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Flag of the Chief of Staff, Bundeswehr

The Chief of Federal Armed Forces Staff or General Inspector of the Bundeswehr (German language: Generalinspekteur der Bundeswehr (GenInspBw)) is the highest-ranking military post in the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces. Normally in the rank of a (four-star) general or admiral, he heads the Führungsstab der Streitkräfte, the German General Staff, and is the direct military advisor to the Federal Minister of Defence and his ministry.

It should be noted that, while official translations of the position include "Chief of Staff" and variations of this term, the German term "Generalinspekteur" – "General Inspector" – was specifically created to avoid the term of "Generalstabschef" ("Chief of General Staff") deemed historically compromised. When the Bundeswehr was created in 1955, traditional military terms were considered inappropriate after the German Wehrmacht's involvement and conduct in World War II. Therefore, Federal German Bundeswehr has no "General Staff", but a "Executive Staff" ("Führungsstab des Heeres"), and there is no German "Commander-in-chief", but a "Holder of Authority and Command" ("Inhaber der Befehls- und Kommandogewalt", i.e. the Federal Minister of Defence).

Following the resignation of General Wolfgang Schneiderhan in November 2009, the Vice Chief of Defence of the Bundeswehr, General Johann-Georg Dora supported some of the roles of the General Inspector, until General Volker Wieker succeeded as Chief of Staff on January 21, 2010.

Chiefs of Staff, Bundeswehr since 1957[edit | edit source]

Timeframe Name Branch Minister Picture
1957–1961 General Adolf Heusinger (1897–1982) Army (Heer) Franz Josef Strauß Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2005-0030, Adolf Heusinger.jpg
1961–1963 General Friedrich Foertsch (1900–1976) Army (Heer) Franz Josef Strauß
Kai-Uwe von Hassel
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2005-0031, Friedrich Foertsch.jpg
1964–1966 General Heinz Trettner (1907–2006) Army (Heer) Kai-Uwe von Hassel Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1970-016-17, Heinz Trettner.jpg
1966–1972 General Ulrich de Maizière (1912–2006) Army (Heer) Kai-Uwe von Hassel
Gerhard Schröder
Helmut Schmidt
Ulrich de Maiziere 1969.jpg
1972–1976 Admiral Armin Zimmermann (1917–1976) Navy (Deutsche Marine) Georg Leber Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2005-0032, Armin Zimmermann.jpg
1976–1978 General Harald Wust (1921–2010) Air Force (Luftwaffe) Georg Leber
1978–1983 General Jürgen Brandt (1922–2003) Army (Heer) Hans Apel
Manfred Wörner
1983–1986 General Wolfgang Altenburg (*1928) Army (Heer) Manfred Wörner Wolfgang Altenburg 1983.jpg
1986–1991 Admiral Dieter Wellershoff (1933–2005) Navy (Deutsche Marine) Manfred Wörner
Rupert Scholz
Gerhard Stoltenberg
1991–1996 General Klaus Naumann (*1939) Army (Heer) Gerhard Stoltenberg
Volker Rühe
Klaus Naumann.jpg
1996–1999 General Hartmut Bagger (*1938) Army (Heer) Volker Rühe
Rudolf Scharping
1999–2000 General Hans-Peter von Kirchbach (*1941) Army (Heer) Rudolf Scharping
2000–2002 General Harald Kujat (*1942) Air Force (Luftwaffe) Rudolf Scharping Richard B. Myers awards the Legion of Merit to Harald Kujat.jpg
2002–2009 General Wolfgang Schneiderhan (*1946) Army (Heer) Rudolf Scharping
Peter Struck
Franz Josef Jung
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
Gen Wolfgang Schneiderhan.jpg
2010–Present General Volker Wieker (*1954) Army (Heer) Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
Thomas de Maizière
COM BDU Portrait.jpg

External links[edit | edit source]

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