Lieutenant General Michiel van der Laan
Military Representative – Netherlands
Lieutenant General Michiel van der Laan graduated as an officer from the Royal Military Academy in Breda in 1987. He fulfilled his first positions within 103 Reconnaissance Battalion in Seedorf, Germany.
In 1995 he attended the Netherlands Advanced Command and Staff Course, was promoted to major and took up the position of a policy officer at the Operational Policy Branch of the Army Staff. From 1998 to 2000, Van der Laan attended the German Advanced Command and Staff Course at the Führungsakademie in Hamburg.
From October 2002 to August 2005, Van der Laan was commander of 11 Tank Battalion. In 2003 he deployed to Bosnia where he commanded 11 Mechanised Battalion Task Force (SFOR).
In June 2006, he was promoted to the rank of colonel and assumed the position of Head of the Future Concepts Branch of the Defence Staff. From March 2008 to May 2009, Van der Laan was Head of the Personal Office of the Commander of the Royal Netherlands Army.
In May 2009, he was promoted to Brigadier General and deployed to Afghanistan as the Director Stability at the Headquarters of Regional Command South. As the Director Stability he was responsible for the coordination between ISAF and all non-military actors in the Southern part of Afghanistan.
In December 2009, he was appointed Commander of 13 Mechanised Brigade in Oirschot where he commanded over 3000 soldiers. During the first half of 2011 he was also the Commander of the EU Battle Group. Van der Laan was promoted to Major-General in January of 2013 when he assumed the position of Deputy Commander of 1 (GE/NL) Corps. During this period he was responsible for preparing NATO’s Very High Readiness Force 2015 (VJTF15).
From 2014 to 2016 he served as the Director Operations of the Dutch Ministry of Defence. In this position he was responsible for all of the deployments and missions of the Dutch Forces and advised the Chief of Defence and the Minister of Defence on current and future operations.
He returned to 1 (GE/NL) Corps in 2016 as its commander and was promoted to Lieutenant-General. During his command he led the stand-by Joint Task Force (L) in 2017 and 2018 and commanded the Land Component Command for NATO’s Response force in 2019. During NATO’s exercise Trident Juncture in Norway in 2018 he led the NATO ground forces in NATO’s largest exercise since the Cold War.
As of July 2019, Luitenant General van der Laan is the Military Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the NATO & EU Military Committees.
Lieutenant General Michiel van der Laan is married, has a daughter and two sons. They live in Eindhoven. The General is a keen follower of football and supporter of PSV. He also enjoys running and has completed several marathons.