Admiral Pierre Vandier was born on 26th October 1967 in Toulon. He joined the Ecole Navale in Brest in 1987 and specialised in naval aviation.
Following his initial training deployment Jeanne d’Arc, he was assigned to the escort and patrol vessel Commandant Bory, involved in operations during the First Gulf War in 1991 (operation Artimon and in support of operation Daguet).
From summer 1992, he undertook fighter pilot training in Salon de Provence, Tours then Hyères, subsequently joining the frontline force at Landivisiau on Super-Etendard (Flotille 17F then 11F). He carried out multiple combat missions in Bosnia (1995/1997 – operation Salamander) and in Kosovo (1999 – operation Trident).
Converting to Rafale in 2001, he took command of the Flotille 12F, the first squadron of naval Rafale, from 2002 to 2004. He delivered introduction to service test flying of the new naval fighter and carried out multiple combat missions in Afghanistan during mission Agapante in 2004.
Following training at the Joint Defence College (ICD – 12th session), he served as Deputy Commander of Operations of the aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle” (2005-2007), a period during which the embarked air group’s aircraft were once again used in support of the NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
In summer 2007, he took command of the frigate Surcouf which included operation Thalatine, the rescue of the hostages held onboard the yacht Ponant in the Indian Ocean.
After qualifying in atomic engineering at the beginning of 2009, he became a programme delivery officer in the capability planning division in the Joint Military Staff. He was specifically in charge of the Rafale programme, and the NH90 and Tiger helicopter programmes.
In summer 2011, he became chief of operations for the African zone (J3) at the Joint Military Operations Centre (CPCO). He directed the crisis unit for operation Serval in Mali from January to July 2013.
At the end of July 2013, he took command of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. It was deployed to the Indian Ocean twice, during winter 2013 on the mission Bois-Belleau, and in spring 2015 for mission Arromanches, during which the aircraft carrier supported operation Chammal in Irak.
In January 2017, he became coordinating authority for international relations (ALRI) at the Marine Nationale headquarters and was subsequently promoted to Rear-Admiral on the 1st September 2017. He was then designated deputy commandant for the Mediterranean maritime region, and commanding officer of the naval base in Toulon.
Appointed as Chief of the Military Cabinet of the French Minister of Defence on the 1st September 2018, he was then promoted to Vice-Admiral on 1st January 2020.
Selected to be Chief of the Naval Staff for the Marine Nationale, he will take the rank of Admiral on the 1st September 2020.
Admiral Vandier is an Officer of the French Legion of Honour and of the Maritime Merit. He holds the Cross of War in Foreign Theatres of Operations, the Cross of Military Valour, the Combatant’s Medal, the Aeronautics Medal and the National Defence Gold Medal.
He is a member of the 65th session of the High Military Studies Centre (CHEM) and of the 68th session of the Higher Studies in National Defence Institute (IHEDN).
Admiral Vandier is married and father of six children.