The Ministry of the Armed Forces (French: Ministère des Armées) is the French department in charge of managing the French Armed Forces inside and outside French soil. France is an active member of NATO.

From 1947 until 2017, the Ministry was designated the Ministry of Defense (French: Ministère de la Défense).


Minister of the Armies

The head of the department is the Minister of the Armed Forces. The current Minister is Florence Parly. Currently, she reports directly to the President of the Republic, the Commander-in-Chief of the French Armed Forces.

Her mission is to organize and manage the country Defense Policy in liaison with other departments. She is also in charge of mobilizing troops and managing the military infrastructure. She is responsible of the French Armed forces security to the Parliament.[2]

Chief of Defence Staff

The Chief of the Defence Staff (CEMA) reports directly to the Minister. He is in charge of conducting operations, troops training, troops inspection, Programming the forces future, gathering and analyzing Intelligence, He is also in charge of maintaining relationships with other countries.
The position of Chief of the Defence Staff was held by French Army General Pierre de Villiers until July 19, 2017, when he handed his resignation without an official reason. However sources suggest that this was done as a protest against the announsed defence budget cuts in contradiction to previous assurances for increased defence spendings.[3] French Army General François Lecointre took over as Chief of the Defence Staff on the following day.[4]


The General Secretary for Administration is in charge of the general administration of the Department. He assists the Minister for:

  • Elaborating Budget
  • Legal advice
  • Human resources policy
  • House resources
  • Social Management

The position is held by Jean-Paul Bodin.[5]


The Direction Générale de l'Armement is the Research and development service of the Department. It is in charge of furnishing equipment to all branches of the Armed Forces and creating the future equipment of the armies. The service manages more than 80 projects and commanded more than 7.5 billions of euros to the national Industry in 2011.


The headquarters of the Ministry of Defence is located at the Hotel de Brienne, in the 14th Arrondissement of Paris but all services have been moved to a new headquarters.

On 5 November 2015, French president François Hollande inaugurated The new French Defence Ministry headquarters at Balard Site, nicknamed Hexagone Balard or "Balardgon" in reference to its American counterpart The Pentagon.

Hexagone Balard concentrates all componments of the French armed forces, and houses the Chief of staff of the Army, Chief of staff of the Navy, Chief of staff of the Air Force, the Direction générale de l'armement, the General secretary for the administration and the Chief of the Defence Staff, as well as the office of the French minister of Defence himself. It is a 250 000 square metres (2690978 Sq Ft) building on a 39.5 acre (16.5 hectars) ground.

Hexagone Balard is the most secured building in continental Europe.[citation needed] Its nickname "Hexagon" stems both from a reference to The Pentagon, but also from the shape of the central plaza of the building.[citation needed]

See also



  1. ^ "Key defence figures 2014" (PDF) (in French). Defense.gouv.fr. Archived from the original on 2014-12-13.  ()
  2. ^ "Le rôle du ministère de la défense" (in French). Ministère de la Défense. 2014-02-24. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Head of French armed forces quits after clashing with Macron". The Independent. 2017-07-19. Retrieved 2018-01-22. 
  4. ^ "Macron names François Lecointre new armed forces chief - France 24". France 24. 2017-07-19. Retrieved 2018-01-22. 
  5. ^ "Ses missions" (in French). Ministère de la Défense. 2014-04-04. Retrieved 27 September 2014.