Netherlands Chief of Defence
The Netherlands Chief of Defence (CHOD) holds the highest military position within Defence, making him the most senior military adviser to the Minister of Defence. The CHOD is in charge of the implementation element of the organisation. He is assisted in his duties by the Defence Staff. General Onno Eichelsheim has been the CHOD since 15 April 2021.
The CHOD directs the following Defence elements:
- Royal Netherlands Navy;
- Royal Netherlands Army;
- Royal Netherlands Air Force;
- Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (on deployment on behalf of the Minister of Defence);
- Defence Materiel Organisation;
- Joint Support Command;
- Defence Cyber Command;
- Special Operations Command.
The CHOD is responsible for the deployment of military personnel on missions. He has the day-to-day command over missions of Dutch military personnel and informs and advises the minister accordingly.
The CHOD is also responsible for the planning and execution of military operations. This means that he has to ensure conditions in which military units have enough personnel, can conduct training and have enough equipment. As a planner, the CHOD also advises the Minister of Defence on the adaptation and modernisation of the armed forces.
The CHOD is the most important military adviser to the Netherlands’ political leaders. He advises the minister on the capabilities of the armed forces in relation to controlling the borders and the global fight against terrorism, humanitarian crises and instability. In turn, the minister advises the Dutch government. Sometimes, the CHOD even informs and advises politicians on practical military issues. Politicians then decide whether or not to participate in missions, in what way and under what conditions.