General (Ret.) Rainer Schuwirth ended his duties as a soldier on 30 September 2007. He was born in 1945 and joined the German Federal Armed Forces in 1964. He commanded a missile artillery battery and battalion, Armoured Brigade 8 in Lüneburg and IV (GE) Corps in Potsdam. He served in various national and NATO staff assignments as intelligence and operations officer, as Military Assistant to the German Minister of Defence, as Branch Chief and later as Head of the Military-Politico Division in the Federal Armed Forces Staff, MoD Bonn, and as Defence Advisor in the German Permanent Representation to NATO. From 2001 to 2004 he was the first Director General of the EU Military Staff. His last assignment was Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE).