Military Wiki

A "Brevet d'état-major" certificate awarded to Pierre-Elie Jacquot in 1931

Not to be confused with a Brevet which is a temporary entitlement to hold a rank

A Brevet d'état-major (French; "Staff Officer Brevet"), commonly abbreviated to BEM,[note 1] is a military distinction in France and Belgium which denotes that an officer has passed Staff College. Though it is usually only seen in French, it can be abbreviated to SBH in Dutch.[1]


In France, the distinction was awarded between 1870 and 1940 after passing a course at the then-École Supérieure de Guerre.


A BEM was awarded for studying a one-year course known as a "Cycle d’études supérieures d’état-major" at the then-École de Guerre, however, this was changed to a much more lengthy course and its bestowal only after being considered by a military panel.[2]


  1. This form is most commonly seen in titles, where it replaces the adjectival form ("Breveté d'état-major"). It is placed after the rank in formal titles, for example "Colonel BEM P. Verbruggen".1


  1. Various (1988). Geschiedenis van het Belgisch Leger. II: van 1920 tot heden. Centrum voor historische dokumentatie van de Krijgsmacht. 

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