General Tibor Benkő has served as minister of defense in the Orbán government since May 2018. He is the only active military officer among the defense ministers of the 29 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states.
General Benkő has been chief of the general staff of the Hungarian military (Magyar Honvédség) since June 2010.
He attended the Lajos Kossuth Military College in Szentendre, Hungary, from 1975 to 1979, the Kalinin Artillery Military Academy in Leningrad, Soviet Union, from 1985 to 1988 and the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, from 2000 to 2001 (source in Hungarian).
Benkő was born in Nyíregyháza (eastern Hungary, population 118,000). He speaks fluent Russian and English.
Last updated: May 8, 2018.