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Mart de Kruif

Mart de Kruif

Speaker of The Year 2023. Chairman of the Invictus Games 2020, Former Lieutenant General of The Royal Dutch Army. Assemblee Speakers is the official agent for speaking enquiries. Assemblee Speakers is his agent for his lectures.

Safety & Quality, Leadership, Motivatie & Inspiratie, Communications & IT
Business leader | Entrepeneur
Keynote speaker
Languages spoken
English Dutch German
Travels from
The Netherlands


  • 2022
  • Chairman Invictus Games The Hague
  • 2011
  • Highest Commander Land Forces
  • 2008
  • Promotion to major general
  • 1977
  • Start military career


Mart de Kruif was Lieutenant General of The Royal Dutch Army, Chairman of the Invictus Games 2020 and Speaker of The Year 2023.
Mart de Kruif is a most inspirational speaker at events where Leadership or a link to Crisis, Transition, Change, Teambuilding is the theme.

Mart de Kruif was born in Apeldoorn on September 1, 1958. In 1977 he started at the Royal Military Academy in Brede and graduated cum laude in 1981. After graduating, he became a platoon commander in the Garderegiment Grenadiers, where he went through all operational functions up to the position of company commander.

In 1990 he was selected to follow Higher Military Training at the Higher Military School. After this he was promoted to major and placed in the staff of the 41st Brigade, stationed in Seedorf (Germany). After this he also followed the study 'Generalstabslehrgang' at the Führungsakademie of the Bundeswehr in Hamburg. In 2001 he led the 42nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion Limburgse Jagers on a mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina. He then studied as a colonel at the United States Army War College in Carlisle (Pennsylvania, United States) and obtained a Masters in Strategic Studies (MSS).

In 2007 he was promoted to brigadier general and appointed commander of 43 Mechanized Brigade in Havelte. As commander of he sought close cooperation with the German 1st Armored Division stationed in Oldenburg (Germany). On November 1, 2008, he was promoted to Major General. On the same day, he became ISAF Commander for South Afghanistan (Regional Command South), succeeding Canadian Major General Marc Lessard. Under his command, RC South's troops expanded to 45,000. On 1 November 2009, De Kruif was succeeded as commander by British Major General Nick Carter.

In recognition of his efforts as Commander Regional Command South, he was appointed Commander in the Order of Orange-Nassau with the Swords. He also received the Canadian Meritorious Service Medal in the fall of 2011.

From May 2010 to October 2011, De Kruif held the position of Deputy Commander of the Land Forces. On 25 October 2011, De Kruif succeeded Rob Bertholee as Commander of the Land Forces, while simultaneously being promoted to Lieutenant General. He handed over this command to Lieutenant General Leo Beulen on 24 March 2016. De Kruif was awarded the Medal of Honor for Merit in gold by Minister of Defense Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert.

On January 24, 2014, De Kruif was appointed officer in the Legion of Honour. He received this high French award for his commitment to the good relations between the land forces of the Netherlands and France. In July 2015 he was awarded the German Grand Cross of Merit with Star for his far-reaching initiatives for cooperation and integration with the German army.

On March 23, 2016, the day before his transfer of command, De Kruif was awarded the US Legion of Merit in the rank of commander.

During his career he has worked closely with the armed forces of many countries, making him a strong proponent of far-reaching international cooperation and even integration. Under his leadership, cooperation with important allies such as Belgium, France, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and especially Germany was intensified, which led, among other things, to the integration of two Dutch brigades into two German divisions and the establishment of a joint tank battalion.

De Kruif is married and has four children. He lives in Gelderland. He is currently chairman of the committee that organizes the Invictus Games, which will be held in The Hague in April 2022. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee that supervises the study commissioned by the government into the conduct of the Dutch armed forces in the Dutch East Indies in the period 1946-1949.


Keynote speaker



Mart de Kruif's motto: 'Leadership is the art of believing in the power of people.'

Mart de Kruif is a most inspirational speaker at events where Leadership or a link to Crisis, Transition, Change, Teambuilding is the theme.

What can we learn from his world? In our modern world, we often view crises as an unfortunate and sometimes painful incident that requires specific actions and policies. But crises are no coincidence. In a world where technology fuels our dream of total and infinite security, every crisis proves to us that complete and total control is an illusion. We are very busy doing things well, but often forget to consider whether these are also the right things, says Mart de Kruif.