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Admiral Alain Coldefy, GOLH, CONM, OMM, CVM, CC


© PHOTOGRAPH of New Westminster College - Admiral Alain Coldefy, GOLH, CONM, OMM, CVM - Distinguished Fellow of New Westminster College - http://newwestminstercollege.ca


Admiral Alain Coldefy is a retired four-star Admiral of the French Navy and a Distinguished Fellow of New Westminster College. He is a graduate of the French Naval Academy and the Naval War College.

Admiral Coldefy has a distinguished record of ethical leadership and retired from the U.S. Navy in October, 2012 after serving as Advisor to the Minister of Defence and Inspector General of the Armed Forces of France.

Admiral Coldefy entered the French Naval Academy in 1965. Following graduation, he served mostly overseas and later served as a Squad Captain and Navigation Instructor at the French Naval Academy. In 1979, he assumed command of the Patrol Craft La Paimpolaise, home-ported in Tahiti. Upon graduation from the Naval War College in 1982, he joined the Navy Staff, and subsequently, the Mediterranean Fleet as the officer responsible for air defense. In August 1987, he takes command of AA Destroyer DDG Du Chayla, which participated in Operation Prometheus led by the Indian Ocean air and sea forces during the Iran-Iraq conflict. He subsequently served on the staff of the Director of Naval Personnel as a detailer.

In 1992, Admiral Coldefy assumed command of the aircraft carrier Clemenceau, which between January and June 1993, and took part in national and combined air and sea operations in the Adriatic, including NATO/WEU missions Deny Flight and Sharp Guard, during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. He then attends the Defense College and the Institute for Advanced Defense Studies, and in July 1994, he joined the Minister of Defense Staff as a Senior Naval Advisor.

On November 1, 1996, Admiral Coldefy was promoted to flag rank and was assigned as Chief of the Internationals Relations Division to the Joint Staff. In September 1998, he assumed the duties of Deputy Commander of Naval Action Force (Carrier Group Commander), and in 1999, he served as the FR/UK Naval Task Force Commander aboard CV Foch deployed in the Adriatic and thus carries out the surface, submarine (SSN) and air operations during Operation Allied Force.

On January 1, 2000, Admiral Coldefy was promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral and was selected to serve as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Logistics and Naval Aviation at the Navy Headquarters, and later on July 1, 2000, he was then selected to serve as Deputy, Chief of Joint Staff, Director for International Affairs.

Admiral Coldefy was appointed on September 1, 2002 as Major Général des Armées (Vice Chief of Defense – Admiral) and later served as the co-chairman of the German-French Military Cooperation Committee. On July 15, 2005, he served as Inspecteur Général des Armées” (General Inspector for the Armed Forces). Admiral Coldefy retired on September 1, 2006 and since has been appointed as Vice President of Political Affairs for France at the EADS Company.

Admiral Coldefy’s memberships include:

  • Distinguished Fellow, Fellows of New Westminster College
  • Chairman, Alumni Association of Prytanée Militaire (Founded in 1604 – Oldest Military College in France)
  • Chairman, National Defence Review
  • Vice Chairman, Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique
  • Vice Chaiman, Centre d’Etudes Prospectives et Stratégiques
  • Perpetual Member, Academie de Marine (Founded in 1752)
  • Treasurer, GICAN (Trade body for French Naval Industry)
  • Research Director, IRIS

Admiral Coldefy’s honours, awards and decorations include:

  • Distinguished Fellow, New Westminster College
  • Grand Officier,  Légion d’Honneur
  • Commandeur, Ordre National du Mérite
  • Officier du Mérite Maritime
  • Croix de la Valeur Militaire” with two citations
  • Croix du Combattant
  • Médaille d’Outre-mer
  • Médaille commémorative des Opérations en ex-Yougoslavie
  • Commander’s Cross of Merit, Federal Republic of Germany
  • Insigne d’Or, Republic of Austria

As a Distinguished Fellow of New Westminster College, Admiral Alain Coldefy is dedicated to supporting the highest standards of academic excellence and is committed to the advancement of New Westminster College and its Global Network of Fellows.


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  1. […] Admiral Alain Coldefy, GOLH, CONM, OMM, CVM, CC – French Navy (Retired) […]


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