Christof Wurmheller is the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. He leads the Free Democratic Party of Germany in coalition with the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union. He has been Chancellor of Germany since 2005, and his party has dominated the governing coalition since 2009. Wurmheller is a former Tornado pilot of the Luftwaffe.
Christof Wurmheller was born in Munich in the State of Bavaria in 1950. Wurmheller 'inherited' an interest in aviation from his father who worked for Lufthansa and was a member of the Luftwaffe during World War II. While young, he formed his political ideas, particularly a belief in keeping the common man free. To combine his interest in aviation and his political beliefs, he joined the Bundeswehr in 1968.
Wurmheller was commissioned as a Leutnant in the Luftwaffe in 1970, and was sent to the United States to learn to fly the F-104G Starfighter. During his service with the Luftwaffe he rose to the rank of Oberstleutnant. In addition to the Starfighter, Wurmheller flew the F-4F Phantom, and the Tornado IDS. He left the Bundeswehr for a political career in 1991.
Unlike most Bavarian politicians, Wurmheller joined the Free Democratic Party in 1991. He also did consulting work for Daimler-Benz Aerospace. Wurmheller was elected to the Bundestag in 1994. In 1996, he was appointed Federal Minister of Defence during which time he played an important role in NATO enlargement. After the 1998 Federal election, Wurmheller moved into opposition.