Brigadier General Gábor Horváth

Brigadier General József Szpisják

Chief of Staff European Union Force

Brigadier General Gábor Horváth was born on 14 November 1963. After primary school he joined the Hungarian People’s Army No.1. Boarding School in Eger. He graduated in 1986 as First Lieutenant at Kossuth Lajos Military College with the specialty of motor rifles, and also acquired the mechanical engineering diploma. His first assignment was as HQ platoon leader at the HPA 44th Tank Regiment in Abasár. At the same garrison, he commanded a motor rifles company, then a motor rifles battalion of the HPA 80th Motor Rifles Brigade. He was promoted to Captain in 1991. He studied at the French Army Staff College in Compiegne, France, then at the Zrínyi Miklós Staff College in Budapest, graduating in 1995. He was retained as a lecturer on tactics and operational art, and in 1996 he became a member of the Hungarian Defence Staff Euro-Atlantic Integration Working Group. He was promoted to Major the same year. In 1998 he successfully graduated the French Joint Defence College in Paris.

In 1999, during the Kosovo crisis and Hungary’s NATO accession he filled the position of Operations Officer and Personal Secretary to the Chief of Defence. In 2000 he was appointed to the Chief of Staff position with the HDF 25th Klapka György Mechanized Infantry Brigade at Tata. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel the same year.

In 2003 he was promoted to Colonel, and was appointed to be the first Deputy Military Representative of Hungary to the EU Military Committee in Brussels. In 2006 he was selected to be the Head of the NATO Permanent Liaison Team to the EU Military Staff, again in Brussels. In both capacities he was closely involved into the politico-military and strategic decision-making process related to ESDP Operation ALTHEA. Returning to Hungary he served as Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of Defence until the end of 2008, when the EU Military Committee selected him to be the next Director for Concepts and Capabilities at the EU Military Staff. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General on 1 Dec 2008, and held the Director position from Jan 2009 till Dec 2011.

On return, he became the first Commandant of the newly established HDF NCO Academy between 2012-14. In 2014 he took over command of the HDF 25th Klapka György Infantry Brigade at Tata. Meanwhile, as senior land force unit commander, he deputized as the Deputy Commander (Land), Chief of the Land Forces at the Joint Forces Command in Székesfehérvár, between May 2016 and Mar 2017. Handing over his brigade command on 1 January 2019, he has been appointed to Director for Training (J7) at the newly established Hungarian Defence Forces Command.

Brigadier General Horváth has studied in France, Italy, Canada, at the ESDP High Level Course and at the NATO Defence College. He speaks English, French and a little Russian. He is Knight of the Order of Merit of Hungary and the French Ordre National du Merit. He also holds the ESDP Medal for Operation ALTHEA, (Staff and Support version).

Brigadier General Horváth is married to Erika, and they have two children. Their son Gábor is a member of the HDF Voluntary Operational Reserve as Lieutenant, and their daughter EnikÅ‘ is Military Officer Cadet at the Military Science and Officer Training Faculty of the National University of Public Service in Budapest.