Mons, Belgium -- French Army Lieutenant General Olivier Rittimann, outgoing vice Chief of Staff (VCOS), left here on Friday, July 10, 2020, serving two years, since July 1, 2018.
German Army General Markus Kneip, Chief of Staff, National Military Representatives from the 29 other Allied nations, and an assembly of French military member assigned here, waved goodbye to General Rittimann during an official ceremony.
General Rittiman, in addition to his role as VCOS, most recently headed the Allied Command Operations Task Force to combat coronavirus, using his 35 years of military experience to mitigate the risk of spreading the outbreak within NATO forces throughout the ACO area of responsibility and to aid Allies and partners in need during the pandemic.
The incoming VCOS is French Army Major General Brice Houdet who makes a small move within SHAPE from his current position as the French National Military Representative.
Lieutenant General Olivier Rittimann says goodbye to a National Military Representative at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) July 10, 2020.
General Rittimann started his career in 1984 as a platoon leader of the 4 Foreign Legion Regiment. He is a graduate of the Military Academy of Saint Cyr, the French Army Engineer School and has also served as the SHAPE French military representative during his career.
Throughout his career he deployed to Chad, Moyotte, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Afghanistan. General Rittiman also served as a French Military Academy instructor, attened the United States Army General Staff College and the Armed Forces Staff College, the French Joint Defence College, and the Pakistani National Defence College.
General Rittimann has been serving more than 20 years of experience with direct NATO operations and missions. He served within the NATO-led Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina (SFOR); Allied Forces North Headquarters; training and exercises and policy and concepts branches in the NATO Command Structure; chief of the NATO branch at the Joint Staff in Paris; Allied Forces Command Heidelberg as Director Joint Coordination Centre in the Deployable Joint Staff Element; HQ International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF); French Deputy Military Representative (MILREP) in NATO Headquarters; French National Military Representative to NATO's Allied Command Operations; and as Chief of Staff at Joint Force Command Brunssum.