Search our content

Home  /  About us  /  Leadership Staff  /  Command Group  /  Chief of Staff (COS)


Chief of Staff

Admiral Joachim Rühle

Born 1959 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Admiral Rühle assumed the role of Chief of Staff of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe on 30 September 2020.

After joining the German Navy in 1978 and completing his officer training, Admiral Rühle graduated in Mechanical Engineering at the University of the German Armed Forces in Hamburg.

In his first tour of duty, he served at sea as Officer of the Watch on fast patrol boats "Greif' and "Albatros". He went on to serve as Executive Officer on the Frigate “Emden” and Commanding Officer of the Destroyer “Molders”.

Admiral Rühle attended the Admiral Staff Officers’ Training Course at the Bundeswehr Command and Staff College, Hamburg in 1993. Additionally, he also graduated from the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, USA in 2001.

Admiral Rühle has had a broad range of leading staff officer appointments in higher command authorities. These have included; Personal Manager and Assistant Chief of the Naval Section of the Bundeswehr Personnel Office Cologne (1997 – 1999), which preceded his selection as the Chief of the Naval Section (2004 – 2005); Head of the Flotilla 2 reorganisation group at the Fleet Command in Glücksburg during which time he was Commander of Task Group Fleet Standard Operational Training Force (2004 – 2005) and Chief of International Force Planning Branch of the Armed Forces Staff of the Federal Ministry of Defence in Bonn (2005 – 2008).

As a Flag Officer, Admiral Rühle served as Chief of Division, responsible for all Flag, General and Senior Officers at the Federal Ministry of Defence from 2008 – 2010. However, Admiral Rühle is no stranger to NATO. From 2010 – 2012 he served as Director of the Knowledge Management Directorate at Joint Force Command Naples, during which time he participated in the NATO Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR in Libya.

In 2012 Admiral Rühle was assigned as Director-General for Planning, in 2014 as Director-General for Human Resources, responsible for all military and civil personnel of the German Armed Forces and in 2017 as Vice Chief of Defence at the Federal Ministry of Defence in Berlin.

Admiral Joachim Rühle is married to his wife Katja. They have two children and five grandchildren.

Search our content:


Rue Grande
7010 Mons

Media Operations

Public Affairs Office
Attn: Media Section
7010 Mons