General Mikhail Kostarakos

Chief of Hellenic National Defence General Staff (HNDGS)

General Mikhail Kostarakos is the Chief, Hellenic National Defence General Staff (HNDGS) effective 01 Nov 2011. He was born in Thessaloniki in February 1956. He graduated from the Experimental School of the University of Thessaloniki. He was admitted to the Hellenic Military Academy (Evelpidon) in 1974, graduated in 1978 and was commissioned as Second  Lieutenant in the Artillery.

He has successfully graduated from:

  • All Basic and Advanced Field Artillery training courses and the Joint Air Defence course,
  • The “HAWK” missile air defence system courses in Greece and in the USA (Fort Bliss, Texas),
  • The “HAWK” system course in the NATO Programming Centre (NPC,Glons, Belgium),
  • The Hellenic Army War College,
  • The first NATO Operations Planning course at the Netherlands Defence Academy,
  • Changing Security Environment Course at the NATO Defense College,
  • The Hellenic National Defence College.

As junior and field Officer, he has served as:

  • Heavy Self Propelled Artillery and “HAWK” Missile Battery Commander,“HAWK” Missile Battalion Operations Officer,
  • Field Artillery Battalion Deputy Commander,
  • Field Artillery Battalion Commander,
  • ADA “HAWK” Missile Battalion Commander,
  • Staff Officer in Artillery Command,
  • Staff Officer in the Intelligence Division of NATO International Military Staff (IMS/NATO),
  • Staff Officer in the Intelligence Division of HNDGS,
  • Military Assistant (MA) to the Chief, Hellenic Army General Staff (HAGS),
  • Section Chief, Current OPS for the Balkans in IMS/NATO,
  • Director of Staff, NATO Deployable Corps Greece,
  • Director, KFOR Joint Operation Centre.

As general Officer, his main duties were:

  • Deputy Chief of Staff, Hellenic C’ Army Corps/NDC-GR,Commander, 96 Brigade level Command “CHIOS”,
  • Director, 3rd Staff Office (Current Operations), HAGS,
  • Director, Operations Division, HAGS,
  • Commanding General, XII Mechanised Infantry Division “EVROS”,
  • Commanding General, C’ Army Corps “ALEXANDER THE GREAT”,
  • Commanding General, NATO Deployable Corps Greece,
  • Chief, Hellenic National Defence General Staff (HNDGS).

The  EU Foreign Affairs Council, based on the proposal of the EU Military Committee at the CHODs level, appointed him as the next Chairman of the Military Committee. He will take over his duties on 06 November 2015.

He has been awarded military medals and distinctions, as described below.

He holds a Political Science degree from the Law Faculty of the University of Athens and an MsC in “Diplomatic and Strategic Studies”.

He speaks both English and French.

General Mikhail Kostarakos is married to Ms Katerina Sgourou and the couple has two daughters.

Ranks – Promotions:

Admitted to Evelpidon Military Academy: 1974
2nd Lieutenant: 1978
Lieutenant: 1981
Captain: 1985
Major: 1990
Lt Colonel: 1995
Colonel : 2002
Brigadier General: 2006
Major General: 2009
Lt General: 2011
General: 2011


Medals – Awards (Decoration):

Grand Cross of the Order of Phoenix
Commanders High Cross of the Order of Honour
Medal of Military Merit A’ Class
Chief of General Staff Commendation Medal
Commendation Medal Star of Merit and Honour
Commendation Cross of Merit and Honour A’ Class
Force Formation Command Medal A’ Class
Force Meritorious Command Medal A’ Class
Staff Officer Service Commendation Medal A’ Class
Commendation Medal for Participation in Peacekeeping Missions
NATO Non-Article 5 medal for the Balkans
Military Cooperation Medal (Armenia)