Lieutenant General Hans-Werner Wiermann, Director General of the International Military Staff (DGIMS), bids farewell to his staff and the NATO Military Committee on 14 July 2022.
During his tenure as Director General, Lieutenant General Wiermann led the work on substantial and transformative work strands, including but not limited to, the first Military Strategy in almost 60 years; the recognition of space as an operational domain; the launch of NATO2030; the conclusion of NATO’s Resolute support mission; the operationalisation of NATO’s deter and defend strategy; the Alliance’s digital transformation, with the innovation Fund and DIANA; and NATO’s response to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Lieutenant General Wiermann also managed the military response to the pandemic within NATO HQ, privileging the safety and health of his staff, while ensuring business continuity.
Speaking to staff at his last Town Hall meeting, Lieutenant General Wiermann expressed his gratitude for their continued commitment and support. “The last three years have been quite demanding for us all. We have seen, amongst other things: growing instability across the world, a global pandemic and more recently, the Russian invasion in Ukraine – and we have felt their effects. At times, this has translated into more work, more planning and longer hours; other times, this has meant demonstrating more flexibility and creativity. But always, the IMS rose to the challenge in a most spectacular fashion”, he stated.
Lieutenant General Wiermann then proceeded to a special Military Committee in Permanent Session meeting where he was farewelled by the Chair of the Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer: “Being DGIMS was as you call it, the culmination of your professional experience or the cherry on top of your “professional” cake. However, I can assure you that the “treat” was entirely ours. It has been an honour and privilege to work with you. On behalf of the NATO Military Committee, I want to thank you for all you have done during your tenure as DGIMS, for sharing your wisdom and experience with us, for facilitating our work and reinforcing dialogue. For always keeping us steady and on track”.
The NATO International Military Staff, the 30 NATO Military Representatives, various Partner Military Representatives, including invitees Finland and Sweden as well as Representative of the Strategic Commands then gathered in the Agora, the heart of NATO HQ for the change of command ceremony. Initiating the formalities, NATO Deputy Secretary General, Mircea Geoană highlighted the important collaboration between the political and military staffs, thanking Lieutenant General Wiermann for his valuable contributions to the Alliance. “You were the right leader for this important job at this critical time for our security. You spent your formidable 46-year military career travelling literally to every corner of the globe, leading staff and commanding forces. You have unrivalled national and international expertise. In security policy, arms control, and some of the most pressing military adaptation issues, like military mobility, enablement, and civil preparedness. And you have thrived at the interface of the military and political spheres”, he underlined in his remarks.
Admiral Bauer officiated the ceremony and the symbolic passing of the flag from the outgoing Director, Lieutenant General Wiermann to the designate Director, Lieutenant General Adamczack.
Lieutenant General Wiermann is a three star General in the German Bundeswehr, who was nominated for this role by the Allied Chiefs of Defence in September 2018. He took over the position of DGIMS from Lieutenant General Jan Broeks on 11 July 2019.
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