General Martin Herem

Chief of Defence – Estonia

  • Last updated: 25 Jan. 2023 16:07
Martin Herem

Martin Herem was born on December 17, 1973 in Tallinn, Estonia.

After graduating from the National Defence College at the Estonian Academy of Public Defence and Safety, Gen Herem served as a Platoon Leader and as a Company Commander of the Kuperjanov Single Infantry Battalion from 1996 to 1998. His first experiences as a Staff Officer were gained in Tartu Single Infantry Battalion where Gen Herem served at first as the S3 Staff Officer and later as the Chief of Staff. After graduating from the Baltic Defence College, Joint Command and General Staff Course, he served as the Instructor of Tactics and as the Head of the Tactics Department of the Estonian National Defence College (ENDC). In 2007 he was appointed to the North-Eastern Defence Command, where he initially served as the Chief of Staff and later as the Commander.

Since 2012 Gen Herem held the position of the Deputy Commander of the ENDC and became the Commandant of the ENDC in 2013. On July 15 2016, Gen Herem was appointed the Chief of Staff of the Headquarters of the Estonian Defence Forces. Since December 5th 2018, Gen Herem is appointed as Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces. He is the first officer to have graduated from a National Defence College in Estonia to hold this position since Estonia's restoration of independence.

In 2006, Gen Herem was deployed to Iraq as the Brigade (US Army) Force Protection officer, at Operation Iraqi Freedom II.

He has been awarded the Estonian Defence Forces Meritorious Service Cross, the Estonian Defence Forces Distinguished Service Decoration and numerous other awards.

His military education includes studies in the Advanced Officer Training Course (MA) at the Estonian National Defence College, the Joint Command and General Staff Course and the Higher Command Studies Course in the Baltic Defence College.

Gen Herem speaks English and Russian. He is married, has a son and two daughters.