The Chief of Defence (CHOD) holds the highest military position in the Defence organisation. In this capacity, he is the most senior military adviser to the Minister of Defence. On behalf of the minister, he is responsible for preparing and executing military operations carried out by the Netherlands armed forces.
General Tom Middendorp was appointed Chief of Defence on 28 June 2012.
From his position in the Central Staff, the Chief of Defence directs the activities of the Navy, Army and Air Force. He is also in charge of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, when it is operating under the responsibility of the Minister of Defence.
The Chief of Defence general Tom Middendorp is the military adviser to the Minister of Defence when decisions are being made about Defence policy. He also gives advice about any future military capabilities and deployment. Vice admiral Rob Bauer is Vice Chief of Defence since 1 September 2015.