Hellenic National Defence General Staff

Emblem of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff. The Corinthian helmet represents the Hellenic Army, the anchor the Hellenic Navy, and the wings the Hellenic Air Force

The Hellenic National Defence General Staff (Greek: Γενικό Επιτελείο Εθνικής Άμυνας, abbr. ΓΕΕΘΑ) is the senior staff of the Hellenic Armed Forces. It was established in 1950, when the separate armed services ministries were consolidated into the Ministry of National Defence. Its role in peacetime was as a coordinating and senior consultative body at the disposal of the Greek government, and in wartime as the overall headquarters of the Armed Forces. In recent years, through ongoing efforts at increased inter-services cooperation and integration, the HNDGS has assumed peacetime operational control over the separate branches. Between 19 December 1968 and 10 August 1977, the HNDGS was abolished, and the Armed Forces Headquarters (Αρχηγείο Ενόπλων Δυνάμεων) established in its place.


The Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff (Greek: Αρχηγός ΓΕΕΘΑ, Α/ΓΕΕΘΑ) conducts the HNDGS and is the main adviser to the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense (KYSEA) and to the Minister of Defence on military issues. Through the Chiefs of General Staffs, he carries out the operational commanding of the Joint Headquarters and the units that come under them, as well as the rest forces, when it comes to the issues of operation plans implementation and the Crises management System implementation, conduction of operations outside the national territory and participation of the Armed Forces in the confrontation of special situations during peace time.

He constructs the National Military Strategy after taking into consideration the suggestions of the General Staffs of the Armed Forces Services and according to the directions of the Ministry of Defence he manages and proposes the priority of the armament programs and suggests the general policy directions and priorities on every operational objective.

Traditionally, since c. 1970, the Chief of the HNDGS holds the rank of full General, Admiral or Air Chief Marshal, and is the only serving four-star officer of the Hellenic Armed Forces (as opposed to retired, since three-star ranks are often promoted one rank on retirement). Since 15 September 2015, the Chief of the HNDGS is Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis.

Past chiefs of HNDGS

Period Rank Name Notes
2015–present Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis
2011–2015 General Michail Kostarakos
2009–2011 Air Chief Marshal Ioannis Giagkos
2007–2009 General Dimitrios Grapsas
2005–2007 Admiral Panagiotis Chinofotis
2002–2005 General Georgios Antonakopoulos
1999–2002 General Manousos Paragioudakis
1996–1999 Air Chief Marshal Athanasios Tzoganis
1993–1996 Admiral Christos Lymberis Dismissed following the Imia crisis.
1993 General Dimitrios Skarvelis
1990–1993 General Ioannis Veryvakis
1989–1990 General Stamatis Vellidis
1984–1989 Air Chief Marshal Nikolaos Kouris
1982–1984 Admiral Theodoros Degiannis
1980–1982 General Agamemnon Gratsios
1976–1980 General Ioannis Davos Chief of the Armed Forces, from August 1977 Chief of the re-formed HNDGS.
1974–1976 General Dionysios Arbouzis Chief of the Armed Forces following the fall of the military regime.
1973–1974 General Grigorios Bonanos Chief of the Armed Forces during the military regime.
1973 General Dimitrios Zagorianakos Chief of the Armed Forces during the military regime.
1967–1973 General Odysseas Angelis Installed by the military regime. "Chief of the Armed Forces" from December 1968.
1967 Vice Admiral Spyridon Avgeris Dismissed by the military regime following the failed counter-coup of King Constantine II.
1965–1967 Lt. General Konstantinos Tsolakas
1962–1965 Lt. General Ioannis Pipilis
1959–1962 Lt. General Athanasios Frontistis
1954–1959 Lt. General Konstantinos Dovas
1952–1954 Lt. General Stylianos Kitrilakis
1951–1952 Lt. General Theodotos Grigoropoulos
1950–1951 Field Marshal Alexandros Papagos Resigned to found Greek Rally party.

External links

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