The Advisory Council on Leadership Development and Civic Education

The Advisory Council on Leadership Development and Civic Education was established in 1958 by the then Federal Minister of Defence Franz Josef Strauss. The Advisory Council is an independent advisory body that advises the Federal Minister of Defence in matters of leadership development and civic education through expert opinions and recommendations.

Kramp-Karrenbauer im Gespräch mit Sitzungsteilnehmern
Bundeswehr/Uwe Grauwinkel

The Advisory Council on Leadership Development and Civic Education comprises public figures, particularly from the fields of politics, business, academics and education, as well as from churches, trade unions, associations and the media. This council is thus a mirror of the leading forces in German society. As a body of independent expert advisors from the armed forces’ civil environment, the Advisory Council on Leadership Development and Civic Education plays an important role in promoting dialogue with groups that help shape public opinions in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Support with a constructive and critical attitude

Since its establishment in 1958, the Advisory Council has advised the various Federal Ministers of Defence and has monitored the development of the armed forces in a constructive and critical manner. It has helped shaped the character of the Bundeswehr through its criticism and praise and has become an essential link between soldiers and society. The Advisory Council is therefore a living expression of the continued integration of the German armed forces into the state.

For political and military leaders

The Advisory Council on Leadership Development and Civic Education meets several times a year, deliberates and adopts recommendations, which have usually been developed in task groups, based on majority rule. It is in these task groups that the actual work of the Advisory Council is carried out. Their statements and recommendations are taken into account in planning procedures and actions taken by political and military leaders.

Ein Wappen mit Bundesadler und Aufschrift „Beirat Innere Führung“

The Advisory Council on Leadership Development and Civic Education: an independent personal advisory body that advises the Federal Minister of Defence in matters of leadership development and civic education.

Bundeswehr/Andrea Bienert

Current developments in state and society

The selection of topics is determined by current developments in state and society and their impact on the armed forces. The success of the Advisory Council on Leadership Development and Civic Education’s efforts is based on the personal and professional experience of its members – particularly in the fields of leadership and education – as well as insights gained through troop visits and ongoing cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Defence.

No requirements or instructions

The members and their work are characterised by personal expertise and social responsibility. Their work is not subject to any requirements or instructions. Accordingly, the Advisory Council on Leadership Development and Civic Education is not a body for enforcing the interests of individuals or groups, but rather represents commitments for the whole of society.

To the benefit of soldiers

In addition, the Advisory Council effectively backs soldiers’ interests in all areas of society in which its members are involved. This also benefits the military personnel themselves as citizens in uniform.

Members of the current Advisory Council on Leadership Development and Civic Education

  • Klaus Beck (former Secretary of the National Executive Board, German Trade Union Confederation (DGB))
  • Rolf Clement (journalist, Editor in Chief of Europäische Sicherheit und Technik [“European security and technology”])
  • Nicole Deitelhoff (Executive Director of the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt – Member of the Leibniz Association)
  • Lieutenant General (retd) Rainer L. Glatz (Research Division International Security, Senior Distinguished Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP); former Commander, Bundeswehr Joint Forces Operations Command)
  • Astrid Irrgang (Deputy Executive Director, ZIF )
  • Katrin Jahnel (wife of an officer)
  • Gerd Landsberg (Secretary General, German Association of Towns and Municipalities (DStGB))
  • Stefan Mair (Member of the Executive Board of the Federation of German Industries (BDI))
  • Tanja Menz (mother of a soldier killed in action)
  • Bernhard Muszynski (Professor of Sociology of Politics, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences of the University of Potsdam)
  • Winfried Nachtwei (teacher, former Member of the German Bundestag)
  • Klaus Naumann (historian)
  • Ulrich Silberbach (Chairman of the German Civil Service Federation (dbb ))
  • Werner Sonne (journalist)
  • Constanze Stelzenmüller (journalist, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution)
  • Hans-Christian Witthauer (Director of Activation Staff at the Central Office for Information Technology in the Security Sector (ZITiS))
  • Lieutenant Colonel André Wüstner (Chairman of the German Bundeswehr Association (DBwV))
  • Oliver Zander (attorney and Director General of the Federation of German Employers’ Associations in the Metal and Electrical Engineering Industries (Gesamtmetall))

Permanent guests

  • Vicar General for the Armed Forces Monsignor Reinhold Bartmann (Head of the Catholic Military Episcopal Office)
  • Lieutenant Colonel Tobias Brösdorf (speaker for the General Spokespersons’ Committee for the Federal Ministry of Defence)
  • Mark Dainow (Vice-President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany)
  • Chief of the Protestant Military Chaplains Matthias Heimer (Head of the Office of the Protestant Church for the Bundeswehr)
  • Captain, Senior Grade Martin Vogelsang (representative of the Central Staff Council)
  • Major General Reinhardt Zudrop (Commander of the Leadership Development and Civic Education Centre)