World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Supreme Allied Commander


Supreme Allied Commander

Navies Armies Air forces
Commissioned officers
Admiral of
the fleet
Marshal or
Field marshal
Marshal of
the air force
Admiral General Air chief marshal
Vice admiral Lieutenant general Air marshal
Rear admiral Major general Air vice-marshal
Commodore Brigadier or
Brigadier general
Air commodore
Captain Colonel Group captain
Commander Lieutenant colonel Wing commander
Major or
Squadron leader
Lieutenant Captain Flight lieutenant
Sub-lieutenant Lieutenant or
First lieutenant
Flying officer
Ensign Second
Pilot officer
Midshipman Officer cadet Officer cadet
Enlisted grades
Warrant officer or
Chief petty officer
Warrant officer or
Sergeant major
Warrant officer
Petty officer Sergeant Sergeant
Leading seaman Corporal Corporal
Seaman Private Aircraftman

Supreme Allied Commander is the title held by the most senior commander within certain multinational military alliances. It originated as a term used by the Western Allies during World War II, and is currently used only within NATO.


  • World War II 1
  • NATO 2
    • History 2.1
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

World War II

Dwight Eisenhower served as Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force (SCAEF) for the Battle of Normandy during World War II. The Allied Mediterranean theatre's Commander-in-Chief, Allied Force; the American Commander-in-Chief South West Pacific; and Commander-in-Chief Pacific Ocean Areas also functioned as de facto supreme commanders. These commanders reported to the Combined Chiefs of Staff, although in the case of the American commanders in the Pacific and SACSEA, the relevant national command authorities of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or the Chiefs of Staff Committee had responsibility for the main conduct of the war in the theatre of operations.

General of the Army Dwight Eisenhower had the highest profile of the supreme commanders. He served successively as the Allied Mediterranean theatre's Commander in Chief, Allied Force and then as European theatre's Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force (SCAEF). Eisenhower was succeeded in the Mediterranean by his former deputy, Field Marshal Henry Maitland Wilson, who was given the title Supreme Allied Commander Mediterranean. Wilson was succeeded by Field Marshal Harold Alexander, who continued in charge of allied forces until the end of the war. The post of Supreme Commander South East Asia Command (SACSEA) was occupied throughout most of its existence by Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten. The post of Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) was held by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. During the Allied occupation of Japan following World War II, MacArthur held the title of Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP).

The term came into use again with the formation of NATO, at which point in 1951, Eisenhower again found himself as Supreme Allied Commander.


The NATO structure is divided into two commands, one for operations and one for transformation. Each has a Supreme Allied Commander as highest-ranking military officer.


Until June 2003, the operational structure of NATO was divided into "Europe" and "Atlantic". Correspondingly the commanders were known as Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT).

The Supreme Commander has always been an American, with a deputy officer from another NATO member, though only British and Germans have held the post. The first SACEUR (1951-1952) was General Dwight Eisenhower. The current (since 2013) Commander is General Philip M. Breedlove (Air Force), who succeeded Admiral James G. Stavridis (Navy). All who have held the position appear on the list of Supreme Allied Commanders Europe.

In June 2003, the SACLANT organisation was decommissioned and Jean-Paul Paloméros of the French Air Force,[1] who succeeded General Stéphane Abrial. Abrial was the first non-American to hold a supreme commander role within NATO. The headquarters of ACT is at the former SACLANT headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, USA.

See also


  1. ^

External links

  • ACO/SHAPE homepage
  • ACT homepage
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.