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Chief of the Armed Forces of Switzerland
German language: Chef der Armee
French language: Chef de l'armée
Thomas Süssli in 2019.jpg
Lt Gen Thomas Süssli

since 1 January 2020
Federal Department of Defence
Abbreviation CdA
Reports to Head of the Department of Defence
Precursor General Staff
Formation 1 January 2004
First holder Lt Gen Christophe Keckeis

The Chief of the Armed Forces (German: Chef der Armee (CdA); French: Chef de l'armée) commands the Swiss Armed Forces in time of peace and reports directly to the head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports and to the Swiss Federal Council. The position was established in 2004.


Until the end of 2003, the highest level of command in the Swiss Armed forces was held by the General Staff, led by the Chief of the General Staff as primus inter pares. Together with other reforms of the Armed Forces (Armee XXI), the position of Chief of the Armed Forces was introduced. Christophe Keckeis became the first Chief of the Armed Forces, having already served as Chief of the General Staff since January 2003.

General information[]

The Chief of the Armed Forces is elected by the Federal Council and holds the rank of Korpskommandant (Three-star rank, equivalent to Lieutenant general). He leads the Swiss Armed Forces in time of peace. Only in time of war, a commander-in-chief of the rank of General (four-star rank) is elected by the Federal Assembly.

List of Chiefs of the Armed Forces[]

Chief of Defence Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch
1Keckeis, ChristopheLt Gen. Christophe Keckeis
(born 1945)
1 January 200431 December 20073 years, 364 daysArmy
2Nef, RolandLt Gen. Roland Nef
(born 1959)
1 January 200821 July 2008202 daysArmy
André Blattmann
Blattmann, AndréLt Gen. André Blattmann (Acting)
(born 1956)
21 July 200828 February 2009222 daysAir Force
André Blattmann
Blattmann, AndréLt Gen. André Blattmann
(born 1956)
1 March 200931 December 20167 years, 305 daysAir Force
4Rebord, PhilippeLt Gen. Philippe Rebord
(born 1957)
1 January 201731 December 20192 years, 364 daysArmy
Thomas Süssli
Suessli, ThomasLt Gen. Thomas Süssli
(born 1966)
1 January 2020Incumbent1 year, 250 daysArmy

External links[]

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