President Macron: Gendarme killed by terrorist "died a hero."
The French President was deeply shocked to hear of the death of Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame last night as a result of the wounds received in carrying out his duty.
By offering himself as a hostage to the terrorist who took refuge in the supermarket in Trèbes, Lieutenant-Colonel Beltrame saved the life of a civilian hostage, showing exceptional courage and self-sacrifice.
In the midst of action, Lieutenant-Colonel Beltrame showed exceptional self-control and exemplified the military virtues in an outstanding way that deserves the entire nation’s respect and admiration.
Lieutenant-Colonel Beltrame demonstrated these virtues during his military training. Emerging as a command sergeant major from the “campagne d’Italie” year at the Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan joint military school (1999), Arnaud Beltrame was commended for his “resolutely offensive spirit in the face of adversity” by his superiors, who saw him as a soldier who “fights to the end and never gives up”. He then joined the National Gendarmerie Officers’ School, emerging from it in 2001 as a command sergeant major in the “Capitaine Gauvenet” year.
In 2003, he was one of seven candidates chosen out of 80 to join the GSIGN (currently the GIGN [Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, elite gendarmerie unit]).
A high-altitude military parachutist, he was deployed in Iraq in 2005, where he was awarded the Croix de la Valeur Militaire [Cross of Military Valour] with a mention in dispatches.
As a company commander in the Republican Guard, he very stringently oversaw security at the Elysée Palace for four years, before taking command of Avranches company from 2010 to 2014. After spending a period as economic intelligence adviser to the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development, where he demonstrated his intellectual and interpersonal qualities, Arnaud Beltrame returned to the field in August 2017 as deputy to the commander of the Aude department’s gendarmerie group. His command skills, open-mindedness and unfailing commitment were appreciated by everyone, particularly when it came to developing the Aude gendarmerie units’ antiterrorist capability.
Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame died serving the nation, to which he had already contributed so much. In giving his life to end a jihadist terrorist’s deadly escapade, he died a hero.
The President offers his widow, his family, his loved ones, his friends and his brothers-in-arms his sincerest condolences. He calls on every French person to honour his memory./.
Attacks in Carcassonne and Trèbes – Death of Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic
Paris, March 24, 2018
Following the terrorist attacks committed in Carcassonne and Trèbes on 23 March, the French President today held a meeting at the Elysée Palace in the presence of the Prime Minister, the ministers concerned and the state services involved in the investigation.
After paying tribute to the memory of Lieutenant-Colonel Beltrame and extending the nation’s condolences to the bereaved, the President ensured that the injured people caught up in the attack, and their loved ones, were receiving the proper medical and psychological care.
He reiterated his desire for this treatment to be individual and personalized.
The investigation being conducted under the authority of the Paris public prosecutor is mobilizing several hundred investigators and must shed full light on any links between the terrorist and Daesh [so-called ISIL] – which claimed responsibility for the attack –, on any accomplices he may have had in carrying out his attacks, and on the stages in his radicalization process.
The Interior Minister set out the instructions given to prefects [high-ranking civil servants representing the state at departmental or regional level] to maintain the vigilance of all services, and the President asked the prefects to convene this week all departmental assessment groups following individuals who have been the object of tipoffs for radicalization.
Finally, the President decided that a national tribute will be organized in honour of Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, who gave his life to protect our fellow citizens.