy, 1919, the step was taken, "…on account of international relationships, the consideration of which caused the Navy Department to regard the complications confronting it as inimical to the honor and dignity of this nation, because of the adverse effect upon its high ranking representatives in their association with foreign officers".
In short, U. S. Navy commodores were not being treated as flag officers by other navies, or given the respect that the Navy Department thought was their due; as it would have been expensive to increase the pay of all the former commodores to the level of rear admirals, the U. S. Congress at the time specified that the lower half of the rear admiral list have pay equal to brigadier generals of the U. S. Army. If there were an odd number of rear admirals, the lower half of the list was to be the larger. All rear admirals lower half and full rear admirals, were considered equal to major generals, flew a blue flag with the requisite number of stars instead of a broad pennant, were entitled to a 13-gun salute; the U. S. Supreme Court held that the rank of commodore had been removed from the U. S. Navy, leaving it without a rank equivalent to brigadier general; this act disgruntled all the brigadier generals, who could now be outranked by officers who were their juniors in terms of service. This was a point of inter-service controversy for many years after 1916, when the U.
S. Army made its brigadier generals equivalent to rear admirals, thus the two-star rank of rear admiral was now equal to that of major general. During the huge expansion of the U. S. Navy during World War II, the Department of the Navy was concerned that the appointment of more flag officers would create a glut of admirals whenever peacetime was achieved. However, some Navy and Coast Guard captains, although not yet selected for rear admiral, were holding commands of higher responsibility than they had earlier and this needed to be recognized; the COMINCH of the U. S. Navy and Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Ernest J. King, proposed bringing back the older rank of "commodore" for these officers. President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed; as a result, the one-star officer rank for the U. S. Navy and the U. S. Coast Guard was re-established in April 1943 with the title of "commodore". In actual practice, some officers on admiral's staffs were promoted to the rank of commodore. By the end of the War in the
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty, signed on 4 April 1949. NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's Headquarters are located in Haren, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium. Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 29; the most recent member state to be added to NATO is Montenegro on 5 June 2017. NATO recognizes Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Ukraine as aspiring members. An additional 21 countries participate in NATO's Partnership for Peace program, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programs; the combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the global total.
Members have committed to reach or maintain defense spending of at least 2% of GDP by 2024. On 4 March 1947 the Treaty of Dunkirk was signed by France and the United Kingdom as a Treaty of Alliance and Mutual Assistance in the event of a possible attack by Germany or the Soviet Union in the aftermath of World War II. In 1948, this alliance was expanded to include the Benelux countries, in the form of the Western Union referred to as the Brussels Treaty Organization, established by the Treaty of Brussels. Talks for a new military alliance which could include North America resulted in the signature of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949 by the member states of the Western Union plus the United States, Portugal, Norway and Iceland; the North Atlantic Treaty was dormant until the Korean War initiated the establishment of NATO to implement it, by means of an integrated military structure: This included the formation of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in 1951, which adopted the Western Union's military structures and plans.
In 1952 the post of Secretary General of NATO was established as the organization's chief civilian. That year saw the first major NATO maritime exercises, Exercise Mainbrace and the accession of Greece and Turkey to the organization. Following the London and Paris Conferences, West Germany was permitted to rearm militarily, as they joined NATO in May 1955, in turn a major factor in the creation of the Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact, delineating the two opposing sides of the Cold War. Doubts over the strength of the relationship between the European states and the United States ebbed and flowed, along with doubts over the credibility of the NATO defense against a prospective Soviet invasion – doubts that led to the development of the independent French nuclear deterrent and the withdrawal of France from NATO's military structure in 1966. In 1982 the newly democratic Spain joined the alliance; the collapse of the Warsaw Pact in 1989–1991 removed the de facto main adversary of NATO and caused a strategic re-evaluation of NATO's purpose, nature and focus on the continent of Europe.
This shift started with the 1990 signing in Paris of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe between NATO and the Soviet Union, which mandated specific military reductions across the continent that continued after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991. At that time, European countries accounted for 34 percent of NATO's military spending. NATO began a gradual expansion to include newly autonomous Central and Eastern European nations, extended its activities into political and humanitarian situations that had not been NATO concerns. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany in 1989, the organization conducted its first military interventions in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995 and Yugoslavia in 1999 during the breakup of Yugoslavia. Politically, the organization sought better relations with former Warsaw Pact countries, most of which joined the alliance in 1999 and 2004. Article 5 of the North Atlantic treaty, requiring member states to come to the aid of any member state subject to an armed attack, was invoked for the first and only time after the September 11 attacks, after which troops were deployed to Afghanistan under the NATO-led ISAF.
The organization has operated a range of additional roles since including sending trainers to Iraq, assisting in counter-piracy operations and in 2011 enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1973. The less potent Article 4, which invokes consultation among NATO members, has been invoked five times following incidents in the Iraq War, Syrian Civil War, annexation of Crimea; the first post-Cold War expansion of NATO came with German reunification on 3 October 1990, when the former East Germany became part of the Federal Republic of Germany and the alliance. As part of post-Cold War restructuring, NATO's military structure was cut back and reorganized, with new forces such as the Headquarters Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps established; the changes brought about by the collapse of the Soviet Union on the military balance in Europe were recognized in the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, signed in 1999. The policies of French President Nicolas Sarkozy resulted in a major reform of France's military position, culminating with the return to full membership on 4 April 2009, which included France rejoining the NATO Military Command Structure, while maintaining an independent nuclear deterrent.
Between 1994 and 1997, wider forums for regional co