Deputy Force Commander to UNDOF Brig Gen Maureen O Brien
17 Feb 2020


On Monday the 16th of September 2019 the UNDOF family welcomed the New Deputy Force Commander to UNDOF. Brig Gen Maureen O Brien comes to UNDOF from the Irish Defence Forces with a very comprehansive career profile with a wealth of knowledge and experience both at home and overseas. Before being awarded a Military Cadetship in the Irish Defence Forces , Brig Gen O Brien graduated from University Collage Galway Ireland with a B. Sc and H. Dip. Ed. In 1983 she was commissioned into the Infantry Corps, returning to the Cadet School , Military Collage some years later as an Instructor. Since then Brig Gen O Brien has held many different appointments in Operations, Training and Strategic Planning. In 2011 she became the first female in the Irish Defence Forces to be promoted to the rank of Lt Col and in 2012 became the first female Infantry Battlion Commander when she was appointed Officer Commanding 27th Infantry Battlion in Dundalk Co Louth Ireland. As Colonel she held the appointment of Director of Communications and Information Services (CIS) for the entire Irish Defence Forces. In this role she was responsible for the provision of efficient and effective communications and information systems for the command , control and administration of the Irish Defence Forces both at home and overseas.

Brig Gen O Brien has extensive overseas service . Her first two deployments were to Lebanon (UNIFIL). She also served in Western Sahara (MINURSO) and East Timore (UNTAET) as a Military Observer. In 2005 she was secounded to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Sarajevo (BiH) for 18 months. In 2009 she became the first Irish Female officer to serve as a Deputy Commanding Officer of an Infantry Battlion in CHAD (MINURCAT). in 2012 she deployed to UNIFIL once more as Chief  of Operations Planning in a multi-national Sector HQ in Lebanon.

On promation to Brig Gen in September 2019 she deployed as Deputy Force Commander of the UN Disengagement Observer Forces (UNDOF) Mission in the Golan Heights Syria. Since 16th October 2019 she has taken over as Acting Force Commander of UNDOF and remains in this position to date.

Brig Gen O Brien has also completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Information Technology and holds a First Class Masters Degree in Leadership , Management and Defence Studies.

The UNDOF family warmly welcomes Brig Gen O Brien to the mission and wishes her the best of luck in the new position.