General Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca, picked for Defence Minister (bio)

On October 24, 2019, Prime Minister-designate Ludovic Orban unveiled the composition of his cabinet that he will submit to Parliament for a vote. General Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca was picked for the position of Minister of Defence. Nicolae Ciuca was born on February 7, 1967 in Plenita, Dolj County. He graduated the "Tudor Vladimirescu" High School in Craiova, in 1985, and the Military School of Active Officers "Nicolae Balcescu" in Sibiu, in 1988. After graduating the military school, he was assigned as a platoon leader at the 26th Mechanized Regiment, he was a scout and instruction platoon commander at the 121 Scout Battalion, between 1989 and 1992. In 1990 he followed the Training course for leaders of scout companies. Over 1992-1993 he was chief of staff in operations at the same battalion, according to the http://www.defense.ro Website. He attended the courses of the Academy for Advanced Military Studies, joint armaments specialty, over 1993-1995, and after graduation he was chief of staff in operations and training for combat at the 2nd Mechanized Brigade. Over 1996-1997 he participated in the UNAVEM III mission, in Angola, as a chief of staff. In 1997 he attended the Brigade-type Staff Course. Between 1998 and 2001 he was Chief of Staff of the 26th Infantry Battalion. During this time he graduated the Peace-keeping instructor Course, Ankara (Turkey), in 1999, the PSO Course (peacekeeping operations) and the English language Course in 2000, and in 2001 he graduated the JOINT Course in multinational operations. In 2000 he participated in the multinational exercise "Blue Danube 2000," as Commander of the Ground Component and in the "Dynamic Response" exercise in Kosovo, as Commander of the 26 Infantry Battalion -SACEUR's strategic reserve. Between 2001 and 2004 he was commander of the 26 Infantry Battalion, with which he participated in the Enduring Freedom I mission in Afghanistan (2002-2003) and Antica Babilonia, Iraq (2004). In 2001 he participated in the multinational exercise "Dynamic Response" in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as Commander of the 26 Infantry Battalion - SACEUR's strategic reserve, and in 2003 he was the leader/chief of the ISAF exercise (OCE/EXDIR). In 2003 he obtained a PhD in military science and in 2004 he attended the CIMIC Course in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Hulburt, Florida, USA. Over 2004-2006 he was Chief of Operations at the 2nd Infantry Brigade, and over 2006-2007 he was staff commander at the same brigade. In 2005 he attended the English Language Course - NATO terminology at the York University, and in 2006 he graduated the War College in the USA, ground troops, and he got a MD in Strategic Studies. Over 2007-2009 he was a deputy commander of the 282nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, and over 2009-2011 he was commander of this brigade. In 2010 he participated in the Eurasian Start exercise (NRDC-Turkey), as brigade commander. On October 25 he became a Brigade General and in 2011 he was appointed Commander of the 2nd Infantry Division. In 2012 he graduated the post-academic course in security and national defence 'Security and efficient governing' - National Defence College, Bucharest. On May 9, 2013 he advanced to Major General. For the great results he obtained in his career, he was distinguished with: the National Order of Merit, in the rank of Officer, National Order of Merit, in the rank of Knight, the Honorary Sign in the service of the country, XV, XX, XXV, the UN Medal for the UNAVEM III Mission, the Romanian Army's Emblem of Honor, the Emblem of Honor of the Military Intelligence, the Logistics' Emblem of Honor, the Air Forces' Emblem of Honor, the Military Medicine Emblem of Honor, the Naval Forces' Emblem of Honor, the Communications and Information Technology Emblem of Honor, the Emblem of Honor of the General Staff, according to the http://www/defense.ro Website. On October 15, 2018, Major General Nicolae Ciuca was replaced at the command of the Land Forces Staff by Major General Dumitru Scarlat, while he became on the same day the deputy General Chief of General Staff. Three-star Lieutenant General Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca was appointed Chief of General Staff on January 1, 2015, by a decree signed by President Klaus Iohannis. In July 2019, the Chief of General Staff was distinguished with the National order in Rank of Commander by the French Embassador to Romania, Michele Ramis. The ceremony took place on Tuesday, at the residence of the French Embassy. (RO - author: Mariana Badulescu, editor: Horia Plugaru; EN - author: Cristina Zaharia, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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