General Denis Mercier was invited by the German Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen, to attend the Zapfenstreich ("Grand Tattoo") which is a military ceremony performed in Germany and Austria. The Zapfenstreich is performed only during national celebrations and solemn public commemorations in order to honour distinguished persons. The Zapfenstreich was performed in General Mercier’s honour in Berlin, Monday, August 27th.
General Mercier has been the leader of NATO Allied Command Transformation. Allied Command Transformation is NATO’s warfare development command, ensuring that in a rapidly changing and complex security environment NATO is continuously transforming its military capacity, to ensure the Alliance remains relevant and credible, now and in the foreseeable future. In the 21st Century, military transformation necessitates strong partnerships, federalization, ties with industry and academia and innovation. On transformation, General Mercier says, “We cannot do this without being connected with our community of partners, because no nation or organization has all the capabilities to manage future crises on its own.’’
The cooperation and the development of initiatives with Germany and all others partners is a constant thread, and contribute to maintain the credibility of NATO. Over the past two years, NATO and the European Union have achieved an unprecedented level of cooperation. There are 74 concrete areas of cooperation – including hybrid and cyber, maritime operations, fighting terrorism, exercises and military mobility, and women, peace and security. Military mobility is one area that will become a flagship in cooperation.
General Mercier will complete his service to NATO on September 13th.
After the ceremony, General Denis Mercier delivered the French Defence Medal in Bronze, to two previous ACT staff members, Lieutenant Colonel Bernd Hansen and Command Master Sergeant Markus Maerz.