The association of civil servants and employees of the Bundeswehr has criticized Defense Minister Boris Pistorius’ plans to restructure his company’s management structure. “This is a militarization of the Ministry of Defence,” said Federal Chairwoman Imke von Bornstaedt-Küpper to the “Tagesspiegel”. She referred to Pistorius creating a new command and planning staff to be headed by Brigadier General Christian Freuding.

The new staff “will filter the content of all templates from the house that go to the minister, the state secretaries or the inspector general of the Bundeswehr,” said von Bornstaedt-Küpper. “We find the power of the new, military-led staff worrying.” Corresponding information was “ignored”, while the SPD minister’s confidence in the military leadership was “apparently boundless”. “With this reform, Boris Pistorius is risking the cohesion of the workforce – the reaction of civilian employees and members of the Bundeswehr is very different.”

The new planning and command staff is the central element of a structural reform intended to ensure more coherence in the Ministry of Defence. There had been criticism of the structures and long decision-making processes in the ministry and subordinate federal authorities because of the slow start to the course correction after the Russian attack on Ukraine.

Pistorius presented the plans at staff meetings on Thursday. “The new staff will ensure that the decision templates for the management level are better prepared. In addition, the staff ensures that the decisions of the management level are brought back to the house and implemented there quickly,” the ministry said.