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Major General

Gaetano ZAUNER




Major General Gaetano ZAUNER was born in Palermo on March 17th, 1962. In 1981, after achieving a high school diploma at the “Marie Curie” Scientific Institute, he attended the 163rd Military Academy Course in Modena. He continued his studies at the Junior Army Officer School in TURIN, and was commissioned 1st Lieutenant of the Infantry Branch. He attended both the 120th Staff Officer Course (1997), the 4th Advanced Joint Staff Officer Course (1998) and the US Army War College (2006).

From 7th July 2011 to 29th September 2013 he served as the 56th Commander of the 132nd “Ariete” Armoured Brigade.

On 30th September 2013, BG Zauner he was appointed Deputy Chief, General and Financial Planning Division of the Army General Staff.

On 21st May 2015 he was appointed Chief Army Transformation Department of the Army General Staff whilst maintaining the assignments of Deputy Chief General and Financial Planning Division.  

On 4th August  2015, he took office as Chief General and Financial Planning Division.

On 7th September 2016 he is appointed as Chief of Staff of the Italian Joint Operations Headquarters.



  • Infantry Platoon leader and COY Commander at the 78th "Lupi di Toscana" Bn in Florence;
  • Cadets Platoon leader at the Military Academy in Modena;
  • COY Commander at the 2nd Grenadier "Cengio" Bn in Rome;
  • Commanding Officer of the 1st battalion of the 152nd "Sassari" Infantry Regiment in SASSARI;
  • Commander of the 62nd "Sicilia" Infantry Regiment in Catania;
  • Commander of the 132nd "Ariete" Armoured Brigade in PORDENONE.



  • Operations and Training Staff Officer at the Central Military Regional HQs in Rome;
  • Section Chief at the Army General Staff Planning Office;
  • Section Chief of the Army’s Deputy General Chief of Staff Office;
  • Deputy Chief General and Financial Planning Division and Army Transformation Department (IAGS);
  • Chief General and Financial Planning Division (IAGS).



  • Operation Joint Guardian (Kosovo) 2000 – Infantry Battalion Commander;
  • Operation Essential Harvest (Macedonia) 2001 - Infantry Battalion Commander;
  • Operation Althea (Bosnia) 2007 – National Contingent Commander;
  • Operation UNIFIL (Lebanon) 2012 – Joint Task Force “Lebanon” – Sector West Commander.


      • Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic;
      • Knight of the National Order of the Cedar (issued by the President of the Republic of Lebanon);
      • Knight of the Constantinian Order of St. George;
      • Cross with Swords pro Merito Melitensi;
      • Medal “Mauriziana” for merit for long military duty service;
      • Bronze Cross for Army Merit;
      • Silver Cross for Army Merit;
      • Golden Cross for Long Service;
      • Commemorative Cross for peacekeeping missions;
      • Gold Medal for Long Service in Commanding duties;
      • Slovenian Army Medal for Multinational Cooperation;
      • NATO Medal for Operation Joint Guardian;
      • NATO Medal for Operation Essential Harvest;
      • EU Medal for Operation Althea;
      • UN Peacekeeping Medal for Operation Unifil.


      • Bachelor and 2nd level Master in Strategic Sciences at the University of Turin;
      • Master in Peacekeeping and Security Studies at the Roma 3 University;
      • Master in "Strategic Studies" at the US Army War College in Carlisle (PA - USA);