Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola joined the Italian Navy in 1963 and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1966. he has conducte an astonishing career in the Navy a attended a NATO Defence College in Rome. Than he served in higher commanding officers and became a commander of the aircraft carrier Garibaldi in 1989. In 1990 he returned to the Navy Staff and was appointed as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff (1990-91), then as Chief of Naval Plans and Policy Branch (1991-92), and finally as Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations (1993-94). In 1994 he was assigned to the Defence Staff in the Ministry of Defence where he became Chief of the Directorate of Defence Policy (1994-98).
He was also the italian representative to the HLG on nuclear and proliferation issues.
From 1998 to 2001, with the rank of Rear Admiral, he assumed the position of Chief of the Cabinet Office of the Minist ry of Defence. On the 1st of January 1999 he was promoted Vice Admiral. In March 2001 he was appointed Secretary General of Defence / National Armaments Director. From 27 June 2008 to 17 november 2011, he assumed the position of Chairman of the NATO Military Committee. On 18 november 2011, Admiral Di Paola was appointed Minister of Defence. Admiral Di Paola holds a degree in Strategic and Military Sciences and an “ad honorem” Masters degree in Sciences.
His military decorations and awards include the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy, Meritorious Service Medal for distinguished military service, Commander of Legion of Merit (USA), Commandeur de l’Ordre de la Legion d’Honneur (FR), Commandeur de l’Ordre National du merite (FR), Grand Officer of the Order of Infante Don Enrico (PO), Grand Officer of military virtue with war insignia (RO), UN Medal for UN Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo.