Eurodefense Network


Date of creation : 1995

Founding President : Armand De Decker 

President : Admiral Willy Herteleer 

Vice President : Admiral Jacques Rosiers 

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The President

Admiral Willy HERTELEER was born in Assenede near Ghent on 1 October 1941. 

He joined the Brussels Royal Cadet School in 1957 and the Merchant Navy Academy in 1960, with commission in the Belgian Navy following in 1962. 

From 1963 to 1968, Ensign W. Herteleer served on several mine-sweepers and on the supply/command ship Godetia. He specialised in mine warfare in 1969/1970 and subsequently served as Mine Countermeasures Staff Officer in the Belgian Navy’s Operational Command from 1970 to 1972. 

Lieutenant W. Herteleer attended the Belgian Staff College in Brussels and the Ecole Supérieure de Guerre Navale in Paris, between 1972 and 1974. In 1975, he commanded a Coastal Minesweeper and in 1978 an Ocean Minesweeper/Hunter each time in the Standing Naval Force Channel. 

In between he was instructor in the Belgian-Dutch Mine Warfare School in Ostend. From 1979 through 1982 Lieutenant Commander W. Herteleer worked under an appointment to the Planning Section of the Belgian Naval Staff and was member of NATO’s Naval Board of the Military Agency of Standardisation. 

For the next two years 1984 and 1985, he was first second in Command and then the Commanding Officer of the frigate Westdiep. In the first half of 1986 he is assistant Chief of Staff Operations in the Naval Operations Command and through September 1987, Chief of Staff of the same Command. During this period, he was involved in the Herald of Free Enterprise rescue operations and in the start of the operations of the first Gulf war. 

Captain W. Herteleer commanded the Belgian-Dutch Mine Warfare School in Ostend from September 1987 to June 1989.During that time, he introduced the Mine countermeasures operational sea-training and the new mine warfare simulator specifications. In late 1989 he served in the Belgian Naval Staff in Brussels on its audit team and in the first half of 1990 as Staff Officer responsible for the operations. 

He is appointed Commander Naval Operations, in June 1990. As such he is responsible for the Belgian ships in the second Gulf war to free Kuwait in 1990 and 1991. 

He was promoted Rear- Admiral in March 1992. In September 1992, he joined the General Staff Headquarters in Brussels, with his appointment as Chief of Naval Staff on 1 January 1993. 

Promoted to Vice Admiral, he was appointed Chief of the General Staff on the 1 st October 1995, which is renamed into Chief of Defence on the 1 st January 2002 with his promotion to Admiral on the 14 th January of the same year. In these functions he is responsible, for Belgium, for operations in East- Slavonia (UNPROFOR and UNTAES), in Bosnia (UNPROFOR, IFOR, SFOR), in Kosovo (AIR CAMPAIGN, SFOR) and in Central Africa (1996/1997 and 2001). 

On the 11 th October 1999, he was promoted Aide to the King Admiral W. Herteleer retired on January 1rst 2003 due to legal age limitation regulations. Since then, he has been involved with Allied Command Transformation as Senior Concept Developer for Consensus Decision Coherence and other relevant issues and this until 2011. 

Beginning in 2005, he became President of the Royal Work IBIS, a home and maritime school for 100 young boys ranging in age from 6 to 16 years who come from very difficult social environments. Since 2008 he is involved as President in EURODEFENSE-BELGIUM, part of an international organization of now 13 European Nations promoting the European Security and Defence concepts. Admiral W. Herteleer is a widower; he has four children, twelve grandchildren, eight great- grandchildren and lives in Ostend, Belgium.

The Vice President

Amiral de division Jacques ROSIERS, Ir (Belgian Navy), born in Arlon on May 30 th , 1949, is now a retired Flag Officer since December 2009, as Honorary Aide to the King, the former assistant chief of Staff for Strategic Affairs (ACOS Strategy) at the Belgian Defence Staff, from 2003 onwards, as well as the Belgian National Armaments Director (NAD) from 2005.

He graduated in 1971 as Mechanical (civil) Engineer from the Royal Military Academy in Brussels and was subsequently trained as an “Officer of the Deck” (1972). During his naval officer’s career (1972-1991), educated first as a mine-warfare officer, later as a gunnery-missile officer, he held numerous operational & commanding positions on board all types of vessels of the Belgian Navy (Mine-Sweepers, Mine-Hunters and Frigates), both in the Belgian and NATO Naval Forces (i.e. the Standing Naval Force Channel & the Standing Naval Force Atlantic). His cumulated sea duty tour is more than 10 years at sea. During his shore based tours as a naval officer, he held staff and commanding positions in Brussels, Zeebrugge and Den Helder, mainly as system engineer, in education and training matters, in weapon systems management, and in operational matters, in particular as deputy chief of the Naval Staff in Brussels. 

In 1989–1990, he passed the Command & Staff Course in Canada – Toronto (Course 16) and subsequently in 1990–1991 in Belgium – Brussels (Course 105). During his naval career, he was further educated in Belgium (1972 & 1974), the Netherlands (1976), France (1975-1976 & 1977), the USA (1977), the United Kingdom (1978), and in 1996–1997 at the NATO Defense College in Italy – Rome (Senior Course 89). 

In 1998 he was promoted to Flag officer and became the chief of the Belgian Naval Operations and Training Command (COMOPSNAV), as well as the deputy Admiral Benelux (DABNL), the Belgian National Headquarters (HQs) being transformed in 1999 into the Belgian Maritime (Component) Command. 

From 2001 to 2003, Admiral ROSIERS served as the assistant chief of Staff for Plans and Policy (ACOS P&P) at the NATO Regional HQs East Atlantic / HQs Allied Naval Forces North, Northwood, UK. 

Promoted to Amiral de division at the end of 2002, he joined the Belgian Defence Staff in 2003, soon becoming the Defence Policy Director for NATO & the EU, and later in 2005, the assistant chief of Staff for Strategic Affairs as well as the National Armaments Director (NAD) and Belgian member of the Board of Supervisors of OCCAR . 

For more than 10 years, during his Staff career, he also held special positions in the Belgian Royal Household, as Equerry to King Baudouin (1985 – 1989), as Private Advisor to Crown Prince Philippe (1992 -1996) and as Aide to King Albert II (2006 – 2009. 

He holds numerous foreign and Belgian honorary distinctions, including those of Commander in the Order of Leopold (1989), Grand Officer in the Order of Leopold II (2008) and “Zeeman van het jaar” (1993).  He is married with Anne VANDER AUWERA (1971), has 3 children and 6 grandchildren. 

Since he is retired, he is a voluntary member of numerous Boards, as Senior Fellow at the Belgian Royal Higher Institute for Defence (Brussels), as member of the Editorial Board of the “Revue militaire belge”, as president of the Euro-Atlantic Association of Belgium and vice-president of Euro-Defence Belgium, as president of the Belgian National War Veterans’, War & Political Prisoners’ and Patriotic Movements’ Association – SERVIO, as vice-president of the Order of Leopold Society, as Board member of the Royal Belgian Marine Society and different Alumni Boards of the Royal Military Academy. 

Hobbies are travelling, reading (policy, history, societal evolution), conferences, writing and coaching.