Admiral Pierre Vandier was appointed as the 62nd Chief of Staff of the French Navy (Marine Nationale) on September 1, 2020.
Admiral Pierre Vandier took over the command from Admiral Christophe Prazuck. According to our calculations, Admiral Vandier becomes the 62nd Chief of Staff of the French Navy (not counting three admirals at the head of French naval forces during the Vichy regime but counting two admirals of the Forces navales françaises libres during WWII). Amiral Vandier is the third naval aviator to become Navy Chief of Staff Since 1945 (following Admiral Henri Nomy in 1951 and Admiral Alain Oudot de Dainville in 2005).
The ceremony took place at Toulon naval base, aboard aicraft carrier Chales de Gaulle, in presence of several French authorities including the Armed Forces minister, the Chief of Staff of the French Army and the Chief of Staff of the French Air Force.
Admiral Pierre Vandier was born on October 26, 1967. After graduating from the Naval Academy in 1989, he chose to specialize in naval aviation and was assigned to the Commandant Rivière-class frigate Commandant Bory, involved in the operations of the first Gulf War in 1991.
Trained as a fighter pilot from the summer of 1992, he acquired his operational qualifications on Super Etendard. He carried out several combat missions in Bosnia (1995/1997 – Operation Salamandre) and in Kosovo (1999 – Operation Trident). Transitioning to the Rafale M in 2001, he took command of the Flottile 12F, the first Rafale M squadron, from 2002 to 2004 and carried out several combat missions in Afghanistan during the Agapanthe mission in 2004.
Admiral Vandier served as Assistant Commandant for Operations aboard aircraft carrier Chales de Gaulle from 2005 to 2007. In the summer of 2007, he took command of La Fayette-class frigate Surcouf.
In the summer of 2011, he took up the post of chief of operations for the Africa zone at the French military headquarters. From January to June 2013, he headed the Mali crisis unit for six months and as such ensured the conduct of land and air operations from the early hours of Operation Serval.
On July 24, 2013, he took command of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. He was deployed in the Indian Ocean twice, in winter 2013 as part of Operation Bois-Belleau, and in spring 2015 for the Arromanches mission, during which he participated in Operation Chammal in Iraq.
In January 2017, he assumed the functions of coordinating authority for international relations at the naval headquarters. Appointed rear admiral on September 1, 2017, he became deputy commander of the Mediterranean maritime district and commander of the naval base in Toulon.
On September 1, 2018, he was appointed Chief of the Military Cabinet to the Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, and was elevated to the rank and appellation of Vice-Admiral on January 1, 2020.
Roles of the French Navy Chief of Staff
As Chief of Staff of the Navy, Admiral Pierre Vandier is the first representative of the French Navy. In this capacity, he advises and assists the Joint Chief of Staff with regards to the French Navy. He ensures the operational readiness of the naval forces, is responsible for the recruitment, initial training, discipline, morale and condition of sailors and maintains bilateral relations with foreign navies.
He has authority over the naval staff, over the direction of naval military personnel, over major force commands, and over maritime zones commanders.