Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă was born in 1967 in Pleniţa, Romania. He graduated from the Tudor Vladimirescu Military High School in 1985 and the Nicolae Bălcescu Land Forces Academy in 1988. His education and training were closely connected to his appointments as he subsequently achieved various positions from platoon leader up to battalion and brigade commander in 2011. During this period, he participated in different operations and missions, both national and international, such as: UNAVEM III Angola in 1996 as staff officer, Enduring Freedom Afghanistan (2002-2003) and Antica Babilonia Iraq (2004) as Battalion Commander.
In 1995, he graduated from the National Defense University in Bucharest and in 2003 completed a PhD in Military Science.
In 2011, he was appointed Commander of the 2nd Infantry Division and took over the command of the Romanian Land Forces Staff in January 2014. In October 2014, he was appointed Deputy Chief of Defense Staff. From January 2015 to October 2019, he successfully held the most demanding position within the Romanian Armed Forces, the Chief of Defense Staff.
Throughout his career, Mr. Ciucă has attended various courses, including Instructor for Peacekeeping operations Course in Turkey, Joint and multinational operations Course and Civil-Military Cooperation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
He has also taken part in many national and multinational exercises, such as Blue Danube, Dynamic Response Kosovo, ISAF and Eurasian Star in Turkey.
He has been awarded The National Order for Merit in the rank of Officer, The National Order for Merit in the rank of Knight, UN Medal for participating in UNAVEM III Mission, The National Order for Merit of the French Republic, in the rank of Commander, The US Medal of Merit, The Medal of Honor of the Special Operation Forces of the USA.