General Combette, 1944 batch of St Cyr and graduate of advanced military school, was born in 1925 at Beaune. He became Lieutenant in 1947, Captain in 1953, Colonel in 1970, and Brigadier General in 1976 and has been General since 1983.
After serving in the Internal French in 1944, he joined the 2 nd Dragons regiment in Alsace on November 1, 1944, before taking part in the German campaign. After completing his officer training at the Saumur military school, he fought in South Vietnam from 1948 to 1950, within the 4 th Dragons Regiment and the 5 th Armored Division. From 1950 to 1953, he served within the 1st African Chasseurs Regiment in South Tunisia . From 1953 to 1955, he served in North Vietnam as a Squadron Commander in the 8 th Spahis Regiment. Repatriated with his Regiment to Algeria , he became assistant chief of operations in the Borj Bou Arreridj Sector and for about five years, he participated in the pacification process.
In 1960, he commanded the 3rd Training Division of the Armored Cavalry Arm School in Saumur. From 1962 to 1964, he was at the Ecole supérieure de guerre (Advanced School of War) and later on served as second in command of the 1st Parachutist Hussards Regiment, and finally became its overall corps head in 1968.
In 1975, he became General Bigeard’s Chief of Cabinet, Secretary of State for Defense, and later on commander of the 12 th Mechanized Brigade in the FRG. From 1979 to 1983, he was the Regional Major of the 1st Military Region and the 3rd Army Corps. From 1983 to 1987, he served as the general controller of troops on extraordinary mission and was particularly in charge of the repatriation operation of bodies of soldiers killed in Indochina , and participated in the erection of the Frejus Necropolis.
Appointed to the 2 nd Section on September 1, 1987, he occupied, among others, the post of the President of Mutuelle nationale militaire (National Military Mutual Fund) from 1987 to 1993 and President of the Flame Committee since 1999. As President of the Flame Committee, General Combette has used his experience, high sense of organization and perspicacity to accentuate the daily relighting of the flame over the sacred tombstone of the Unknown Soldier, and personally participates in the event several times a week, often taking the pain to explain its significance, especially to the younger generations.
eneral Combette, Great Cross of the Legion of Honor, has had several decorations including the Volunteer Servicemen Cross.