About the Institute

The Royal Higher Institute for Defence (RHID) is the reference body of the Belgian Ministry of Defence in the field of security and defence (Royal Decree of 10 August 2006).

The RHID assumes two interlinked roles in support of the Ministry of Defence and of the Nation. First, in its role as a “think tank” for security and defence, it realises the objectives of deepening and disseminating knowledge by organising conferences, colloquia and seminars as well as publishing papers by researchers. The High Studies for Security and Defence, in the form of a course composed of residential seminars and visits, provides training in these fields for high-level staff, both from Defence and the civil sector, and promotes reflexion, debate and networking between participants. Through national and international partnerships, the RHID has developed an extensive network to exchange ideas and experiences.

In its role as a “smart hub” and “honest broker” for scientific and technological research, it is responsible to manage and facilitate the scientific and technological research programme of the Ministry of Defence, including the security and defence studies. More than ever, the RHID looks forward to foster growth of the Belgian scientific and technological research in the defence and security domain, to restore and reinforce the links between government, academia and industry in this perspective, and to promote and facilitate Belgium’s and Belgian Defence participation in national and international research programmes.


In 1870, at the instigation of King Leopold II, the École de Guerre was founded and located in the premises of the Abbaye de la Cambre in Brussels. Its mission was mainly to educate and train to general staff work Belgian officers having already served several years in their units. In 1908-1909, the École de Guerre moved to the newly built complex of the École militaire near the Parc du Cinquantenaire in the building located along the Avenue de Cortenbergh.
Read more.

History from 1830 to 2006, only available in French.

Coat of arms

Purpure, a diminished bordure Or, antique cuirass and helmet with two Roman fasces in saltire Argent, placed on a trophy of six flags Or, the whole set on a laurel wreath Vert; in base: a (half) thunderbolt Or. The shield is ensigned by the Royal Crown. Motto: Per Ardua Gradior*, in letters Sable on a scroll Argent with ends Sable, Or and Gules.

*Growing through adversity.