Peter van Uhm

Peter van Uhm
Peter van Uhm
Peter van Uhm, Den Haag Veteranendag 2009, by FaceMePLS.jpg
Gen. Van Uhm at the Dutch Veterans Day celebration in 2009
Born July 15, 1955 (1955-07-15) (age 56)
Allegiance The Netherlands
Service/branch Royal Netherlands Army
Years of service 1976–present
Rank Nl-landmacht-generaal.svg General
Commands held Chief of the Netherlands Defence Staff
Battles/wars UNIFIL, SFOR, War in Afghanistan

General Petrus J.M. "Peter" van Uhm (born 15 July 1955 in Nijmegen) is a four-star general in the Royal Netherlands Army and the current Chief of the Netherlands Defence Staff (CDS).[1] He was promoted to this position from Commander of the Royal Netherlands Army (C-LAS) and succeeded Dick Berlijn on April 17, 2008.



Van Uhm was born in 1955 in the Dutch city of Nijmegen, the son of a baker. He was first attracted to a career in the army in high school, where he heard stories about the liberation of Nijmegen in 1944. He enrolled at the Koninklijke Militaire Academie in Breda in 1972, attending the Infantry officer training course. He completed his training within the required four years and was posted to the 48th Mechanised Infantry Battalion in 's-Hertogenbosch in 1976. He served there until 1982, with a short break in 1978 during which he served as a platoon commander at the Royal Military School in Weert. In 1982 Van Uhm was reassigned to the 43rd Mechanised Infantry Battalion as a Company Commander for Company A; he was deployed to Lebanon in this role in 1983 as part of the UNIFIL mission. Returning to The Netherlands a captain (NATO OF-2), he was posted the 48th Armoured Infantry Battalion for a short stint.

From 1984 to 1986 Van Uhm attended the Staff Service and Advanced Military Studies courses at the Royal Netherlands Army Staff College at The Hague. Following this (and a promotion to major (OF-3)) he was assigned to the First Division staff as deputy Head of Operations. He then held the position of Head of the Training Policy Office at the Royal Netherlands Army Staff and (following promotion to lieutenant-colonel or OF-4) Head of the Training Section.

In 1991 Van Uhm spent some time working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a liaison officer, aiding in the preparation of the European Community Monitoring Mission (ECMM). Following that he served as head of the Plans Division at the staff of Dutch First Corps. In 1994, following the creation of the Dutch 11th Infantry Battalion Air Assault Brigade, Van Uhm was appointed Battalion Commander of their Grenadiers and Rifles Guards. He served there for a year, until his promotion to full colonel (OF-5) in 1995, when he was transferred to the Personal Office of the Commander of the Royal Netherlands Army, as Head of the Office. He then served as Head of the General Policy Division of the Army Staff and then as Head of the Military-Strategic Affairs Division of the Defense Staff.

At the turn of the millennium Van Uhm, now a brigadier general (OF-6) was assigned to headquarters of the Stabilisation Force SFOR in Sarajevo as Assistant Chief of Staff for Joint Military Affairs. Despite the failing of that mission, Van Uhm assumed command of the entire 11th Air Assault Brigade in July 2001 and of the 11th Air Manoeuvre Brigade following that (the Air Manoeuvre Brigade was a combined force consisting of the Air Assault Brigade and the Tactical Helicopter Group).

Completing two years as a commander with the Air Assault Brigade, Van Uhm was subsequently assigned Deputy Director of Policy and Planning with the Royal Dutch Army staff in 2003. He was made Director (with a promotion to major general or OF-7) in July 2004. He held this position until July 8, 2005, when he succeeded major general Leen Noordzij as commanding officer of Operational Command ‘December 7’. This was followed shortly, on September 5, 2005 by promotion to Commander of the Royal Netherlands Army (Commandant der Landstrijdkrachten or C-LAS). Commensurate with this office he was promoted to lieutenant general (OF-8) and held the post until March 13, 2008, when he was succeeded by lieutenant general Rob Bertholee. He was awarded the Bronzen Soldaat at that time, for his exceptional service to the army.

On April 17, 2008, Peter van Uhm was promoted to full general and assigned Chief of the Netherlands Defence Staff.

Loss of Van Uhm's son

Van Uhm's promotion to CDS was accompanied by personal tragedy as, on 18 April 2008 his son First Lieutenant Dennis van Uhm was killed in a roadside bombing in Uruzgan, the southern province of Afghanistan.[2][3] A spokesman for the Taliban said that militants had known about his movements and had targeted him. The Dutch government rejected this claim. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said in The Hague: "Our information is that there is no indication of any link between this cowardly deed and the fact that it was the son of the defense chief."[3][4]



External links

Preceded by
Dick Berlijn
Chief of the Netherlands Defence Staff
april 17, 2008–present
New title Commander of the Royal Netherlands Army
5 september 2005–13 march 2008
Succeeded by
Rob Bertholee

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