General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, commissioner for the Covid emergency, is among the eligible candidates to become the next Army Chief of Staff, but his chances could drop drastically due to the government decision to proceed with the third dose of vaccines.
The reason is quickly explained. The appointment of the new Chief of Defense Staff is approaching, who will have to take the place of the current one, Squad General Enzo Vecciarelli, who will leave office in November. The Council of Ministers should decide these days, in any case by the first ten days of October. According to the usual shifts, it should be up to the Navy, given that the last two leaders were first of the Army (General Claudio Graziano) and then of the Air Force (the current one). In reality, the team admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone, chief of staff of the Navy in office, would be at the limit with age (he is 64 years old), so he would opt for a younger figure. Even if there is talk of a possible ad hoc provision for him. Normally, the Chief of Defense is chosen from among the heads of the Armed Force, so the choice could fall on General Pietro Serino, current Army chief. Although he is not chief of staff, even General Luciano Portolano, current commander of the Covi (Joint Chief Operating Officer), already has four full stars and therefore could be among the eligible candidates, also for the excellent work done during the ” exfiltration “from Afghanistan. Portolano is also referred to as the new head of EMS, but to obtain that nomination he would have to “demote” to three stars plus a functional one. General Figliuolo could also go to the Army staff, if Serino were appointed to the defense, also thanks to his current commitment. But the new scenarios risk nullifying the possibility of his appointment. General Carmine Masiello, much loved in the Army and military adviser to Matteo Renzi when he was prime minister, could also go to EMS.
The role of General Alberto Rosso, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, will also expire shortly, whose place should be taken by the current sub-chief, Squadra General Luca Goretti or by his colleague Gianni Candotti, commander of the Air Squad.
Cavo Dragone’s mandate to the Navy will come to an end next June. Among the names of those who could replace him also that of Admiral Enrico Credendino, commander of the Naval Squad who, in this way, would be a candidate in three years to become the top of the Defense Staff. The decision will be political as always. Minorities already complain that they have not been heard on the issue, but more will be understood in the coming days, when the Secretary General of Defense will be appointed. From there, in cascade, all the other names of the great risk of the armed forces will arrive.