Lieutenant General Xavier de Marnhac was born on July 7, 1951 in Trier, Germany.
He was commissioned through the French military academy of Saint-Cyr in 1971 and chose to serve in the Armor and Cavalry branch.
As a cavalry lieutenant and captain, he served in two different light armored regiments, and commanded a recce company in the 4th Hussars regiment. Later, as colonel, he commanded the 6/12 Cuirassiers (tank) regiment.
He also spent four years as special operations forces team leader in the 1st Marine infantry airborne regiment.
But his career is mostly characterized by frequent assignments in different intelligence units, branches or agencies.
He successively served in the 13th Dragoons airborne regiment and in G2/1st (FRA) Army headquarters. Between 1993 and 1996, he worked as intelligence adviser to the French defense minister. And from 1999 to 2004, he was deputy director and director for operations in the French intelligence agency (DGSE).
Lt. Gen. de Marnhac has a great international experience. He was assigned twice in Germany and spent one year in the USA to attend the command and general staff course.
He performed many missions in a dozen African countries, in most of European countries, as well as in Middle East and Central Asia.
From August 2005 to February 2006, he was assigned in Kosovo as deputy commander KFOR.
After studies in the joint center for advanced military studies (CHEM) and in the institute for higher national defense studies (IHEDN) in Paris, he was promoted brigadier general in 2001.
From 2005 to 2007, as major general, he assumed command of the deployable force headquarters No 2 in Nantes.
Promoted to lieutenant general, he took over the command of KFOR from August 31, 2007 until August 29, 2008.
Lt. Gen. de Marnhac is married and has five daughters and four grand-children.