Emmanuel Macron paid tribute on Wednesday to the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, General François Lecointre, who is leaving office after a long career as an “exceptional soldier” and is replaced by General Thierry Burkhard.
“You have, for the past four years, completely met all of my expectations,” the Head of State said to the Army Chief he had appointed in July 2017, following the sudden resignation General Pierre de Villiers.
“I chose you because I wanted to give meaning to the command of the nation’s armies”, he added during the speech concluding the Farewell to Arms ceremony in the courtyard of the Hôtel national des Invalides. .
He thanked him especially for his “loyalty”, and his “competence”, and in particular for the application of the Law of military programing, which “repairs the army’s resources and modernizes them”.
“You can leave with the satisfaction that a duty was completed. France extends deep gratitude to all of you,” Macron stated before shaking hands for a while with General Lecointre (59).
Saint-Cyrien, an athletic marine infantryman, was a veteran of 37 years of uniform service. He served in Iraq and Djibouti as well as in Somalia, Rwanda, and during the Yugoslav conflict in 1995. He was also the chief of the military cabinets of three Prime Ministers, Manuel Valls and Bernard Cazeneuve, as well as Edouard Phillipe.
On June 13, he declared his intention to retire. He explained that it was “not fair for a chief of staff to be exact aligned with the presidential mandate”, and thus, the election in 2022. He stated that he and the President had “the same understanding” of the role of the armies.
The 56-year old legionary Thierry burkhard is his replacement as “CEMA”. He has extensive operational experience in both the Foreign Legion (and the paratroopers) and is now the head of the army.
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