Brigadier General László Szabó
Chief of Staff European Union Force
Brigadier General László Szabó was born on 21 August 1963 in Mátészalka, Hungary. He assumed the position of the Hungarian Defence Forces Military Augmentation, Preparation and Training Command, as an Deputy Commander (responsible for reserve forces, recruting, military administration and physical training). He was a Special Advisor to the Chief of Defence (for training and education) between 01 AUG 2016 and 01 AUG 2017. His military carreer started in 1981 when he entered the Lajos KOSSUTH Military Academy, Armour Officer School, in Szentendre. After graduation he became the Commanding Officer of the Hungarian People’s Army Mechanized Infantry Regiment No. 3335, Armour Battalion, 1st. Armour Company in Nagyatád, Hungary. During the next 2,5 years he served at the Mechanized Infantry Brigade No. 4730 in Nagykanizsa. He started as the Commanding Officer in the 2nd Armor Battalion’s 1st Armour Company, then became the acting Commanding Officer of the Battalion and finally he was appointed the Chief of Staff of the Battalion. In September 1989 General Szabó assumed the position of the Commanding Officer of the 1st Armour Battalion in the 14th György THURY Mechanized Infantry Brigade in Nagykanizsa.
Meanwhile, he started the Joint Forces Staff Officer Course and the Land Forces Course at the Miklós ZRINYI Military War College in Budapest, which he completed respectively in 1993 and 1995. In 1995 General Szabó was appointed the Head of the Welfare Branch at the 87th Bakony Combat Helicopter Regiment in Szentkirályszabadja. In 1996 he moved to Székesfehérvár, where he became a Project Officer in the 4th Mechanized Corps, G3 Directorate, Project and Account Sub-Division and afterwards a Senior Plans Officer in the Joint Staff of Land Forces, Command and Control Directorate, General Management Branch. In 1999 he started 42nd Land Forces High Command and General Staff Course at the Command Academy in Hamburg, Germany. He completed it in 2001.
Between 2001 and 2006 Brigadier General Szabó served on various positions in the Land Forces Command, among others, as the Head of Operations and Training Division (G3/7) and Chief Advisor to DCOM (LAND) of COM JFC. During this time he completed the NATO Crisis Management Course in Oberammergau, Germany and two NATO Operational Planning Courses (Operational Planning Process Training) in Verona, Italy. In 2007 General Szabó assumed the position of the Chief Advisor to DCOM (LAND) of COM JFC in the Hungarian Defence Forces Joint Forces Command in Székesfehérvár. Three years later he became the Deputy Head of Operations and Training Department (J3/7) in the Ministry of Defence. Between 2010 and 2013 he served in the Hungarian Defence Forces General Staff, first on the position of the Acting Head of Operations Directorate (J3) and finally as the Head of Training Directorate (J7).
Brigadier Genral Szabó gained his international exeprience during three missions in Afghanistan and an a NATO assignement as a Joint Force Training Centre Deputy Commander/Chief of Staff between 1July 2013 and 31 July 2016. In 2007 he was the Commander of the 2nd Hungarian Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan, Baghlan Province, Pol-e Khomri city. Two years later he returned to Pol-e Khomri to assume the Command of the 7th Hungarian Provintial Reconstruction Team (2009). In 2011 he was appointed the Chief of Staff of the ISAF Regional Command North in Mazar-e Sharif.
For his dedicated service he was awarded with numerous medals including: the Bronze Medal For the Country Service (1988), Silver Service Medal (2003) and Golden (2006), three NATO Non-Article 5 Medals (2007, 2010, 2012), three Hungarian Peacekeeping Medals (2007, 2010, 2012), Golden Service Medal with Laurels (2010) and three Officer Service Medal (1994, 2002 and 2011), Golden Medal of the Polish Armed Forces (2016) and OFFICER of the CISM Order of Merrit (2018).
Brigadier General Szabó’s hobbys are: reading, military history and horseback riding. Brigadier General Szabó is married to Irén. They have two children, a son László and a daughter Eszter.