Chief of Defense Staff of Italy

Admiral Giampaolo di Paola

2004 - 2008

Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola was born on 15 August 1944 in Torre Annunziata, near Naples, Italy.

After completing his secondary education, he joined the Naval Academy in 1963. Soon after the graduation in 1967, he attended the Submarine School.

Between 1968 and 1974 he served aboard conventional submarines “Gazzana” and “Piomarta”.

Later he was in command of the submarines “Cappellini” (1974-75) and “Sauro” (1980-81).

In 1981 he attended the NATO Defense College in Rome.

From 1981 to 1984 he served as ASW and Undersea Warfare Program Officer, Long Term Planning Branch, SACLANT, Norfolk, VA.

He went back to sea in 1984 as Commanding Officer of the frigate “Grecale”.

Following this assignment, he was transferred to the Navy Staff in Rome as Plans and Programs Branch Chief at the General and Financial Planning Division.

In 1989-90, as Captain, he was Commanding Officer of the Aircraft Carrier “Garibaldi”.

In 1990 he returned to the Navy Staff and served first as executive assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff (1990-91) then as Chief of Naval Plans and Policy Branch, Plans and Operations Division (1991-92), and finally as Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations (1993-94)

On 31 December 1993, he was promoted Rear Admiral (lower half).

Between 1994 and 1998 he was assigned to the Defense Staff in Rome where he served as Chief of the Military Policy Division (1994-98). During this period of service he was promoted Rear Admiral (December 1997).

From 1998 to 2001 Vice Admiral Di Paola covered the position of Chief of the Cabinet at the Minister of Defense.

On 26 March 2001 he was appointed Secretary General of Defense /National Armaments Director.

On 10 March 2004 he was promoted Admiral and appointed as Chief of Defence.

Decorations and awards:

  • Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy;
  • Bronze Medal for long maritime navigation (10 years);
  • Gold Cross with star for service seniority (40 years of service);
  • Submarine Honor Badge;
  • Gold Medal for Length of Command ;
  • The Mauritian Medal for distinguished military service;
  • Commandeur de l'Ordre National du merite,(FR);
  • Knight Commander with Badge of the Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great;
  • Grand Cross with Swords of the Order of Merit of Malta;
  • Knight of the Grand Cross of Merit of the Sacred Constantine Military Order of San Giorgio;
  • Grand Officer of the Order of Infante Don Enrico,(PO);
  • The legion of Merit (Degree of Commander),(USA);
  • Commandeur de l'Ordre de la Legion d'Honneur,(FR);
  • Commemorative Medal of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta;
  • UN Medal for UN Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo.

Admiral Di Paola and his wife Roberta have two daughters.