Minister of the Armed Forces (France)

The Minister of the Armed Forces (French: Ministre des armées, lit.'Minister of the Armies') is the leader and most senior official of the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, tasked with running the French Armed Forces. The minister is the third highest civilian[1] having authority over France's military, behind only the President of the Republic[2] and the Prime Minister.[3] Based on the governments, they may be assisted by a minister or state secretary for veterans' affairs.

Minister of the Armed Forces
Ministre des armées (French)
Marque mindef.svg
Honor flag & Naval jack of the Minister
Portrait Sébastien Lecornu.jpg
Incumbent
Sébastien Lecornu

since 20 May 2022
Ministry of the Armed Forces
Member ofGovernment
Reports to
Seat
NominatorPrime Minister
AppointerPresident
Term lengthNo fixed term
Precursor
Formation21 November 1945 (1945-11-21)
First holderEdmond Michelet
Deputy
Salary10,135€ per month
Websitewww.defense.gouv.fr

The office is considered to be one of the core positions of the Government of France.

Since 20 May 2022, the Minister of the Armed Forces has been Sébastien Lecornu, the 45th person to hold the office.

HistoryEdit

The minister in charge of the Armed Forces has evolved within the epoque and regimes. The Secretary of State of War was one of the four specialised secretaries of state established in France in 1589. This State Secretary was responsible for the French Army (similarly, the Naval Ministers of France and the Colonies was created in 1669). In 1791, the Secretary of State of War became Minister of War, with this ministerial function being abolished in 1794 and re-established in 1795. Since 1930, the position was often referred to as Minister of War and National Defence. In 1947, two years after World War II, the ministry merged with the Ministry of the Navy and the Ministry of Air (created in 1930), while being headed by a Minister of National Defence responsible for the French Armed Forces, often referred to as Minister of the Armies and since 1947 until 2017, designated as Minister of Defence.

Powers and functionsEdit

As the head of the military, the minister is part of the Council of Defence.[4] In addition to their authority over the armed forces, the minister also heads the external and military intelligence community.[1] In this capacity, they are also a member of the National Council of Intelligence.[5]

Although the Minister of the Armed Forces is the official responsible for veterans affairs,[6] they usually delegate their powers to a dedicated subordinate minister or state secretary.

The direct military subordinates of the minister are the:[7]

OfficeholdersEdit

Provisional GovernmentEdit

No. Portrait Name Term Government President Ref.
Took office Left office Time in office
Ministry established
  • Minister of the Armed Forces
  • (Ministre des Armées)
1   Edmond Michelet 21 November 1945 16 December 1946 1 year, 25 days
  • de Gaulle II
  • Gouin
  • Bidault I
[8]
Serving with Minister of National Defence, Charles de Gaulle
  • Minister of National Defence
  • (Ministre de la Défense nationale)
2   André Le Troquer 16 December 1946 22 January 1947 37 days Blum III Léon Blum [9]

Fourth RepublicEdit

No. Portrait Name Term Government President Ref.
Took office Left office Time in office
  • Minister of National Defence
  • (Ministre de la Défense nationale)
3   François Billoux 22 January 1947 4 May 1947 102 days Ramadier I Vincent Auriol [10]
Serving with: War Minister Paul Coste-Floret; Navy Minister Louis Jacquinot; Air Minister André Maroselli
Interim by Yvon Delbos, Minister of State, from 4 May 1947 to 22 October 1947. [11]
  • Minister of the Armed Forces – Merger of the War, Navy and Air ministries[12]
  • (Ministre des Forces armées)
4   Pierre-Henri Teitgen 22 October 1947 26 July 1948 278 days
  • Ramadier II
  • Schuman I
Vincent Auriol [13]
  • Minister of National Defence
  • (Ministre de la Défense nationale)
5   René Mayer 26 July 1948 11 September 1948 47 days
  • Marie
  • Schuman II
Vincent Auriol [14]
6   Paul Ramadier 11 September 1948 28 October 1949 1 year, 47 days Queuille I [15]
7   René Pleven 28 October 1949 12 July 1950 257 days
  • Bidault II–III
  • Queuille II
[16]
8   Jules Moch 12 July 1950 11 August 1951 1 year, 30 days
  • Pleven I
  • Queuille III
[17]
9   Georges Bidault 11 August 1951 8 March 1952 210 days
  • Pleven II
  • Faure I
[18]
10   René Pleven 8 March 1952 19 June 1954 2 years, 103 days
  • Pinay
  • Mayer
  • Laniel I–II
[19]
René Coty
  • Minister of National Defence and the Armed Forces
  • (Ministre de la Défense nationale et des Forces armées)
11   Pierre Kœnig 19 June 1954 14 August 1954 56 days Mendès-France René Coty [20]
Interim by Emmanuel Temple, Minister of Veterans and War Victims, from 14 August 1954 to 3 September 1954. [21]
12   Emmanuel Temple 3 September 1954 20 January 1955 139 days Mendès-France René Coty [22]
  • Minister of the Armed Forces
  • (Ministre des Armées)
13   Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury 20 January 1955 23 February 1955 34 days Mendès-France René Coty [23]
Serving with Minister of National Defence, Jacques Chevallier
  • Minister of National Defence and the Armed Forces
  • (Ministre de la Défense nationale et des Forces armées)
14   Pierre Kœnig 23 February 1955 6 October 1955 225 days Faure II René Coty [24]
15   Pierre Billotte 6 October 1955 1 February 1956 118 days [25]
16   Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury 1 February 1956 13 June 1957 1 year, 132 days Mollet [26]
17   André Morice 13 June 1957 6 November 1957 146 days Bourgès-Maunoury [27]
18   Jacques Chaban-Delmas 6 November 1957 14 May 1958 189 days Gaillard [28]
19   Pierre de Chevigné 14 May 1958 1 June 1958 18 days Pflimlin [29]
  • Minister of the Armed Forces
  • (Ministre des Armées)
20   Pierre Guillaumat 1 June 1958 8 January 1959 221 days de Gaulle III René Coty [30]
Serving with Minister of National Defence, Charles de Gaulle

