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Flag of the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr

The Inspector General of the Bundeswehr (German language: Generalinspekteur der Bundeswehr, GenInspBw), also translated as Chief of Staff of the Federal Armed Forces, is the highest-ranking military post held by a commissioned officer in the Bundeswehr, the present-day armed forces of Germany.

All Inspectors General have been of the rank of a (four-star) general or admiral, and they head the Führungsstab der Streitkräfte, the German Defence Staff within the Federal Ministry of Defence, and is the direct military advisor to the Federal Minister of Defence who is the peacetime holder of the supreme command authority (German language: Inhaber der Befehls- und Kommandogewalt).

Subordinate to the Inspector General are the commanders of the branches of the Bundeswehr, the Inspector of the Army, Inspector of the Air Force, and Inspector of the Navy, and the commanders of the Joint Support Service and Joint Medical Service.

Title and translations

While official translations of the position include "Chief of Staff" and variations of this term, the German term "Generalinspekteur" – "Inspector General" – was specifically created to avoid the term of "Generalstabschef" ("Chief of General Staff") deemed historically compromised. When the Bundeswehr was created in 1955, many traditional military terms were considered inappropriate after the German Wehrmacht's conduct in World War II. Therefore, Federal German Bundeswehr has no "General Staff", but a "Executive Staff" ("Führungsstab des Heeres").

List of officeholders

No. Portrait Name Branch Term began Term ended Minister
1 Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2005-0030, Adolf Heusinger.jpg General Adolf Heusinger
Army 1 June 1957 31 March 1961 Franz Josef Strauß
2 Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2005-0031, Friedrich Foertsch.jpg General Friedrich Foertsch
Army 1 April 1961 31 December 1963 Franz Josef Strauß
Kai-Uwe von Hassel
3 Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1970-016-17, Heinz Trettner.jpg General Heinz Trettner
Army 1 January 1964 25 August 1966 Kai-Uwe von Hassel
4 General Ulrich de Maizière - Generalinspekteur der Bundeswehr.jpg General Ulrich de Maizière
Army 25 August 1966 31 March 1972 Kai-Uwe von Hassel
Gerhard Schröder
Helmut Schmidt
5 Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2005-0032, Armin Zimmermann.jpg Admiral Armin Zimmermann
Navy 1 April 1972 30 November 1976 Georg Leber
6 General Harald Wust
Air Force 21 December 1976 11 December 1978 Georg Leber
7 General Jürgen Brandt
Army 12 December 1978 31 March 1983 Hans Apel
Manfred Wörner
8 Wolfgang Altenburg 1983.jpg General Wolfgang Altenburg
(born 1928)
Army 1 April 1983 30 September 1986 Manfred Wörner
9 Wellershoff-2.jpg Admiral Dieter Wellershoff
Navy 1 October 1986 30 September 1991 Manfred Wörner
Rupert Scholz
Gerhard Stoltenberg
10 Klaus Naumann.jpg General Klaus Naumann
(born 1939)
Army 1 October 1991 8 February 1996 Gerhard Stoltenberg
Volker Rühe
11 General Hartmut Bagger
(born 1938)
Army 8 February 1996 31 March 1999 Volker Rühe
Rudolf Scharping
12 General Hans-Peter von Kirchbach
(born 1941)
Army 1 April 1999 30 June 2000 Rudolf Scharping
13 Richard B. Myers awards the Legion of Merit to Harald Kujat (cropped).jpg General Harald Kujat
(born 1942)
Air Force 1 July 2000 30 June 2002 Rudolf Scharping
14 Gen Wolfgang Schneiderhan.jpg General Wolfgang Schneiderhan
(born 1946)
Army 1 July 2002 26 November 2009 Rudolf Scharping
Peter Struck
Franz Josef Jung
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
- Lieutenant General Johann-Georg Dora (acting)
(born 1948)
Air Force 27 November 2009 21 January 2010 Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
15 COM BDU Portrait.jpg General Volker Wieker
(born 1954)
Army 21 January 2010 18 April 2018 Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
Thomas de Maizière
Ursula von der Leyen
16 File:Generalinspekteur der Bundeswehr, General Eberhard Zorn (cropped).jpg General Eberhard Zorn Army 19 April 2018 Incumbent Ursula von der Leyen

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer

See also

External links

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