Henri Bentégeat

Henri Bentégeat

Henri Bentégeat in November 2016
Born 27 May 1946
Talence Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Allegiance France
Service/branch French Army
Years of service 1966–2009
Rank General
Chief of the Military Staff
Chief of the Defence Staff
Commands held RICM
French Forces - Antilles
French Defense staff
Awards Légion d'honneur (Grand Croix)
Ordre national du Mérite (Officer)
Legion of Merit

Henri Bentégeat (born 27 May 1946 in Talence, France) is a French Army general who served first as the chief of the French Defense Staff between 2002 and 2006 and then as the chairman of the European Union Military Committee between 2006 and 2009.[1]


Bentégeat graduated from the French military academy École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr in 1967 and opted for the Troupes de marine branch. He held various staff and command positions - including several deployments to Senegal, Chad and Central Africa - until he took command of Régiment d'infanterie-chars de marine (RICM), which already was a professional regiment at a time when most of the French Army was still drafted. From 1990 to 1992, he served as Assistant Defence Attaché in Washington, D.C. and from 1996 to 1998 was commander, French armed forces, West Indies (Lesser Antilles). He served as Assistant to the Chief of the Military Staff of the President of the Republic from 1993.

Bentégeat was promoted to the rank of Brigade General in 1995 and to Divisional General in 1998, when he became assistant to the Director for Strategic Affairs of the French Ministry of Defence. In April 1999, he was made Chief of the Military Staff of the President of the Republic, was promoted to Général de corps d'armée on 1 September 1999 and to Général d'armée on 4 January 2001. He became Chef d'état-major des armées (Chief of the Defence Staff) in October 2002.

On 6 November 2006, Bentégeat took up the position of Chairman of the European Union Military Committee by appointment of the European Council. His term ended on 6 November 2009, when he was succeeded by Håkan Syrén.[2]

Henri Bentegeat's education includes completion of th Junior Staff Course, Staff College in 1985 and of the Advanced Military Studies Course in 1992. He holds a bachelors degree in History from La Sorbonne University in Paris and is a 1983 graduate from Instituts d'études politiques in Paris.

He is married and the father of four.


Bentégeats promotions:

Predecessors and successors

Military offices
Preceded by
Jean-Pierre Kelche
Chief of the Defence Staff
30 October 2002 3 October 2006
Succeeded by
Jean-Louis Georgelin
Preceded by
General Rolando Mosca Moschini
Chairman of the European Union Military Committee
Succeeded by
General Håkan Syrén

Main awards and decorations





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