Senior Dutch army officers are furious about the appointment of Hillie Beentjes, head of the planning and monitoring office of the military police and a civilian, as brigadier general.
The chair of the officers’ union and former army commander Hans Couzy says "We'd like Minister Hillen to tell us what in the world possessed him to make her an officer."
He said he saw no reason to make the woman a soldier: “I don’t think she's likely to be deployed to Afghanistan any time soon."
The unusual appointment has sparked an outcry among senior officers. Mr Couzy said it was unfair to officers who have been pursuing a military career for decades. An ongoing reorganisation of the Dutch armed forces has led to the forced dismissal of 20 colonels.
“The defence ministry apparently believes there are no suitable candidates among the large group of colonels,” Mr Couzy added.
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