Lieutenant Colonel Gijs Tuinman

Luitenant-kolonel G.P. Tuinman
Image: Rick Smulders

Lieutenant Colonel Gijs Tuinman was made a Knight in the Military Order of William by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander in 2014. In 2009, as Multiple Team Operations Commander, Tuinman – then still a captain – was responsible for a number of important operations to disrupt the Taliban as much as possible.  

During an intensive exchange of fire with the enemy, whose position was difficult to determine, Tuinman and one of his men deliberately broke cover, so that the enemy would expose their own position. This resulted in two valleys being freed from the Taliban’s hold, securing an important road link for a sustained period.

Another operation focused on a mountain village where Taliban fighters were hiding out with a large cache of weapons. Following Tuinman’s directions, helicopters landed in the marketplace, taking the enemy by surprise, while another helicopter dropped snipers in the vicinity of the target. This tactical decision resulted in the arrest of several Taliban fighters and the seizure of a substantial number of weapons.

During a reconnaissance mission Tuinman and his men were ambushed, and one of them was seriously wounded. Tuinman organised air support from Dutch attack helicopters, after which a rescue team recovered the wounded lance corporal under enemy fire, without further losses. 

Tuinman is now a member of the Military Order of William Council.