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Chief of Staff of the French Navy
Chef d'État-Major de La Marine
Marque cemm.svg
Logo of the French Navy (Marine Nationale).svg
Logo of the Marine Nationale since 1990.
French Navy
Christophe Prazuck.jpg
Amiral Christophe Prazuck

since 12 September 2011
French Navy
Member of Chiefs of Staff Committee
Reports to Ministère de la Défense
Chief of the General Staff Headquarters of the Armies
Seat Paris, France
Nominator Ministère de la Défense
Appointer President of the Republic
Require Prime Minister's countersignature
Term length No fixed term
Formation 1892
First holder Vice-Amiral Alfred Gervais
Deputy Major Général de La Marine
Website La Marine Nationale

The Chief of the Staff of the French Navy (French language: Chef d'État-Major de la Marine, CEMM) is the head of the French Navy and is responsible to the Minister of Defence in relation to preparation and deployment.

CEMM as a naval expert, assists:

  • The chef d'état-major des armées (CEMA) in the preparation of naval operations, planning, programming and the motion application of cohesiveness in consolidating future military means
  • The Prime Minister of France in safeguarding France's maritime apparatus (French language: l'action de l'État en mer) (missions of sauveguarde maritime (French language: Sauveguarde maritime))

CEMM has authority over:

  • Various naval forces command:
  • Territorial organization of the navy : préfets maritime and commandants de la marine, in mainland France and overseas
  • Services and organizations :
    • Direction du personnel militaire de la marine (DPMM)
    • Direction centrale du commissariat de la marine (DCCM)
    • Direction centrale des systèmes d'information de la marine (DCSIM)
    • Direction centrale du service de soutien de la flotte (DCSSF)
    • Direction centrale des travaux immobiliers et maritimes (DCTIM)
    • Naval aeronautical service
  • Over the état-major de la marine who oversees, through the four divisions (human resources, planning, programmes and logistical operations), the general direction of La Marine.

CEMM presides over the board of directors of the hydrographic and oceanographic service of the navy (SHOM).

Le Chef d’état-major de La Marine

The Chief of Staff of the French Navy : Historic of the function

Well before the First World War, the Chief of Staff of the French Navy (French language: Le Chef d'état-major de La Marine, (CEMM)) was at first hand, the Military Cabinet Chief of the Minister of the Navy (French language: Chef du Cabinet Militaire du Ministre de La Marine). This mode of functioning was at origin, the main utilization designation of the Military figure which had effective authority on the French Navy (French language: La Marine), and referred to the Amiral (Admiral) who commanded the armed naval force (French language: Armée Navale), often designated as « Amiralissime », in reference to the title of « généralissime » utilized in the French Army (French language: l'Armée de terre).[1]

The First World War replaced all these functionalities in cause, with major incorporation of various tasks in order to conduct a long term industrial naval warfare in light of disposing and having the means to confront new menaces, mainly constituted by submarine warfare and mine explosions: in accordance, another sort of twin identical general staff headquarters directorate (French language: état-major bis) was created and designated as - Directorate General of Submarine Warfare (French language: Direction Générale de la Guerre Sous-Marine, DGGSM) - with an action domain often described as redundant, a constituted redundancy which naturally led to the dissolving of the Directorate General of Submarine Warfare DGGSM, at the end of World War I and the transfer of the various associated attribution prerogatives to the various bureaux of the general staff headquarters of the French Navy (French language: bureaux de l'état-major général de La Marine).

In order to dispose of an effective permanent system allowing the uniform façade transition shiftings between times of peace - preparation periods - and times of war - action periods, the Vice-Amiral (Vice-Admiral) Chief of Staff of the French Navy (French language: Le Vice-Amiral Chef d'état-major général de la Marine) became, in the early years of 1920s, the designated Commandant of French Naval Forces in case of war, and the various work functionalities of the general staff headquarter (French language: d'état-major) would be in such circumstances at the disposition of the Major General of the French Navy (French language: Major Général de la Marine), a Vice-Admiral (French language: Vice-Amiral), and his first deputy in times of peace.

After World War II, the progressive disappearing of the Naval Portfolio of the Minister of the Navy (French language: Ministre de la Marine) led to confine a part of the prerogatives of the Naval Minister to the Chief of Staff of the French Navy (French language: Chef d’état-major de la Marine), a part of the prerogatives which were in a progressive manner adopted at the Interarm (French language: Interarmées) level by the general staff headquarters of the Armies (French language: État-Major des armées) and the respective Chief of that general staff headquarters, in reference to : Chef d'État-Major des Armées (CEMA). CEMA accordingly inherited the direction responsibility of naval and maritime operations from CEMM in 1971.[2]

In the early years of the 2000s, a large part of these organic prerogatives - forces preparations - were transferred to Chief of the general staff headquarters of the Armies (CEMA), however, the CEMM remains the principal counselor and adviser in relation to the preparation of use of the French Navy (French language: La Marine).

