In his capacity as Minister of Defence, Boris Pistorius is a member of the German government. Additionally, the Minister of Defence is the highest-ranking superior of all soldiers as well as the commander in chief of the armed forces in peacetime. He is the head of the Bundeswehr administration and thus also responsible for the entire civilian staff of the Bundeswehr and the ministry.
Superior of all soldiers and cabinet member
In his role as Minister of Defence, Boris Pistorius exercises several important functions at the same time. Not only is he a member of the federal government's cabinet, he is also the highest‑ranking superior of all soldiers as well as the commander in chief of the armed forces in peacetime.
The minister can thus make decisions on all issues concerning the armed forces. This includes the deployment of combat units, the introduction of new weapon systems or the closure of garrisons. It is only upon the promulgation of a state of defence that the power of command over the armed forces passes to the Federal Chancellor.
Together with two Parliamentary State Secretaries and two Permanent State Secretaries, he is part of the Executive Group of the Federal Ministry of Defence.
The security environment is subject to constant change; the White Paper of the Bundeswehr takes this into account on a regular basis. The White Paper provides the minister with a framework for defence policy.