Chief of defence

The chief of defence (or head of defence) is the highest ranked commissioned officer of a nation's armed forces. The term CHOD is in common use within NATO and the European Union as a generic term for the highest national military position within the NATO and EU member states, rather than the actual term used for individual positions. Thus, irrespective of the formal national designation of that position is some variation on Commander-in-Chief, Chief of Staff, Supreme Commander or something else, they can all be referred to unambiguously as CHODs in NATO and EU terminology, although other terms are sometimes also seen within NATO. Thus, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the CHOD of the United States, the Chief of the Defence Staff is the CHOD of United Kingdom, the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr is the CHOD of Germany and the Chief of Defence (Forsvarssjefen) is the CHOD of Norway.

Both NATO and EU occasionally hold CHODs meetings of the NATO Military Committee and the European Union Military Committee respectively.

CHOD positions by NATO country

Within member states of NATO, the following national positions are the CHOD positions. Sometimes more than one form of translation into English is encountered.

CountryPositionAlternative translations[lower-alpha 1]Term in national language used for the position
 Albania

Chief of the General Staff
Albanian: Shefi i shtabit të përgjithshëm
 Belgium
Chief of Defence
Chief of the General Staff[1]Dutch: Chef Defensie
French: Chef de la Défense
 Bulgaria

Chief of the Defence[2]
Bulgarian: Началник на отбраната
 Canada

Chief of the Defence Staff
French: Chef d'état-major de la défense
 Croatia

Chief of the General Staff
Croatian: Načelnik Glavnog stožera
 Czech Republic

Chief of the General Staff[3]
Czech: Náčelník Generálního štábu
 Denmark

Chief of Defence
Danish: Forsvarschefen
 Estonia

Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces[4]
Estonian: Kaitseväe juhataja
 France

Chief of the Defence Staff
French: Chef d'état-major des armées
 Germany

Inspector General of the Bundeswehr
Chief of Defence[5][6]German: Generalinspekteur der Bundeswehr
 Greece

Chief of the National Defence General Staff[7]
Greek: Αρχηγός του Γενικού Επιτελείου Εθνικής Άμυνας
 Hungary

Chief of the General Staff[8]
Hungarian: Vezérkari főnök
 Iceland
Director of the Defence Department[9][10]
 Italy

Chief of the Defence Staff[11]
Italian: Capo di Stato Maggiore della Difesa
 Latvia
Commander of the National Armed Forces[12]
Latvian: Bruņoto spēku komandieris
 Lithuania

Chief of Defence[13]
Lithuanian: Kariuomenės vadas
 Luxembourg

Chief of Staff[14]
Chief of DefenceFrench: Chef d'Etat-Major
 Montenegro

Chief of the General Staff
Montenegrin: Начелник Генералштаба
 Netherlands

Chief of Defence[15]
Dutch: Commandant der Strijdkrachten
 Norway

Chief of Defence
Norwegian: Forsvarssjefen
 Poland

Chief of the General Staff[16]
Polish: Szef Sztabu Generalnego
 Portugal
Chief of the General Staff[17]
Portuguese: Chefe do Estado-Maior General das Forças Armadas
 Romania

Chief of Defence[18]
Chief of the General StaffRomanian: Şeful Statului Major General
 Slovakia

Chief of the General Staff[19]
Slovak: Náčelník generálneho štábu
 Slovenia

Chief of the General Staff[20]
Slovene: Načelnik Generalštaba
 Spain

Chief of the Defence Staff[21]
Spanish: Jefe del Estado Mayor de la Defensa
 Turkey

Chief of the General Staff
Commander of the Armed Forces[22]Turkish: Genelkurmay Başkanı
 United Kingdom

Chief of the Defence Staff
 United States

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

In 2018 Slovenia appointed the first woman Major General Alenka Ermenc to hold such a position in the history of NATO and Slovenia.[23][24][25]

CHOD positions by non-NATO EU country

Within the EU member states that are not members of NATO, the following national positions are the CHOD positions.

CountryPositionAlternative translationsTerm in national language used for the position
 Austria
Chief of the General Staff
German: Chef des Generalstabes
 Cyprus

Chief of the National Guard
Greek: Αρχηγοί Εθνικής Φρουράς
 Finland

Chief of Defence
Finnish: Puolustusvoimain komentaja
Swedish: Kommendören för Försvarsmakten
 Ireland
Chief of Staff
Irish: Ceann Foirne na bhFórsaí Cosanta
 Malta

Commander Armed Forces Malta (AFM)[26]
Maltese: Kmandant Forzi Armati ta 'Malta
 Sweden

Supreme Commander
Swedish: Överbefälhavaren

Other Chief of Defence positions by (non-NATO and non-EU) country

Note that in many countries outside of NATO and EU, the concept of civilian control of the military is inapplicable. In some countries the minister of defence is often a senior military officer. However, the list below only lists CHOD equivalents and not defense ministers.

