Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis will become the new Greek defense minister following the resignation of Panos Kammenos on Sunday over the conditions in the Prespa agreement.
Apostolakis, currently the chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (HNDGS), will resign his naval commission on Monday. He will wear a civilian suit for his inauguration, which is scheduled for Tuesday.
The announcement of the admiral’s appointment by Alexis Tsipras on Sunday raised eyebrows in Greece, since he will be the first military person on active duty to become defense minister since the dictatorship of 1967-74.
He was born in 1957 in Rethymo, Crete and graduated from the Hellenic Naval Academy in 1980.
He had an exemplary career as an officer in the Hellenic Navy, rising through the ranks to become a first a member of the HNDGS and then Chief of the Hellenic Navy General Staff. He was named Chief by order of the National Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense (KYSEA) on March 7, 2013.
He was later promoted to Admiral by KYSEA on September 15, 2015.
In December of 2018, Apostolakis was quoted at meeting with defense ministry correspondents as saying, “If the Turks land on a rock islet we will flatten it.” His remarks came after numerous recent violations of Greek airspace by Turkish military jets.
Admiral Apostolakis is married and has two children.