Fifth RepublicEdit

No. Portrait Name Term Government President Ref.
Took office Left office Time in office
  • Minister of the Armed Forces
  • (Ministre des Armées)
21   Pierre Guillaumat 8 January 1959 5 February 1960 1 year, 28 days Debré Charles de Gaulle [31]
22   Pierre Messmer 5 February 1960 22 June 1969 9 years, 137 days
  • Debré
  • Pompidou I–II–III–IV
  • Couve de Murville
[32]
Interim : Alain Poher
  • Minister of National Defence
  • (Ministre de la Défense nationale)
23   Michel Debré 22 June 1969 5 April 1973 3 years, 287 days
  • Chaban-Delmas;
  • Messmer I
Georges Pompidou [33]
  • Minister of the Armed Forces
  • (Ministre des Forces armées)
24   Robert Galley 5 April 1973 28 May 1974 1 year, 53 days Messmer II–III [34]
  • Minister of Defence
  • (Ministre de la Défense)
25   Jacques Soufflet 28 May 1974 31 January 1975 248 days Chirac I Valéry Giscard d'Estaing [35]
26   Yvon Bourges 31 January 1975 2 October 1980 5 years, 245 days
  • Chirac I;
  • Barre I–II–III
[36]
27   Joël Le Theule 2 October 1980 22 December 1980 81 days Barre III [37]
28   Robert Galley 22 December 1980 22 May 1981 151 days [38]
29   Charles Hernu 22 May 1981 20 September 1985 4 years, 121 days
  • Mauroy I–II–III;
  • Fabius
François Mitterrand [39]
30   Paul Quilès 20 September 1985 20 March 1986 181 days Fabius [40]
31   André Giraud 20 March 1986 12 May 1988 2 years, 53 days Chirac II [41]
32   Jean-Pierre Chevènement 12 May 1988 29 January 1991 2 years, 262 days Rocard I–II [42]
33   Pierre Joxe 29 January 1991 9 March 1993 2 years, 39 days
[43]
34   Pierre Bérégovoy 9 March 1993 30 March 1993 21 days Bérégovoy [44]
35   François Léotard 30 March 1993 18 May 1995 2 years, 49 days Balladur [45]
36   Charles Millon 18 May 1995 4 June 1997 2 years, 17 days Juppé I–II Jacques Chirac [46]
37   Alain Richard 4 June 1997 7 May 2002 4 years, 337 days Jospin [47]
38   Michèle Alliot-Marie 7 May 2002 18 May 2007 5 years, 11 days
  • Raffarin I–II–III;
  • de Villepin
39   Hervé Morin 18 May 2007 14 November 2010 3 years, 180 days Fillon I–II Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Minister of Defence and Veterans
  • (Ministre de la Défense et des Anciens Combattants)
40   Alain Juppé 14 November 2010 27 February 2011 105 days Fillon III Nicolas Sarkozy
41   Gérard Longuet 27 February 2011 16 May 2012 1 year, 79 days
  • Minister of Defence
  • (Ministre de la Défense)
42   Jean-Yves Le Drian 16 May 2012 17 May 2017 5 years, 1 day François Hollande
  • Minister of the Armed Forces
  • (Ministre des Armées)
43   Sylvie Goulard 17 May 2017 21 June 2017 35 days Philippe I Emmanuel Macron
44   Florence Parly 21 June 2017 20 May 2022 5 years, 164 days
45   Sébastien Lecornu 20 May 2022 Incumbent 196 days Borne

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Defence Code – Article L1142-1".
  2. ^ "Defence Code – Article L1121-1".
  3. ^ "Defence Code – Article L1131-1".
  4. ^ "Defence Code – Article R*1122-2".
  5. ^ "Defence Code – Article R*1122-7".
  6. ^ "Defence Code – Article R*1142-2".
  7. ^ "Defence Code – Article R*3111-1".
  8. ^ Provisional Government of the French Republic (21 November 1945), Decree on the composition of the government (in French), retrieved 12 July 2020 – via Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)
  9. ^ Provisional Government of the French Republic (16 December 1946), "Decree on the composition of the government", Journal officiel de la République française: Lois et décrets (in French), p. 10691, N°294
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