Keeping people at the heart of the conflict in charge
After his deployment, January 2015, he took up the position of Head of the Policy Support Division in the Staff of the Royal Netherlands Army. In this capacity he was responsible for advising the commander on force & knowledge development, procurement and international cooperation . As of the summer 2017 he holds the position of Head of the Land Operations Department in the Planning Directorate of the Netherlands Defence Staff.
Colonel Schmidt was born in 1966 in Maastricht, the Netherlands. After graduating in operations and weapon system technology at the Royal Military Academy in 1989, he served in Germany in the Cavalry as troop, (deputy) squadron commander and operations officer. In
1994 he was posted to the G3 of the 1 (NLD) Corps HQ as staff officer responsible for reorganizing the Tank- and Reconnaissance battalions, transforming the conscript units into professional soldier units From 1996 to 1998 he commanded B-Squadron 42 Tank Battalion. During this period he deployed to the Vitez pocket in Bosnia-Herzegovina commanding a mixed company group of infantry, cavalry and royal marines. At the end of 1998 he was posted in the rank of Major at the Royal Military Academy (RMA). Here he subsequently fulfilled the position of Commander of the Training Battalion, teacher at the Faculty of Military Sciences and staff officer Policy & Plans.
After his period at the RMA he attended the Advanced Command and Staff Course in 2002 and 2003 after which he was posted as Head of the Policy & Plans department of the Operations Command of the RNLA. In 2005 he left for Germany to attend the Lehrgang General- und Admiralstab National at the Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr. He graduated in 2007 and on graduation was awarded the “Manfred Wörner Preis” for best international student. On his return to the Netherlands he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and posted at the Netherlands Defense College. From that position he was almost immediately transferred to the core staff of the then Brigade-general de Kruif for his upcoming deployment as commander Regional Command South in Afghanistan. In this Core staff he held the position of Chief J5 Plans & Policy and was responsible for designing the operational campaign. On the 1 st july 2008 he departed for HQ RC(S) and was appointed the position of Chief Plans & Policy RC(S) until February 2009 , first in the staff of the Canadian Commander Major-general Lessard and later under the command of Major-general de Kruif.
On his return to the Netherlands he was posted again to the Netherlands Defence College, first as Director of the Joint Operations department, subsequently as Dean and deputy director. In 2011 Schmidt was appointed Commander of 45 Armoured Infantry battalion and the Regiment Infantry Orange Gelderland. In may 2014, he handed over his command to his successor, was promoted to Colonel and deployed to Afghanistan as special advisor to the Senior Civilian Representative of NATO in Afghanistan.