Admiral Rob Bauer
Chair of the Military Committee
Admiral Rob Bauer (Royal Netherlands Navy) is the 33rd Chair of the Military Committee of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). As the Military Adviser to the Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council, Admiral Bauer is NATO’s most senior military officer.
He is the conduit through which advice from NATO’s 30 Chiefs of Defence is presented to the political decision-making bodies; and guidance and directives are issued to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation and the Director General of the International Military Staff.
‘Expect the unexpected’ is for Admiral Bauer a personal mantra, as well as a sacred principle for every military force. In this time of political power shifts and increasingly complex security threats, he firmly believes that the strength of the North Atlantic Alliance lies in its cohesion. Admiral Bauer strives to be a catalyst between NATO’s military leaders, and unifying north, south, east and west, large and small.
Rob Bauer (Amsterdam, 1962) was commissioned as an officer in the Royal Netherlands Navy in 1984.
From 2005 until 2007, Bauer commanded the Air Defence and Command Frigate HNLMS De Ruyter. His command included a deployment in the Mediterranean with the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 as part of the NATO Response Force (Operation Active Endeavour). Late 2006, Bauer was deployed to Bahrain as Deputy Commander of Task Force 150 (Operation Enduring Freedom). In 2010 and 2011, he held command of the Landing Platform Dock HNLMS Johan de Witt.
As Director of Plans (2012-2015), Bauer was responsible for directing strategies relating to the future of Defence, operational policy and innovation, and the organization and structure of the armed forces as a whole, including the creation of the new Defence Cyber Command. As Vice Chief of Defence (2015-2017), Bauer oversaw the move towards more flexible and sustainable cooperation with private companies and organisations.
As Chief of Defence (2017-2021), he commanded the Netherlands Armed Forces during the first four years of substantial investments after a decades-long period of cutbacks. Transforming the organization required determination, strategic foresight and the ability to rebuild trust in and amongst the Armed Forces.
Rob is married to Maaike. They have three children.