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Conference of Commandants

  • 17 Jul. 2024
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  • Last updated: 9 February 2017


 Vice-Admiral J.C. O'Brien (Canada), Commandant of the NATO Defense College from 1970 to 1973

The first Conference of Commandants of the various Defence or War Colleges of the NATO countries was held in Rome at the NATO Defense College.

This Conference took place on 24th and 25th May 1972 with Vice Admiral J.C. O’BRIEN, Commandant of the NATO Defense College, in the chair; 22 delegates from 12 different countries and from 13 Colleges took part.

The aim of the Conference was to discuss achievements so far in the training of civilian and military personnel responsible for Defence and to consider what changes may be necessary to take into account developments in the political, social and economic fields.

The first day was devoted to short ten-minute addresses by each delegate.

These presentations concentrated mainly on the future of higher education in defence and security in an environment of change.”

Policy Guidance for the NATO Defense College (MC 0123/10)

Under the chairmanship of the NDC Commandant, the College organizes the annual Conference of National Defence Institute Commandants (Conference of Commandants), which brings together the Commandants of NATO’s national senior defence institutions to exchange information and ideas in the field of higher defence education. The Conference of Commandants may be expanded to include similar institutions from Partner Nations, NNEs, private companies, universities, think tanks, and other academic bodies.

Normally held in spring, the Conference of Commandants provides a forum to foster the exchange of information and ideas between authorities that share similar responsibilities in the field of higher defence education. In particular, it assists in improving the academic programme and educational methods while fostering mutual understanding and awareness and identifying areas in which Defence Colleges can provide assistance or support to each other.