Les Chefs d’état-major de La Marine

Chiefs of Staff of the French Navy

Amiral (Admiral) Chiefs of Staff of the French Navy (French language: Les Chefs d’état-major de La Marine) since 1892 :[3]

  • Vice-Amiral Alfred Gervais : 22 January 1892
  • vice-amiral Edgar Humann : 21 September 1894
  • Contre-Amiral Charles Chauvin : 10 November 1895
  • vice-amiral Jean Sallandrouze de Lamornais : 15 June 1896
  • vice-amiral Jules de Cuverville : 8 July 1898
  • contre-amiral Leonce Caillard : 15 July 1899
  • vice-amiral Amédée Bienaime : 1 May 1900
  • contre-amiral Ernest Marquer : 4 February 1902
  • contre-amiral Paul Campion : 18 February 1904
  • vice-amiral Charles Touchard : 3 February 1905
  • contre-amiral Charles Aubert : 1 November 1905
  • vice-amiral Charles Aubert : 23 May 1907
  • contre-amiral Laurent Marin-Darbel : 23 August 1909
  • vice-amiral Laurent Marin-Darbel : 9 September 1909
  • contre-amiral Paul Auvert : 15 February 1911
  • vice-amiral Paul Auvert : 28 mars 1911
  • vice-amiral Charles Aubert : 1 February 1912
  • vice-amiral Pierre Le Bris : 24 January 1913
  • vice-amiral Louis Pivet : 20 May 1914
  • vice-amiral Charles Aubert : 7 December 1914
  • vice-amiral Marie de Fauques de Jonquieres : 2 May 1915
  • vice-amiral Ferdinand De Bon : 10 March 1916
  • vice-amiral Pierre Ronarc'h : 17 May 1919
  • vice-amiral Henri Salaun : 1 February 1920
  • vice-amiral Maurice Grasset : 1 February 1921
  • vice-amiral Henri Salaun : 22 July 1924
  • vice-amiral Louis Violette : 1 January 1928
  • vice-amiral Georges Durand-Viel : 16 February 1931
  • vice-amiral François Darlan : 1 January 1937
  • Amiral de la Flotte François Darlan : 24 June 1939[4]
  • contre-amiral Gabriel Auphan : August 1941[5]
  • Vice-Amiral d'escadre André Lemonnier : 6 June 1943[6]
  • vice-amiral Robert Battet : 31 May 1950
  • vice-amiral d'escadre Robert Lambert : 18 August 1950
  • vice-amiral d'escadre Henry Nomy : 26 October 1951
  • Amiral Henry Nomy: 1 September 1953
  • amiral Georges Cabanier : 1 July 1960
  • amiral André Patou : 1 January 1968
  • amiral André Storelli : 1 May 1970
  • amiral Marc de Joybert : 1 February 1972
  • amiral Albert Joire-Noulens : 14 July 1974
  • amiral Jean-René Lannuzel : 1 August 1976
  • amiral Yves Leenhardt : 1 August 1982
  • amiral Bernard Louzeau : 30 January 1987
  • amiral Alain Coatanéa : 20 November 1990
  • amiral Jean-Charles Lefebvre : 1 July 1994
  • amiral Jean-Luc Delaunay : 2 May 1999
  • amiral Jean-Louis Battet : 1 July 2001
  • amiral Alain Oudot de Dainville : 15 June 2005
  • amiral Pierre-François Forissier : 4 February 2008
  • amiral Bernard Rogel : 12 September 2011
  • amiral Christophe Prazuck : 13 July 2016

See also


  1. généralissime had for vocation to assume command of the armies of the North-East, destined to defend the French frontiers in that geographical zone, in case of war.
  2. In title of comparison, the French Army and French Air Force had their combat authority direction responsibility of operations transferred to CEMA ten years earlier in 1961.
  3. On the "Mer et Marine" site "Les Chefs d'Etat-Major de la Marine". Retrieved 19 December 2008. 
  4. From 26 August 1939 to 6 June 1943, the structure of the La Marine did not include a general staff headquarters (French language: état-major général), however, a general staff headquarters of Maritime Forces (French language: état-major des Forces Maritimes Françaises) had lieu in place, which was the prime sea command office for the duration of the war. Amiral de la Flotte (Admiral of the fleet) Darlan became then the commander-in-chief of French Maritime Forces (French language: Commandant-en-Chef des Forces Maritimes Françaises) before being called upon to serve other functions on February 1941 in the France of Vichy. Amiral Darlan then sided with the Allies on November 1942.
  5. On November 11, 1942, Contre-Amrial (Counter-Admiral) Auphan gave orders to the Fleet to scuttle itself, a Military Order which was executed November 27, 1942. The Admiral resigned from his functions on November 18, 1942.
  6. Vice-Amiral d'escadre (Squadron vice-admiral) Lemonier was designated to this post by the French Committee of National Liberation (French language: Comité Français de Libération Nationale), which came after the French National Committee (French language: Comité National Français) in June 1943, the Exile Government of Free France. Accordingly, the Free French Naval Forces (French language: Forces Navales Françaises Libres) and the French Navy of North Africa (French language: Marine Française d’Afrique du Nord), under the impulsion of général de Gaulle, Henri Giraud, then French Military and Civilian Commandment-in-Chief (French language: Commandement-en-Chef Français Civil et Militaire) and the Major Général of the latter, Amiral (Admiral) Philippe Auboyneau.

External links

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