Chief of Defence (Finland)

The Chief of Defence (Finnish: puolustusvoimain komentaja; lit. Commander of the Defence Forces, Swedish: kommendören för försvarsmakten) is the Chief of Defence and commander of the Finnish Defence Forces, under the authority of the President of Finland.

The Chief of Defence commands the Finnish Army, the Finnish Air Force, the Finnish Navy and is assisted by the Defence Command. He is the highest-ranking officer of the forces (Admiral or General) and his deputy is the Chief of Staff of the Defence Command (Finnish: pääesikunnan päällikkö).

The current Chief of Defence is General Jarmo Lindberg.

Chief of Defence of the Republic of Finland
Puolustusvoimain Komentaja
Kommendören för försvarsmakten
Flag of the commander of the Finnish Defence Forces
Flag of the Chief of Defence
Jarmo Lindberg
Incumbent
General Jarmo Lindberg

since 1 August 2014
Finnish Defence Forces
Reports toPresident of the Republic
Minister of Defence
NominatorThe Government
AppointerPresident of the Republic
Formation1918
First holderCarl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
DeputyChief of Staff of the Defence Command
Websitewww.mil.fi

Role and functions

In contrast to many other Western countries, the Finnish Defence Forces have an actual military commander with direct authority over all forces, and the Chief of Staff is a separate position. The Chief of Defence is responsible for all operative aspects of the Defence Forces, while the Ministry of Defence, headed by the civilian minister, plans the long-term economical aspects. In administrative matters, the Chief of Defence has the authority to form or disband any unit below brigade level and to make any necessary reorganization to the command structure of the Defence Forces, unless such changes have wide impacts on the Finnish society, on the finances of the state or on the personnel of the Defence Forces.[1] In command matters, the Chief of Defence has the authority to make any command decision that is not reserved to the President of Finland.[2] In matters reserved to the Minister of Defence or to the President of Finland, the Chief of Defence prepares the decision and introduces his proposal to the Minister or to the President.

The immediate subordinates of the Chief of Defence are [3]

The Chief of Defence is appointed by the President on the nomination of the Finnish Council of State and may be asked to retire whenever a reason occurs. However, since 1972, all Chiefs of Defence have retired only after fulfilling the statutory retirement age of 63.

List of Finnish Chiefs of Defence

[4]

