Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

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Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
Petr Pavel 2012.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 Chairman of the NATO Military Committee's (CMC) authority stems from the NATO Military Committee, to which he is responsible in the performance of his duties. 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.


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.[1] 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,[2] DC 1/2[3]).

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.[4] 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.[5]

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:[6]

# Photo Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Rank Nationality Took office Left office Length of term
1 100px Bradley, Omar N.Omar N. Bradley US-O11 insignia.svg General of the Army  USA 1949 1951 j2 years
2 Baele, EtienneEtienne Baele Army-BEL-OF-08.svg Lt. General  Belgium 1951 1952 j1 year
3 LGen Charles Foulkes.jpg Foulkes, CharlesCharles Foulkes UK-Army-OF8.gif Lt. General  Canada 1952 1953 j1 year
4 EJC Qvistgaard.jpeg Qvistgaard, Erhard J.C.Erhard J.C. Qvistgaard Generic-Navy-O11.svg Admiral  Denmark 1953 1954 j1 year
5 Guillaume, AugustinAugustin Guillaume Army-FRA-OF-08.svg General  France 1954 1955 j1 year
6 Pallis, StylianosStylianos Pallis Army-GRE-OF-08.svg Lt. General  Greece 1955 1956 j1 year
7 Mancinelli, GiuseppeGiuseppe Mancinelli Rank insignia of generale di corpo d'armata con incarichi speciali of the Army of Italy (1973).svg General  Italy 1956 1957 j1 year
8 Hasselman, B.R.P.F.B.R.P.F. Hasselman Nl-landmacht-generaal.svg General  Netherlands 1957 1958 j1 year
9 Bjarneoen littlenorway.jpg Øen, BjarneBjarne Øen OF8 NOR - Generalløytnant Luft.png Lt. General  Norway 1958 1959 j1 year
10 Ferras, J.A. BelezaJ.A. Beleza Ferras 22 - General.svgGeneral  Portugal 1959 1960 j1 year
11 Erdelhun, RuştüRuştü Erdelhun Turkey-army-OF-9.svgGeneral  Turkey 1960 1960 j >1 year
12 Mountbatten.jpg Mountbatten of Burma, EarlEarl Mountbatten of Burma Generic-Navy-O12.svgAdmiral of the Fleet  UK 1960 1961 j 1 year
13 Lyman L. Lemnitzer.jpg Lemnitzer, Lyman L.Lyman L. Lemnitzer US-O10 insignia.svgGeneral  USA 1961 1962 j 1 year
14 de Cumont, C.P.C.P. de Cumont Army-BEL-OF-08.svg Lt. General  Belgium 1962 1963 j 1 year
15 Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2005-0030, Adolf Heusinger.jpg Heusinger, AdolfAdolf Heusinger DH341-General.png General  West Germany 1963 1964 j 1 year
16 de Cumont, C.P.C.P. de Cumont Army-BEL-OF-08.svg Lt. General  Belgium 1964 1968 j 4 years
17 Henderson, NigelNigel Henderson Generic-Navy-O11.svg Admiral  UK 1968 1971 j 3 years
18 Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1997-041-03, Johannes Steinhoff.jpg Steinhoff, JohannesJohannes Steinhoff LD B 64 General.svg General  West Germany 1971 1974 j 3 years
19 Hill-Norton, Sir PeterSir Peter Hill-Norton Generic-Navy-O12.svgAdmiral of the Fleet  UK 1974 1977 j 3 years
20 Herman Fredrik Zeiner-Gundersen 1979.jpg Zeiner-Gundersen, Herman FredrikHerman Fredrik Zeiner-Gundersen General distinksjon.pngGeneral  Norway 1977 1980 j 3 years
21 Falls, Robert H.Robert H. Falls CDN-Navy-Adm-Shoulder.svgAdmiral  Canada 1980 1983 j 3 years
22 De Jager, CornelisCornelis De Jager Nl-landmacht-generaal.svgGeneral  Netherlands 1983 1986 j 3 years
23 Wolfgang Altenburg 1983.jpg Altenburg, WolfgangWolfgang Altenburg DH341-General.pngGeneral  West Germany 1986 1989 j 3 years
24 Eide, VigleikVigleik Eide General distinksjon.pngGeneral  Norway 1989 1993 j 4 years
25 Vincent, Sir RichardSir Richard Vincent UK Army OF10-2.pngField Marshal  UK October 1993 1996 j 3 years
26 Klaus Naumann.jpg Naumann, KlausKlaus Naumann DH341-General.pngGeneral  Germany February 14, 1996 May 6, 1999 j3 years, 81 days
27 100px Venturoni, GuidoGuido Venturoni Rank insignia of ammiraglio of the Italian Navy.svgAdmiral  Italy May 6, 1999 July 2002 j3 years, 55 days
26 Harald Kujat.jpg Kujat, HaraldHarald Kujat LD B 64 General.svgGeneral  Germany July 2002 June 17, 2005 j2 years, 352 days
27 Raymond Henault NATO.jpg Henault, RaymondRaymond Henault CDN-Air Force-Gen-Shoulder.svgGeneral  Canada June 17, 2005 June 27, 2008 j3 years, 10 days
28 Giampaolo Di Paola DN-SD-07-18149.jpg Di Paola, GiampaoloGiampaolo Di Paola Rank insignia of ammiraglio of the Italian Navy.svgAdmiral  Italy June 27, 2008 November 18, 2011 j3 years, 144 days
29 General Knud Bartels NATO.jpg Bartels, KnudKnud Bartels Rank insignia of general of the Royal Danish Army.svgGeneral  Denmark January 2, 2012 June 26, 2015 j 3 years, 175 days
30 Petr Pavel 2012.JPG Pavel, PetrPetr Pavel CzArmy 2011 OF9-Armadni general shoulder.svgGeneral  Czech Republic June 26, 2015 Incumbent j 6 years, 330 days


  1. Description at NATO Archives site.;isad
  4. NATO Handbook, 50th Anniversary Edition, 1998-99, 234.
  5. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. official list

Further reading

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