Supreme Allied Commander Europe

The Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) is the commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) Allied Command Operations (ACO) and head of ACO's headquarters, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). The commander is based at SHAPE in Casteau, Belgium. SACEUR is the second-highest military position within NATO, below only the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee in terms of precedence.

Supreme Allied Commander Europe
General Tod D. Wolters

since May 3, 2019
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
Reports toNorth Atlantic Council,
through NATO Military Committee
SeatCasteau, Mons, Belgium
NominatorPresident of the United States,
with Senate advice and consent
AppointerNorth Atlantic Council
Formation2 April 1951
First holderGeneral of the Army
Dwight D. Eisenhower

SACEUR has always been held by a U.S. military officer, and the position is dual-hatted with that of Commander of United States European Command.

The current SACEUR is General Tod D. Wolters of the United States Air Force.


The NATO Military Command Structure consists of two strategic commands and is directed by the International Military Staff:[1]

The commands under SACEUR - Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum, Allied Joint Force Command Naples and Joint Force Command Norfolk are Operational Level Commands, while Headquarters Allied Air Command, Headquarters Allied Maritime Command and Headquarters Allied Land Command are Tactical Level Commands.[2] SACEUR also has operational command of the Joint Support and Enabling Command.[3]

Liaison:       Provides advice and support to the NAC
Political strategic level:
NA Council
Brussels, BE
Brussels, BE
Military strategic level:

Brussels, BE

Mons, BE

Norfolk, US
Operational level:
 JFCBS Brunssum, NL JWC Stavanger, NO
 AIRCOM Ramstein, DE JALLC Lisbon, PT
 MARCOM Northwood, GB JFTC Bydgoszcz, PL
 CIS GP Mons, BE
 JFCNP Naples, IT
JFC-NF Norfolk, Virginia, US

List of holders

2013 SACEUR change of command at SHAPE

Since 2003 the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) has also served as the head of Allied Command Europe and the head of Allied Command Operations. The officeholders have been:[4]

No. Portrait Supreme Allied CommanderTook officeLeft officeTime in officeDefence branch
Eisenhower, DwightGeneral of the Army
Dwight D. Eisenhower
April 2, 1951May 30, 19521 year, 58 days United States Army
Ridgway, MatthewGeneral
Matthew Ridgway
May 30, 1952July 11, 19531 year, 42 days United States Army
Gruenther, AlfredGeneral
Alfred Gruenther
July 11, 1953November 20, 19563 years, 132 days United States Army
Norstad, LaurisGeneral
Lauris Norstad
November 20, 1956January 1, 19636 years, 42 days United States Air Force
Lemnitzer, LymanGeneral
Lyman Lemnitzer
January 1, 1963July 1, 19696 years, 181 days United States Army
Goodpaster, AndrewGeneral
Andrew Goodpaster
July 1, 1969December 15, 19745 years, 167 days United States Army
Haig, AlexanderGeneral
Alexander M. Haig Jr.
December 15, 1974July 1, 19794 years, 198 days United States Army
Rogers, BernardGeneral
Bernard W. Rogers
July 1, 1979June 26, 19877 years, 360 days United States Army
Galvin, JohnGeneral
John Galvin
June 26, 1987June 23, 19924 years, 363 days United States Army
Shalikashvili, JohnGeneral
John Shalikashvili
June 23, 1992October 22, 19931 year, 121 days United States Army
Joulwan, GeorgeGeneral
George Joulwan
(born 1939)
October 22, 1993July 11, 19973 years, 262 days United States Army
Clark, WesleyGeneral
Wesley Clark
(born 1944)
July 11, 1997May 3, 20002 years, 297 days United States Army
Ralston, JosephGeneral
Joseph Ralston
(born 1943)
May 3, 2000January 17, 20032 years, 259 days United States Air Force
Jones, JamesGeneral
James L. Jones
(born 1943)
January 17, 2003December 7, 20063 years, 324 days United States Marine Corps
Craddock, BantzGeneral
Bantz J. Craddock
(born 1949)
December 7, 2006July 2, 20092 years, 207 days United States Army
Stavridis, JamesAdmiral
James G. Stavridis
(born 1955)
July 2, 2009May 13, 20133 years, 315 days United States Navy
Breedlove, PhilipGeneral
Philip M. Breedlove
(born 1955)
May 13, 2013May 4, 20162 years, 357 days United States Air Force
Scaparrotti, CurtisGeneral
Curtis Scaparrotti
(born 1956)
May 4, 2016May 3, 20192 years, 364 days United States Army
Wolters, Tod D.General
Tod D. Wolters
(born 1960)
May 3, 2019Incumbent2 years, 84 days United States Air Force