Chief of Defence Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch
1
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Field marshal
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
(1867–1951)
(as Supreme Commander of the forces of the Republic of Finland)
28 January 191830 May 1918122 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
2
Karl Fredrik Wilkama
Major General
Karl Fredrik Wilkama
(1876–1947)
(as Supreme Commander of the Finnish Military Forces)
31 May 191812 August 191874 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
3
Vilhelm Aleksander Thesleff
Major General
Vilhelm Aleksander Thesleff
(1880–1941)
(as Minister of Defence)
13 August 191827 November 1918106 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
4
Rudolf Walden
Colonel
Rudolf Walden
(1878–1946)
(as Minister of War)
27 November 191831 December 191834 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
(2)
Karl Fredrik Wilkama
Major General
Karl Fredrik Wilkama
(1876–1947)
(as Commander of the Finnish Army)
1 January 191919 June 1919169 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
5
Kaarlo Edward Kivekäs
Major General
Kaarlo Edward Kivekäs
(1866–1940)
(as Commander of the Finnish Army)
1 January 191911 September 191983 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
(2)
Karl Fredrik Wilkama
Major General
Karl Fredrik Wilkama
(1876–1947)
(as Commander of the Hosts)
12 September 19197 August 19244 years, 330 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
6
Vilho Petter Nenonen
Lieutenant General
Vilho Petter Nenonen
(1883–1960)
(as Commander of the Hosts)
8 August 192416 April 1925251 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
7
Lauri Malmberg
Colonel
Lauri Malmberg
(1888–1948)
(as Commander of the Hosts)
16 April 19251 October 1925168 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
(2)
Karl Fredrik Wilkama
Lieutenant General
Karl Fredrik Wilkama
(1876–1947)
(as Commander of the Hosts)
2 October 192521 May 1926231 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
8
Aarne Sihvo
Lieutenant General
Aarne Sihvo
(1889–1963)
(as Commander of the Hosts)
21 May 192615 January 19336 years, 239 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
9
Hugo Viktor Österman
Lieutenant General
Hugo Viktor Österman
(1892–1975)
(as Commander of the Hosts)
15 January 193316 October 19396 years, 274 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
(1)
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Field Marshal
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
(1867–1951)
Acting
[5][note 1]
17 October 193920 November 193934 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
(1)
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Marshal of Finland
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
(1867–1951)
[5][note 2]
(as Commander-in-Chief )
20 November 193912 January 19455 years, 53 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
10
Erik Heinrichs
General of the Infantry
Erik Heinrichs
(1890–1965)
12 January 19451 July 1945170 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
11
Jarl Lundqvist
Lieutenant General
Jarl Lundqvist
(1896–1965)
2 July 19453 June 1946336 daysSuomen Ilmavoimien tunnus.svg Finnish Air Force
(8)
Aarne Sihvo
General of the Infantry
Aarne Sihvo
(1889–1963)
4 June 194631 May 19536 years, 361 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
12
Kaarlo Heiskanen
General of the Infantry
Kaarlo Heiskanen
(1894–1962)
1 June 195328 October 19596 years, 149 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
13
Sakari Simelius
General of the Infantry
Sakari Simelius
(1900–1985)
29 October 195912 November 19655 years, 348 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
14
Yrjö Keinonen
General of the Infantry
Yrjö Keinonen
(1912–1977)
13 November 196530 April 19693 years, 199 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
15
Kaarlo Leinonen
General
Kaarlo Leinonen
(1914–1975)
1 May 196914 March 19744 years, 317 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
16
Lauri Sutela
General
Lauri Sutela
(1918–2011)
15 March 197411 October 19839 years, 210 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
17
Jaakko Valtanen
General
Jaakko Valtanen
(born 1925)
12 October 198328 February 19906 years, 139 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
18
Jan Klenberg
Admiral
Jan Klenberg
(born 1931)
1 March 199031 October 19944 years, 244 daysSuomen Merivoimien tunnus.svg Finnish Navy
19
Gustav Hägglund
General
Gustav Hägglund
(born 1938)
1 November 19943 June 20016 years, 214 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
20
Juhani Kaskeala
Admiral
Juhani Kaskeala
(born 1946)
4 June 200131 July 20098 years, 57 daysSuomen Merivoimien tunnus.svg Finnish Navy
21
Ari Puheloinen
General
Ari Puheloinen
(born 1951)
1 August 200931 July 20144 years, 364 daysFinnish Army seal Finnish Army
22
Jarmo Lindberg
General
Jarmo Lindberg
(born 1959)
1 August 2014Incumbent4 years, 196 daysSuomen Ilmavoimien tunnus.svg Finnish Air Force

References

  1. ^ Laki puolustusvoimista. (551/2007) §29. Retrieved 30-10-2008. (in Finnish)
  2. ^ Laki puolustusvoimista. (551/2007) §£30, 33. Retrieved 30-10-2008. (in Finnish)
  3. ^ Tasavallan presidentin asetus toimivallan jaosta sotilaskäskyasioissa (1089/2007) § 2. Retrieved 30-10-2008. (in Finnish)
  4. ^ Suomen itsenäisyyden ajan puolustusvoimain komentajat. Finnish Defence Forces. 2014-08-01. Retrieved 2016-01-16. (in Finnish)
  5. ^ a b Klinge, Matti (1997) Gustaf Mannerheim. Kansallisbiografia. Retrieved 2016-01-15. (in Finnish)

Notes

  1. ^ The official list of Chiefs of Defence on the Finnish Defence Forces site (Retrieved 2016-01-15) does not list Mannerheim as a Chief of Defence. This is because the position of sotaväen päällikkö (Commander of the Hosts) was not abolished. Instead, the newly formed position of puolustusvoimain komentaja was the commander of puolustuslaitos, the contemporary name of the Defence Forces, the Finnish Border Guard and the White Guard.
  2. ^ From 1942 onwards, prior to that, Field Marshal

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