CEE Military Perspective: Slovak and Czech Armed Forces in Time of War (session in Slovak language)
- Led by: Katarína Schwertnerová
Mr. Karel Řehka was born on 1 February 1975 in Tišnov. He studied at the Military High School of Jan Žižka in Opava and later at the Military College of Land Forces in Vyškov. Prior to graduation, he completed a one-year Commissioning Course at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom. Thereafter he completed elite RANGER course in USA, a course for forward air control in United Kingdom and back in Czech Republic a Brigade Staff Course focused on crisis management and General Staff course.
After finishing his studies, he was assigned to the 6th Special Brigade in Prostějov as a group commander. From 2001 to 2002 he commanded the Group of Air Instructors at the 32nd Tactital Air Force Base in Náměstí and Oslavou. Afterwards he served as a commander of the 601st Special Forces Group in Prostějov. General Řehka’s military career is closely tied to the Rapid Deployment Brigade, where he worked his way up from a Special Reconnaissance Commander, a Forward Air Controllers Team Leader, to a Commander of the Special Designation Centre of the 601st Special Forces Group, where he worked between the years 2010 and 2014. In 2014 he became the head of the Special Forces Directorate of the Ministry of Defence. Subsequently he served as a deputy commander of the NATO Multinational Division Northeast in Elbląg. Between 2020-2022 general Řehka served as director of the National Office for Cyber and Information Security of the Czech Republic.
Currently, Lieutenant General Karel Řehka serves as Chief of the General Staff of the Army of the Czech Republic.
He participated in foreign military missions in the Balkans and Afghanistan. In 1999 he was deployed as s reconnaissance squad leader with the 6th KFOR Reconnaissance Company to Operation Joint Guardian in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo. In Afghanistan he served in Operation Enduring Freedom as Deputy Commander of the Special Forces Contingent and later in ISAF Special Force as a senior officer and commander of the Task Force.
Karel Řehka was appointed a general in 2016 by the President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman. During his career he received numerous honours and decorations including the Arnošt Lustig Award for Bravery, Courage, Humanity and Justice.