The Chief of Staff serves as the principal advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) on all matters related to NATO operations, missions, activities and tasks implementing SACEUR's strategic vision. Their duties also include overseeing the management of personnel at SHAPE representing more than thirty Allied and partner nation's service members and civilians.
"I've had a wonderful first impression, it's not my first appointment in NATO and I always loved to work with different nations, to work with different cultures, different personalities and all I've seen until now is that SHAPE has great leadership, great people and I'm very much looking forward to working with all of them," said Admiral Rühle.
General Kneip, a native of the Koblenz region of Germany, first joined the German Armed Forces in 1975 as an officer candidate. As he progressed through the ranks, he served in positions ranging from platoon leader, company commander, battalion commander, staff officer, commanding various units leading up to his role in 2015 as the Vice Chief of Defence, Ministry of Defence. He deployed on multiple occasions to conflicts throughout the world including multiple tours to Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in Afghanistan.
Admiral Rühle, a native of Stuttgart, joined the German Navy in 1978 where he first trained at the Mürwik Naval School before going on to study mechanical engineering at the Helmut Schmidt University – University of the Federal Armed Forces, Hamburg. He has served multiple tours in his native Germany as well as multiple NATO tours and deployments around the globe.