Lieutenant General Paolo SERRA attended the 157th Military Academy Course in Modena and in 1979 he was appointed First Lieutenant of the Alpine Troops. He has got a university degree in Strategic Sciences and a Master's degree gained in USA.
He served in the "Taurinense" Brigade, participating with the rank of First Lieutenant and Captain in several exercises in Norway, Denmark and Germany, in the framework of the Allied Mobile Force (AMF). Between November 1987 and March 1988 he participated as aide-de-camp in the second Italian expedition to Antarctic, under the patronage of the ENEA – University and Scientific Research Ministry. From 1990 to 1992 he served at the "Orobica" Brigade in Merano and the "Tridentina" Brigade in Bressanone.
In 1994 he took on the Command of the "Susa" Battalion of the 3rd Alpine Troops Regiment in Pinerolo, intervening in rescue of the populations in Piedmont hit by a flood, participating in the operations in Calabria against the organized crime and carrying out exercises in Norway and Belgium.
In 1996 he moved to the Chief of the Defence General Staff Office.
In 1999 he was the Commander of the 9th Alpine Troops Regiment in L'Aquila for the "Joint Guardian" in Kosovo, taking on the responsibility of the Dacovica-Djacova area, guaranteeing the security of the religious sites, the ethnic minorities of the area and the control along the borders with Albania and Serbia.
In 2000 he attended the US Army War College in Carlisle (Pennsylvania – USA) and in 2001, in the position of ACOS G3 Plans, he was assigned to Solbiate Olona where he contributed in the project for the creation of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps (NRDC-ITA).
In 2003 he was again in Rome where as Colonel he took on the position of Chief of General Office of the General Staff of the Army.
With the rank of Brigadier General he served as military attaché for the Army at the Italian Embassy in the USA. When he came back to Italy in August 2007, he became Commander of the "Julia" Alpine Brigade in Udine. From October 2008 to April 2009 he led the Western Region in Afghanistan in the framework of the NATO-ISAF mission and coordinated the efforts of more than 5000 servicemen and servicewomen of 12 different Nations aiming to make the territory secure and stable for permitting the development of the rebuilding and the achievement of a Central Government also in the furthest regions.
After being appointed Major General, in May 2009 he became Chief of General Staff of the NATO Command; he came back to Solbiate Olona (Varese) for the validation of the command as component of the NATO Reaction Force (NRF-16).
From September 2010 to January 2012 in Rome he served as Chief of the 4th Logistic Unit and Chief of the Department for the Land Transformation of the Army General Staff, promoting the twenty-year transformation of weapons, vehicles and materials of the Armed Force.
In January 2012 the UN Secretary appointed him UNIFIL Mission Commander in Lebanon as Mission Political Chief and Military Force Commander. During the thirty-month mandate, leading 12000 servicemen and servicewomen from 37 Countries, 7 ships, 10 helicopters and 1000 UN civilians, he guaranteed the respect of the Resolution 1701 of the UN Security Council, maintaining the peace and increasing the security of the "Blue Line" between Lebanon and Israel by monitoring the ceasing of hostilities, by supporting the Lebanese Armed Forces deployed in Southern Lebanon and by assisting the population.
Appointed Lieutenant General, he moved to New York where he was Military Advisor of the Permanent Representation of Italy at the United Nations from July 2014 to November 2015.
Since November 2015 the UN General Secretary required again his cooperation as Security Advisor in the UN Mission in Libya. During the twenty-four-month mission, the Commander Serra carried out activities with some compatriots supporting the National Agreement Government recognized by the International Community, facilitating its settlement in Tripoli that was occupied by subversive forces; he also contributed to stabilize the security in the capital in 2017, through an international supporting program in favour of the Police, the Coast Guard and the Armed Forces that operated for the recognized Government and a program for the mobilization of armed groups.
When he returned to Italy in November 2017, in December he was appointed Commander of the Northern Operational Forces Command in Padova, assuming the responsibility of more than 16000 servicemen and servicewomen of the Army in the operational, territorial and infrastructural sectors.
During his career, General SERRA gained several qualifications and licences such as qualified paratrooper, LRRP patroller, ski and alpinism military instructor and expert of snow and avalanche.
He was awarded with the following Decorations:
· Officer of the Military Order of Italy;
· Knight of the Military Order of Italy;
· Silver Cross to the Army Merit;
· Knight Commander of the Order to the Merit of the Italian Republic;
· Maurician Medal;
· Silver Merit Medal for Long Command;
· Golden Cross for Long Military Service;
· Commemorative Medal for KFOR-NATO Mission in Kosovo;
· Commemorative Medal for ISAF-NATO Mission in Afghanistan;
· Commemorative Medal for UNIFIL-UN Mission in Lebanon;
· UN Special Services Medal for the UN Mission in Libya (UNSMIL);
· Commemorative Cross for Peace Operations (Kosovo);
· Commemorative Cross for Peace Operations (Afghanistan);
· Commemorative Cross for Peace Operations (UNIFIL);
· Public Order Commemorative Medal "RIACE" Operation;
· Commemorative Medal for the Operations in Ex Yugoslavia S.M.O.M.;
· Commemorative Medal for the Campaign in Antarctic;
· Medal to the Merit for the support to the flooded populations in Piedmont;
· Knight Officer with swords to the Malta Merit of the S.M.O.M.;
· Legion of Merit of the USA Congress;
· Legion d'honneur of the French Republic;
· Knight Commander of the Order of the Lebanese Republic;
· Medal for the Multinational Operation of the 1st Grade of Slovenian Republic;
· Medal to the Merit in Service for the Alliance of the Hungarian Republic;
· Grand Master of the Order to the Merit of the Brazilian Defence;
· Grand Master of the Order to the Merit of the Brazilian Military Navy;
· Bronze Sport Medal of the German Army.
General SERRA is married and he has got a daughter; during the free times he loves spending days with his family.