General Karl-Heinz Lather

Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe General Lather was born in Kehna near Marburg/Lahn in 1948. He was drawn into the Bundeswehr in 1967 and began training as an Artillery Officer in 1968. He joined the 4th Battery, Armoured Artillery Battalion 135 at Wetzlar in 1970. He served as an instructor at the Artillery School, Idar Oberstein before commanding 3rd Battery, Field Artillery Battalion 21 in Schwalmstadt. In 1978 he attended the General Staff Course, Bundeswehr Command and Staff College prior to assignment as Assistant Branch Chief, Operations and Exercises, Armed Forces Staff, Federal Ministry of Defence. In 1982 he attended the British Army Staff College in Camberley.   Gen Lather joined the Armour Demonstration Brigade as the G3 in 1984, before returning to command Field Artillery Battalion 21 in 1986. After command, Gen Lather served as the G1 for the 2nd Mechanised Infantry Division in Kassel. In 1989 he returned to the Federal Ministry of Defence, this time to the Personnel Directorate where he served initially as Assistant Branch Chief then as Branch Chief from 1991. In 1993 he took command of Armoured Brigade 42 and Military Region 84 in Potsdam. In 1995 he once more returned to the Ministry of Defence, this time as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff of Armed Forces Staff, Military Policy and Operations. In 1998, Gen Lather assumed command of the 10th Armoured Division and Headquarters, Military District V at Sigmaringen/Baden-Württemberg. During this time he deployed with SFOR as Chief of Staff.   Gen Lather took command of II (GE/US) Corps in Ulm in March 2001. On promotion to LTG he served briefly as Deputy Commander GARFCOM before his appointment as Deputy Commander JSRC, subsequently Allied Land Component Command Heidelberg, in June 2004. He assumed Command of CC- Land Heidelberg in April 2007, where he served until September 2007. He assumed the position of Chief of Staff SHAPE on 13 September 2007, in the rank of General.   Gen Lather`s awards include the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bundeswehr Gold Cross of Honour, Legion of Merit (USA), Order of Merit (1st Class) of the Czech Armed Forces, NATO Medal of Service and the SFOR Medal.   Gen Lather is married to Inge and they have two adult children.

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