The Ministry of Defence (Dutch: Ministerie van Landsverdediging, French: Ministère de la Défense, German: Ministerium der Verteidigung), formerly called the Ministry of War and Ministry of National Defence, is the Belgian ministry responsible for national defence and the Belgian military. Belgium's ministry of defence is responsible to the Minister of Defence.

As a result of the Verhofstadt I Government's plans to modernise the federal administration, all other ministries were transformed into Federal Public Services (FPS), but in August 2007 there still was no Royal Order creating the FPS Defence, although that name is already in use on official websites. The Ministry of Defence is responsible to the Minister of Defence.

The Chief of Defence (CHOD) is the highest uniformed official in the Ministry of Defence. The CHOD is assisted in the exercise of his functions by a Vice-Chief of Defence (VCHOD) and a Secretary-General.

The Ministry of Defence is organised into multiple staff departments and directorates-general. The Armed Forces are subordinate to the Assistant Chief of Staff (ACOS) Operations and Training, who heads the Staff Department for Operations and Training. He is assisted by two Deputy Assistant Chiefs of Staff (DACOS), one for Operations and Planning and one for Training and Support.

Another staff department is the Staff Department for Intelligence and Security, which is led by the ACOS Intelligence and Security. This staff department is also known as the General Intelligence and Security Service and is responsible for military intelligence and security.

Ministers of Defence

Year Photo Minister Party
1831 Albert Goblet d'Alviella Liberal
1831 Charles d'Hane de Steenhuyze Liberal
1831 Amédée de Failly [fr] Liberal
1831–1832 Charles de Brouckère Liberal
1832 Félix de Merode Liberal
1832–1836 Louis Evain ?
1836–1840 Jean-Pierre Willmar Liberal
1840–1842 Gérard Buzen Liberal
1842–1843 Henri de Liem [fr] Liberal
1843 Léandre Desmaisières Liberal
1843–1846 Pierre Dupont Liberal
1846 Jules Joseph d'Anethan Catholic
1846–1847 Albert Prisse Catholic
1847–1850 Félix Chazal Liberal
1850–1851 Mathieu Brialmont Liberal
1851–1855 Victor Anoul Liberal
1855–1857 Léonard Greindl ?
1857–1859 Edouard Berten Liberal
1859–1866 Félix Chazal Liberal
1866–1868 Auguste Goethals Liberal
1868–1870 Bruno Renard None (technical expert)
1870–1873 Gustave Henri Louis Guillaume None (technical expert)
1873–1878 Séraphin Thiebault None (technical expert)
1878–1879 Bruno Renard None (technical expert)
1879–1880 Jean-Baptiste Liagre None (technical expert)
1880–1884 Guillaume Gratry None (technical expert)
1884–1893 Charles Pontus None (technical expert)
1893–1896 Jacques Brassine None (technical expert)
1896–1899 Jules Vandenpeereboom Catholic
1899–1907 Alexandre Cousebandt d'Alkemade None (technical expert)
1907–1912 Joseph Hellebaut None (technical expert)
1912 Charles de Broqueville Catholic
1912 Victor Michel None (technical expert)
1912–1917 Charles de Broqueville Catholic
1917–1918 Armand De Ceuninck None (technical expert)
1918–1920 Fulgence Masson Liberal
1920 Paul-Emile Janson Liberal
1920–1923 Albert Devèze Liberal
1923–1925 Pierre Forthomme Liberal
1925 Albert Hellebaut None (technical expert)
1925–1926 Prosper Kestens None (technical expert)
1926 Prosper Poullet Catholic
1926–1931 Charles de Broqueville Catholic
1931–1932 Léon Dens Liberal
1932 Paul Crokaert Catholic
1932 Georges Theunis Catholic
1932–1936 Albert Devèze Liberal
1936–1940 Henri Denis None (technical expert)
1940–1944 Hubert Pierlot Catholic
*1942 Henri Rolin POB-BWP
1944–1945 Fernand Demets Liberal
1945–1946 Léon Mundeleer Liberal
1946–1949 Raoul de Fraiteur None (technical expert)
1949–1950 Albert Devèze Liberal
1950 Henri Moreau de Melen Christian Social Party
1950–1954 Eugène De Greef None (technical expert)
1954–1958 Antoon Spinoy PSB-BSP
1958–1961 Arthur Gilson Christian Social Party
1961–1965 Paul-Willem Segers CVP
1965–1966 Ludovic Moyersoen CVP
1966–1968 Charles Poswick PLP
1968–1972 Paul-Willem Segers CVP
1972–1979 Paul Vanden Boeynants PSC
1979–1980 José Desmarets PSC
1980 Charles Poswick PRL
1980–1981 Frank Swaelen CVP
1981–1985 Alfred Vreven PVV
1985–1988 François-Xavier de Donnéa PRL
1988–1992 Guy Coëme PS
1992–1994 Leo Delcroix CVP
1994–1995 Karel Pinxten CVP
1995 Melchior Wathelet PSC
1995–1999 Jean-Pol Poncelet PSC


No. Portrait Name
Term Political Party Government
Took office Left office Duration
André Flahaut
André Flahaut
(born 1955)
12 July 199921 December 20078 years, 162 daysPSVerhofstadt III
Pieter De Crem
Pieter De Crem
(born 1962)
21 December 200711 October 20146 years, 294 daysCD&VVerhofstadt III
Leterme I
Van Rompuy
Leterme II
Di Rupo
Steven Vandeput
Steven Vandeput
(born 1967)
11 October 201412 November 20184 years, 32 daysN-VAMichel I
Sander Loones
Sander Loones
(born 1979)
12 November 20189 December 201827 daysN-VAMichel I
Didier Reynders
Didier Reynders
(born 1958)
9 December 201830 November 2019356 daysMRMichel II
Wilmès I
Philippe Goffin
Philippe Goffin
(born 1967)
30 November 20191 October 2020306 daysMRWilmès I
Wilmès II
Ludivine Dedonder
Ludivine Dedonder
(born 1977)
1 October 2020Incumbent3 years, 279 days*PSDe Croo

* Incumbent's term duration last updated: 6 July 2024.

See also