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Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (CMC) is the head of the NATO Military Committee, which advises the North Atlantic Council (NAC) 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.

Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Shield.svg
CMC shield
Dragoon Ride 2015 - Pavel (cropped).JPG
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 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]

Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch Nationality
Bradley, OmarGeneral of the Army Omar Bradley
April 4, 1949 1951 2 years  
US Army
United States  United States
Baele, EtienneLt. General Etienne Baele
1951 1952 1 year  
Belgian Army
Belgium  Belgium
Foulkes, CharlesLt. General Charles Foulkes
1952 1953 1 year  
Canadian Army
Canada  Canada
Qvistgaard, E.J.C.Admiral Erhard J.C. Qvistgaard
1952 1953 1 year  
Royal Danish Navy
Denmark  Denmark
Guillaume, AugustinGeneral Augustin Guillaume
1954 1955 1 year  
French Army
France  France
Pallis, StylianosGeneral Stylianos Pallis 1955 1956 1 year  
Hellenic Army
Greece  Greece
Mancinelli, GiuseppeGeneral Giuseppe Mancinelli
1956 January 1, 1957 1 year  
Italian Army
Italy  Italy
Hasselman, BenGeneral Ben Hasselman
January 1, 1957 February 1, 1958 1 year, 31 days  
Royal Netherlands Army
Netherlands  Netherlands
Øen, BjarneLt. General Bjarne Øen
February 1, 1958 1959 1 year  
Royal Norwegian Air Force
Norway  Norway
Ferraz, J.A. BelezaGeneral J.A. Beleza Ferraz
1959 1960 1 year  
Portuguese Army
Portugal  Portugal
Erdelhun, RüştüGeneral Rüştü Erdelhun
1960 June 3, 1960 <1 year  
Turkish Land Forces
Turkey  Turkey
Mountbatten, LouisAdmiral of the Fleet Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
June 3, 1960 1961 1 year  
Royal Navy
United Kingdom  United Kingdom
Lemnitzer, LymanGeneral Lyman Lemnitzer
1961 1962 1 year  
US Army
United States  United States
de Cumont, Charles PaulLt. General Charles Paul de Cumont
1962 1963 1 year  
Belgian Army
Belgium  Belgium
Heusinger, AdolfGeneral Adolf Heusinger
1963 April 1, 1964 1 year  
West German Army
Germany  West Germany
de Cumont, Charles PaulLt. General Charles Paul de Cumont
April 1, 1964 1968 4 years  
Belgian Army
Belgium  Belgium
Henderson, NigelAdmiral Sir Nigel Henderson
1968 April 1, 1971 3 years  
Royal Navy
United Kingdom  United Kingdom
Steinhoff, JohannesGeneral Johannes Steinhoff
April 1, 1971 June 28, 1974 3 years, 88 days  
West German Air Force
Germany  West Germany
Hill-Norton, PeterAdmiral of the Fleet Sir Peter Hill-Norton
June 28, 1974 March 20, 1977 2 years, 265 days  
Royal Navy
United Kingdom  United Kingdom
Zeiner-Gundersen, Herman FredrikGeneral Herman Fredrik Zeiner-Gundersen
March 20, 1977 1980 3 years  
Norwegian Army
Norway  Norway
Falls, Robert HilbornAdmiral Robert Hilborn Falls
1980 November 1983 3 years  
Canadian Forces Maritime Command
Canada  Canada
de Jager, CornelisGeneral Cor de Jager
November 1983 September 30, 1986 2 years, 333 days  
Royal Netherlands Army
Netherlands  Netherlands
Altenburg, WolfgangGeneral Wolfgang Altenburg
(born 1928)
September 30, 1986 September 5, 1989 2 years, 340 days  
West German Army
Germany  West Germany
Eide, VigleikGeneral Vigleik Eide
September 5, 1989 January 1993 4 years, 26 days  
Norwegian Army
Norway  Norway
Vincent, RichardField Marshal Sir Richard Vincent, Baron Vincent of Coleshill
(born 1931)
October 1993 February 14, 1996 4 years, 26 days  
British Army
United Kingdom  United Kingdom
Naumann, KlausGeneral Klaus Naumann
(born 1939)
February 14, 1996 May 6, 1999 3 years, 81 days  
German Army
Germany  Germany
Venturoni, GuidoAdmiral Guido Venturoni
(born 1934)
May 6, 1999 July 2002 3 years, 56 days  
Italian Navy
Italy  Italy
Kujat, HaraldGeneral Harald Kujat
(born 1942)
July 2002 June 17, 2005 2 years, 351 days  
German Air Force
Germany  Germany
Henault, RaymondGeneral Raymond Henault
(born 1949)
June 17, 2005 June 27, 2008 3 years, 10 days  
Royal Canadian Air Force
Canada  Canada
Di Paola, GiampaoloGeneral Giampaolo Di Paola
(born 1944)
June 27, 2008 November 18, 2011 3 years, 144 days  
Italian Navy
Italy  Italy
Gaskin, Walter E.Lt. General Walter E. Gaskin (Acting) November 18, 2011 January 2, 2012 45 days  
United States Marine Corps
United States  United States
Bartels, KnudGeneral Knud Bartels
(born 1952)
January 2, 2012 June 26, 2015 3 years, 175 days  
Royal Danish Army
Denmark  Denmark
Pavel, PetrGeneral Petr Pavel
(born 1961)
June 26, 2015 Incumbent 2 years, 210 days  
Army of the Czech Republic
Czech Republic  Czech Republic

See alsoEdit


  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 readingEdit

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