General Gaetano Cigna was born in Rome in 1943. He attended the Military High School in Naples from 1959 to 1962, when he eventually entered the Army Military Academy in Modena. In 1964 he was appointed 1st Lieutenant in Cavalry and entered the "Scuola di Application” in Turin, when he completed his basic military training in 1966. In his regimental career he held various appointments within Cavalry Units until 1981, when he attended the junior and senior staff courses. Soon after he had numerous assignments within the Italian Army Staff, being responsible, amongst which, of the NATO Infrastructures Office.As Colonel, he was Deputy Commander of the Mechanized "Friuli” Brigade and Commander of the Military School for Equitation for three years. In the early 90's, he was Head of Office for the Italian Army Deputy Chief of Staff in Rome and then Commanding General of the "Aosta” Mechanized Brigade in Sicily. From 1996 to 1999, he was Defense Attach in Beijing (China).
In October 1999, he took command of the 3rd Italian Division in Milan, permanently assigned to the NATO ACE Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), with the additional appointment of Deputy Commander of the High Readiness Land Component Command Headquarters.
From October 2001 to the beginning of September 2002, he has been Deputy Commander for Operations Of the Kosovo Force (KFOR); the NATO led peacekeeping force, which its Headquarters based in Pristina.
Lieutenant General Cigna is married and is father to one son and one daughter. He is passionate about horses and he has had the chance to conjugate this passion with his military duties throughout his career.
He has been awarded numerous decorations, amongst which:
- Gold Cross for Long Service
- Knight Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
- Bronze Medal for Long Command
- Officers Cross with Swords of the Military Order of St. John, Jerusalem and Rhodes
- Gold Medal of the Order of St. Maurice
- 1st August Medal of the People Liberation Army of the People Republic of China