Jean René Souètre was born on October 15, 1931, at Ayguemortes les Graves, in Gironde.
At the age of eleven, he became a soldier’s child, and then, in 1950, he underwent reserve officer training and, in 1950, was sent to the air force. In 1952, after having gone through Ecole d'Artillerie d'Idar Oberstein, his request to go and serve in Indochina was turned down, but he served in the RFA.
In 1954, Lieutenant Souètre was at Geryville in Algeria, within the air fusilier troop. Two years later came the time for him to show his voluntarism. Upon hearing that oil tankers had been ambushed, he decided to go to their rescue with his section and successfully libeated them; this earned him a sanction of fifteen days of suspension by his hierarchy, for having acted without order...
Air commandos were thus created and Lieutenant Souètre was transferred to one of the units, where he was immediately certified a parachutist. In November 1957, he became the commander of the "Maxime" commando, to replace its wounded captain, and led it at the front for two years. In April 1960, Captain Souètre was appointed to head the department of the air commando training battalion.
But his political ideas made him to be repatriated to France, late 1960. Two month later, the one fondly called by his loved ones and buddies as "Robin des Bois de l'Ouarsenis" returned to organise in Oranie a maquis for French Algeria resistance. He was captured, judged, sentenced and detained at the Saint Maurice l'Ardoise camp, in the Gard, from where he fled in February 1962 to return to Algeria, where he became one of the OAS officials.
Sentenced to death in absentia, he was obliged to live underground in Africa and started a mercenary career, notably with Bob Denard, in Katanga, where he participated in the 1967 battles, before going to Angola.
Amnestied in 1968, Jean Souètre returned to Europe, where he held senior executive positions, first in Spain, followed by Martinique, and then in France, as from 1975.
Jean Souètre died at Annemasse, on January 18, 2001, at the age of seventy.
Having received several commendations during his military career, Jean Souètre had been made Knight of the Legion of Honour, and was also holder of a series of other decorations, notably the military valour cross.