The transfer of power coincided with a ceremony on Monday at SHAPE, the command center for NATO military forces in Hainaut. Cavoli is primarily responsible for planning and executing all NATO operations.
The ‘Supreme Allied Commander Europe’ (SACEUR) traditionally appoints an American as Secretary-General of the Treaty Organization for Europe. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg plays a role amid US Army General Cavoli’s “return of brutal conflict to Europe”. He mentioned the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
During a summit in Madrid last week, the coalition decided to bolster its military presence in the east and put significantly more troops — 300,000 — on high alert. That new ‘force model’ should be implemented in the coming months.
The general was born in Würzburg, Germany in 1964 to an Italian-American family. He joined the US Army in 1987 and served in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq and Afghanistan. He also holds a master’s degree in East European Studies from Yale. He is also the commander of US forces in Europe and speaks French, Italian and Russian.
Stoltenberg praised US Air Force General Wolters, who has been in office since 2019. “You are the right leader, in the right place, at the right time,” he said. Stoltenberg also presented him with a medal.
Cavoli was the twentieth SACEUR. The first person to hold this position was American General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who became the 34th President of the United States.