Lieutenant General Abdulla Shamaal, MA, MSc, ndu, psc
Appointed Date:

11th Dec 2018

Lieutenant General Abdulla Shamaal was appointed as the Chief of Defence Force (CDF) on 11th December 2018 by His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

General Shamaal has held various Command, Staff and Instructional appointments, which include the Command of the MNDF Male’ Area, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) and the Marine Corps. His senior staff appointments were the Director General of International Defence Cooperation & Policy at the Ministry of Defence, Principal Director – Military Liaison, Executive Officer of Quick Reaction Force 3 and Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of Staff. Additionally, General Shamaal has the privilege of being the country’s first Military Attaché in a diplomatic mission abroad, serving as the Defence Advisor at the Maldives High Commission in New Delhi, India.

General Shamaal was enlisted in the MNDF in 1988 and later was commissioned to the rank of Lieutenant after graduating from the Pakistan Military Academy with the achievement of best allied cadet from the course. Since then, he has completed various trainings locally and abroad, including the Special Task Force Training and NCO Cadre Course from Maldives, Infantry Officers Basic Course and Infantry Officers Advance Course in United States Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia and the Defence Services Staff College Course from Wellington, India. General Shamaal also attended the NESA Center for Strategic Studies in Washington DC, USA, Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii, USA and participated in various regional seminars and conferences on defence and security strategy.

General Shamaal holds a MA Degree in Defence and Security Analysis from University of Lancaster, United Kingdom since 1999 and MSc. Degree in Defence and Strategic Studies from University of Madras, India since 2003. He is also a graduate of the National Defence University (NDU), Washington DC, USA, where he attended the International Counterterrorism Fellowship Program and obtaining a Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Strategic Security Studies. He was awarded the Distinguished Honor Graduate of the course with his thesis nominating as an honor thesis. In recognition of his illustrious career achievements and academic merit, General Shamaal was inducted into the United States National Defence University’s International Fellows Hall of Fame on 09 August 2022.

General Shamaal is recognized for his instrumental role in the formulation of the Strategic Defence Directive (SDD) published by the Ministry of Defence in 2009 setting the new strategic vision for the defence force and also for his effort towards implementing a National Security Framework in the Maldives. In 2012 he became the first Maldivian to be inducted to the United Nations Roster of Senior Experts on Security Sector Reform (SSR). After taking over the appointment as the CDF, General Shamaal with the direction from the Minister of Defence, initiated the Defence Doctrine and Reform Initiative (DDRI), which aims to transform MNDF into a modernized, professional, capable and competent Defence Force.

In recognition of his distinguished service General Shamaal has been decorated with 16 service medals and ribbons, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Presidential Medal, Dedicated Service Medal, Defence Force Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, 3rd November Medal and the Centenary Medal.

General Shamaal is married to Fathimath Firasha and has three daughters, Fathimath Yasmeen Shamaal, Aishath Yara Shamaal and Aminath Emma Shamaal.