Earlier, in a series of the traditional appointments made on May 8, president Zeman promoted Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant-General Petr Pavel to the top ranking position of Army General. The head of state also recommended that Minister of Defense Martin Stropnický to do his utmost to place Pavel in a top position in the NATO hierarchy. Fifth-two year old Pavel has been Chief of General Staff since 2012. In another move, the son of former general Heliodor Píka, who was executed following a show trial on the orders of Czechoslovak Communist authorities in 1949, Milan Píka, was made a Brigadier General. Zeman said the honour for the 91-year-old was in recognition of his own merits.