CountryPositionAlternative translationsTerm in national language used for the position
 Algeria
Chief of Staff of the People's National Army
Chief of the Defence StaffArabic: رئيس أركان الجيش الوطني الشعبي
 Australia
Chief of the Defence Force
 Belarus

Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus
Belarusian: Генеральны штаб Узброеных Сіл Рэспублікі Беларусь
 Brazil

Chief of the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces
Portuguese: Chefe do Estado Maior Conjunto das Forças Armadas
 Chile
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Spanish: Jefe del Estado Mayor Conjunto de la Defensa
 China

Joint Chief of Staff
Chief of General Staff
Commanding General of the People's Liberation Army General Staff Department
Chinese: 中央军委联合参谋部参谋长
 Ecuador
Joint Chief of Staff
Spanish: El Comando Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas
 Gambia
Chief of the Defence Staff
 Ghana
Chief of the Defence Staff
 India
Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee
 Indonesia

Commander of the National Armed Forces
Indonesian: Panglima Tentara Nasional Indonesia
 Iran

Chief of General Staff
Persian: رئیس ستاد کل نیروهای مسلح جمهوری اسلامی ایران
 Israel

Chief of General Staff
Hebrew: ראש המטה הכללי
 Japan

Chief of Staff, Joint Staff
Japanese: 統合幕僚長
 New Zealand
Chief of Defence Force
 Nigeria
Chief of the Defence Staff
 North Korea
Chief of the General Staff of the Korean People's Army
Korean: 조선인민군 총참모장
 Peru

Head of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces of Peru
Portuguese: Chefe do Comando Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas del Perú
 Russia

Chief of the General Staff
Russian: Начальник Генерального штаба
 Serbia

Chief of the General Staff
Serbian: Начелник Генералштаба
 Singapore
Chief of Defence Force
 South Africa
Chief of the National Defence Force
 South Korea

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Korean: 대한민국 합동참모본부
 Sri Lanka
Chief of the Defence Staff
  Switzerland
Chief of the Armed Forces
French: Chef de l'Armée
German: Chef der Armee
Italian: Capo dell'Esercito
 Taiwan

Chief of the General Staff
Chinese: 國防部參謀本部參謀總長
 Thailand

Chief of the Defence Forces
Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces HeadquartersThai: ผู้บัญชาการทหารสูงสุด
 Ukraine

Chief of the General Staff
Ukrainian: Начальник Генерального штабу
 Vietnam

Chief of the Staff
Chief of the General Staff of the People's Army of VietnamVietnamese: Tổng Tham mưu trưởng Quân đội Nhân dân Việt Nam

Notes

  1. This is provided when the term given on NATO's homepage is different from the one used in the Wikipedia entry for the position.

References

  1. NATO: Chief of the General Staff of Belgium, accessed on October 30, 2008
  2. NATO: Chief of General Staff of the Bulgarian Armed Forces, accessed on October 30, 2008
  3. NATO: Chief of the General Staff Armed Forces of the Czech Republic, accessed on October 30, 2008
  4. Estonian Defence Forces: Commander, accessed on November 12, 2014
  5. "NATO: Chief of Defence – Germany". NATO. 15 May 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  6. "The Chief of Defence". bmvg.de. The German Government. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  7. NATO: Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, accessed on October 30, 2008
  8. NATO: Chief of Defence Staff Hungarian Army, accessed on October 30, 2008
  9. NATO: Director of the Defence Department and Chief of Defence of Iceland, accessed on October 30, 2008
  10. Iceland presents a special case since the country does not have its own armed forces as such. Thus, a civilian at the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs fulfills the role of CHOD in relation to NATO.
  11. NATO: Chief of Defense Staff of Italy, accessed on October 30, 2008
  12. NATO: Commander of the Latvian National Armed Forces, accessed on October 30, 2008
  13. NATO: Chief of Defence of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, accessed on October 30, 2008
  14. NATO: Chief of Staff of the Luxembourg Army, accessed on October 30, 2008
  15. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-04-01. Retrieved 2012-11-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), accessed on November 20, 2012
  16. NATO: Chief of General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, accessed on October 30, 2008
  17. NATO: Chief of Defence of Portugal, accessed on October 30, 2008
  18. NATO: Chief of Defence of Romania, accessed on October 30, 2008
  19. NATO: Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic, accessed on October 30, 2008
  20. NATO: Chief of General Staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces, accessed on October 30, 2008
  21. NATO: Chief of Defence Staff of Spain, accessed on October 30, 2008
  22. NATO: Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces, accessed on October 30, 2008
  23. "Nato state appoints first female head of armed forces". BBC News. 27 November 2018. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  24. Reuters (27 November 2018). "Slovenia Appoints First Female Army Chief". VOA news. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  25. "Slovenia Appoints First Female Head of Armed Forces". Sentinelassam.com. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  26. http://www.afm.gov.mt/commander?l=1 , accessed February 16, 2014
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