Major General Martin Herem
Chief of Defence – Estonia
As of December 5, 2018 Estonian Defence Forces and national defence organisations are led by the Commander of the Defence Forces Major General Martin Herem. Commander of the Defence Forces is appointed by the Parliament on the proposal of the President of the Republic.
Martin Herem was born on 17 December 1973 in Tallinn, Estonia.
After graduating from the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences Officers Course, Major General Martin Herem served as a platoon leader and also as a company commander of the Kuperjanov Single Infantry Battalion from 1996 to 1998. He gained his first experience as a staff officer in the Tartu Single Infantry Battalion where he first served as an S3 staff officer and later as the Chief of Staff. After graduating from the Baltic Defence College’s Joint Command and General Staff Course, MG Herem served as an instructor of tactics and as the Head of the Tactics Department at the Estonian National Defence College (ENDC).
In 2006 MG Herem deployed to Iraq as the Brigade (US Army) Force Protection officer during Operation Iraqi Freedom II. On his return he was appointed to Estonia’s North-Eastern Defence Command, initially serving as the Chief of Staff and later as the Commander. In 2012 MG Herem held the position of the Deputy Commander of the ENDC and became the Commandant in 2013. On 15 July 2016, MG Herem was appointed as the Chief of Staff of the Headquarters of the Estonian Defence Forces.
On 5 December 2018, MG Herem was appointed as the Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces. He is the first Estonian educated officer to hold this position since Estonia’s restoration of independence.
He has been awarded the Estonian Defence Forces’ Meritorious Service Cross, the Estonian Defence Forces’ Distinguished Service Decoration.
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.
General Herem speaks English and Russian. He is married and has a son and two daughters. His hobbies include hunting and hiking in the wild.