Military Wiki
Jean-Pierre Kelche
Born 19 January 1942(1942-01-19) (age 80)
Place of birth Mâcon, France
Allegiance  France
Service/branch  France Army
Years of service 1961–2002
Rank Army General
Unit French Armed Forces
Commands held

Jean-Pierre Kelche is a soldier of the French Armed Forces who served as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces from 9 April 1998 until 30 October 2002.

Jean-Pierre Kelche, an general of the army was born 19 January 1942 in Mâcon, France, his family are origin of Lorraine. They moved with both of his family to Saint-Cyr in 1961 and later joined the Navy infantry.[1] He graduated from Ecole Supérieure de Guerre in 1979 after spending about 20 year as submariner engineer before changing to army of which was after attending the Ecole Supérieure, he participated Iran-Iraq conflict.[2] At young age, he served in the Côte d'Ivoire on french Operations and commanded a unit in Djibouti in 1973, he rose to be the senior commander in the Antilles-Guyana Staff between 1979 until 1981 of which he commands the 5th Overseas Combined Arms Regiment in Djibouti to 1987.[3][4]


He was deployed to 5th Armored Division in Germany to which he was the deputy general commanding officer in 1991, he was once incharge of updating and the design of the defence tool to which one was the design office of the army staff in 1985 as the head of Doctrine before he was the chief of staff to 1991.[5] He became the head of Army Staff HQ form 1992 until in 1995 of which he was the Head of the Prime Minister's military cabinet until he was made the major general of the army staff in 1996 to 1998, he rose up in the Defence Forces Staff office as it direct subordinate to when he was made the Chief of Staff of the Defence in April 1998.[6]


He later became the Head of French Military Intelligence in 2016, a place which Vice-Admiral Jean Casabianca was heading before appointed to another position.[7][8]



He is married with two children.


  1. République, Présidence de la (2002-01-01). "Le général d'armée Jean-Pierre KELCHE" (in fr). 
  2. "Portrait : Amiral Jean Casabianca, numéro deux de l’armée française" (in fr-FR). 
  3. Merchet, Jean-Dominique. "Nomination sans surprise à la tête des armées. Le général Kelche promu chef d'état-major." (in fr). 
  4. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 
  5. "Déclaration de M. Jacques Chirac, Président de la République, à l'occasion de l'adieu aux armes du général Jean Pierre Kelche, chef d'état-major des armées, Paris le 29 octobre 2002." (in fr). 
  6. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 
  7. "L’amiral Casabianca part chez EDF" (in fr). 2020-12-09. 
  8. NATO. "Chairman of the NATO Military Committee praises France’s significant contributions to Collective Defence" (in en). 
Military offices
Preceded by
Jean Casabianca
Head of French Military Intelligence
August 2016
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Jean-Philippe Douin
Chief of the Defence Staff
9 April 1998 – 30 October 2002
Succeeded by
Henri Bentégeat

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