By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presented the Legion of Merit to Czech Gen. Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, during a ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall on Thursday.
More than 250 service members participated in the ceremony at Whipple Field. The clear, cold day gave great views over Washington and next door Arlington National Cemetery. The Legion of Merit is the highest award American leaders can bestow on foreigners.
Pavel has served as chairman of the Military Committee since June 2015 and his time as chairman coincided with NATO reemphasizing deterrence in the face of a growing Russian threat. The alliance also had troops in contact in Afghanistan and joined the effort to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
LIVE NOW: Armed Forces Full Honor Arrival Ceremony for NATO’s Chairman of the Military Committee Gen. Petr Pavel. #WeAreNATO #WeAreAlliesU.S. European Command (EUCOM) U.S. Mission to NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE)
Posted by The Joint Staff on Thursday, March 8, 2018
Video: NATO Chairman’s Arrival Ceremony
Leading Through Challenges
Pavel’s first mission was to shepherd the decisions made at the 2014 Wales Summit through the Military Committee to ensure the implementation of those decisions was on course. This included the alliance readiness action plan to ensure the allies were prepared for the challenges of collective defense in the 21st century.
Pavel’s time also marked NATO’s growing cooperation with the European Union. Cyber operations, increasing reliance on space assets, discussions about needed military capabilities are just a few of the issues Pavel steered through the committee.
He is the first chairman to come from a nation that was part of the Warsaw Pact. Before serving in Brussels, he was the chief of the general staff of the Czech army.
Why was NATO founded?Discover the origins and founding principles of NATO – #WeAreNATO
Posted by NATO on Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Video: Why Was NATO Founded?
“General Pavel superbly navigated NATO’s Military Committee, including national military representatives and national chiefs of defense, through the most challenging period in the alliance’s recent history,” the Legion of Merit citation states.
Pavel will relinquish the job of chairman to British Air Marshal Stuart Peach on June 29.
What are today's security challenges? Watch this short animation to learn more – #WeAreNATO
Posted by NATO on Thursday, August 24, 2017
Learn More: NATO’s Security Challenges
Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDODNews
For more Joint Staff news, visit: www.jcs.mil.
Or connect with Joint Staff on social media:
Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DOD website.