General Peter van Uhm, Chief of the Netherlands Defence Staff

Chief of Defence

  • Last updated: 24 Feb. 2009 09:57

Peter van Uhm was born in Nijmegen, the Netherlands in 1955. In 1972, after his secondary education, he attended the Infantry officer training course at the Royal Military Academy in Breda. After training, he was assigned as platoon commander to 48 Mechanised Infantry Battalion. After having been a platoon commander at the Royal Military School in Weert in 1978, Van Uhm returned in 1979 to 48 Mechanised Infantry Battalion, where he was initially deputy company commander and later company commander.   

In 1982, he was appointed Company Commander with 43th Armoured Infantry Battalion and, in this position, was deployed to Lebanon in 1983. After his return to the Netherlands, Captain Van Uhm was posted to 48th Armoured Infantry Battalion for a short time. From 1984 to 1986, he attended the Staff Service and Advanced Military Studies courses at the Royal Netherlands Army Staff College. In 1986, in the rank of major, he was the Deputy Head of Operations of 1 Division “7 December”. His next two positions were at the Royal Netherlands Army staff, first as Head of the Training Policy Office and then, in the rank of lieutenant colonel, as Head of the Training Section.

In 1991, Van Uhm spent a short period working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a Defence liaison officer during the preparation phase of the European Community Monitoring Mission (ECMM). He was subsequently appointed Head of the Plans Division of 1(NL) Corps staff. In 1994, he was appointed battalion commander of 11 Infantry Battalion, Grenadiers and Rifles Guards of the – at that time extremely new – Airmobile Brigade.    

From 1995, in the rank of colonel, Van Uhm held the position of Head of the Personal Office of the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Netherlands Army, which was followed by his appointment as Head of the General Policy Division of the Army Staff. He was subsequently appointed Head of the Military-Strategic Affairs Division of the Defence Staff . 

In 2000, and in the rank of brigadier general, he worked at the Headquarters of the Stabilisation Force (SFOR) in Sarajevo as Assistant Chief of Staff for Joint Military Affairs. In July 2001, he subsequently assumed command of 11 Airmobile Brigade and, later, 11 Air Manoeuvre Brigade, a composite unit comprising 11 Airmobile Brigade and the Tactical Helicopter Group.

After a period of two years, Van Uhm bid farewell to the 11 Airmobile Brigade and was appointed Deputy Director of Policy and Planning, which was followed by his appointment to head of the same directorate in the rank of major general. 

On 8 July 2005, Major General Van Uhm assumed command of Operational Command ‘7 December’, replacing Major General Leen Noordzij. On 5 September 2005, Lieutenant General van Uhm was appointed Commander of the Royal Netherlands Army.

On 17 April 2008 General van Uhm became Chief of Defence of the Netherlands.