The position of Deputy Supreme Allied Command Europe (DSACEUR) – since 2003 known as deputy head of Allied Command Operations – has been held by the following officers. From January 1978 until June 1993 there were two DSACEURs, one British and one German, but from July 1993 this reverted to a single DSACEUR.

NamePhotoTerm beganTerm endedBranch
1.Field Marshal the Viscount MontgomeryApril 2, 1951September 23, 1958 British Army
2.General Sir Richard GaleSeptember 23, 1958September 22, 1960 British Army
3.General Sir Hugh StockwellSeptember 22, 1960January 1, 1964 British Army
4.Marshal of the RAF Sir Thomas PikeJanuary 1, 1964March 1, 1967 Royal Air Force
5.General Sir Robert BrayMarch 1, 1967December 1, 1970 British Army
6.General Sir Desmond FitzpatrickDecember 1, 1970November 12, 1973 British Army
7.General Sir John MoggNovember 12, 1973March 12, 1976 British Army
8.General Sir Harry TuzoMarch 12, 1976November 2, 1978 British Army
9.General Gerd SchmückleJanuary 3, 1978April 1, 1980 German Army
10.General Sir Jack HarmanNovember 2, 1978April 9, 1981 British Army
11.Admiral Günter LutherApril 1, 1980April 1, 1982 German Navy
12.Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter TerryApril 9, 1981July 16, 1984 Royal Air Force
13.General Günter KießlingApril 1, 1982April 2, 1984 German Army
14.General Hans-Joachim MackApril 2, 1984October 1, 1987 German Army
15.General Sir Edward BurgessJuly 16, 1984June 26, 1987 British Army
16.General Sir John AkehurstJune 26, 1987January 17, 1990 British Army
17.General Eberhard EimlerOctober 1, 1987October 2, 1990 German Air Force
18.General Sir Brian KennyJanuary 17, 1990April 5, 1993 British Army
19.General Dieter ClaussOctober 2, 1990July 1, 1993 German Army
20.General Sir John WatersApril 5, 1993December 12, 1994 British Army
21.General Sir Jeremy MackenzieDecember 12, 1994November 30, 1998 British Army
22.General Sir Rupert SmithNovember 30, 1998September 17, 2001 British Army
23.General Dieter StöckmannSeptember 17, 2001September 18, 2002 German Army
24.Admiral Rainer FeistSeptember 18, 2002October 1, 2004 German Navy
25.General Sir John ReithOctober 1, 2004October 22, 2007 British Army
26.General Sir John McCollOctober 22, 2007March 2011 British Army
27.General Sir Richard ShirreffMarch 2011March 2014 British Army
28.General Sir Adrian BradshawMarch 2014March 2017 British Army
29.General Sir James EverardMarch 2017April 2020 British Army
30.General Sir Tim RadfordApril 2020Incumbent British Army

See also


  1. "Command Structure" (PDF). NATO. Retrieved 19 October 2019. and "Military Command Structure". Supreme Head Allied Powers Europe. 12 February 2020. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  2. "MILITARY COMMAND STRUCTURE". NATO. 7 October 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  3. Boeke, Sergei (13 January 2020). "Creating a secure and functional rear area : NATO's new JSEC Headquarters". NATO. Retrieved 9 October 2020. JSEC is part of the NATO Force Structure and under the operational command of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).
  4. List of Former SACEURs