Chief of Defence (Denmark)

The Chief of Defence of Denmark (Danish: Forsvarschefen), acting under the statutory responsibility of the Minister of Defence, is the chief of defence and commander of the Royal Danish Army, the Royal Danish Navy and the Royal Danish Air Force.[1] The Chief of Defence is the principal military adviser to the Minister of Defence and the head of the Defence Command.

Chief of the Danish Defence
Emblem of the Chief of Defence (Denmark).svg
Coat of arms for the Chief of Defence
Standard of the Chief of the Defense Staff of Denmark.svg
Standard of the Chief of Defence
LENTFER portræt 2 hig res FOTO FMI.jpg
General Flemming Lentfer
since 1 December 2020
Logo of Ministry of Defence (Denmark).svg Ministry of Defence
Member ofDefence Command of Denmark
Reports to Minister of Defence
AppointerQueen of Denmark
advised by the Minister of Defence
Term lengthFive years
Constituting instrumentLBK Nr. 582 of 24/05/2017 §11–12
Formation27 May 1950
First holderAdmiral Erhard J.C. Qvistgaard
DeputyChief of the Defence Staff
WebsiteOfficial Website
General insignia used by CoD Otto K. Lind

The Chief of Defence is the highest-ranking military officer on active duty in the Danish Armed Forces and has the rank of four-star General (or Admiral if from the Navy) (OF-9),[2] and supervises roughly 93% of all military spending in Denmark.

The Danish Home Guard and Defence intelligence is directly under the Ministry of Defence, only in times of war will the Home Guard Command be transferred to the Defence Command, and thus come under the authority of the Chief of Defence.

The job was traditionally rotated evenly between the army, navy and air force. This tradition was abandoned in 2009. There is no fixed length of time associated with the position, the contract however currently has to be renewed every 5 years.[3]

List of Chiefs of DefenceEdit

No. Portrait Chief of Defence Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch Ref.
1Qvistgaard, Erhard Jörgen CarlAdmiral
Erhard J.C. Qvistgaard
1 October 195030 September 196211 years, 364 days 
2Ramberg, Kurt RudolphGeneral
Kurt Ramberg [da]
1 October 196230 November 197210 years, 60 days 
Air force
3Blixenkrone-Møller, OttoGeneral
Otto Blixenkrone-Møller [da]
1 December 197230 April 19774 years, 150 days 
4Jørgensen, KnudGeneral
Knud Jørgensen [da]
1 May 197730 September 19847 years, 152 days 
Air force
5Lind, Otto KatharusGeneral
Otto K. Lind
1 October 198430 November 19851 year, 60 days 
6Thiede, Sven EigilAdmiral
Sven Eigil Thiede [da]
1 December 198531 October 19893 years, 334 days 
7Lyng, JörgenGeneral
Jørgen Lyng
(born 1934)
1 November 198931 March 19966 years, 151 days 
8Garde, Hans JørgenAdmiral
Hans Jørgen Garde
1 April 19963 August 1996 †124 days 
Hvidt, ChristianLieutenant general
Christian Hvidt [da]
(born 1942)
3 August 199620 August 199617 days 
Air force
9Hvidt, ChristianGeneral
Christian Hvidt [da]
(born 1942)
20 August 199630 September 20026 years, 41 days 
Air force
10Helsø, Hans JesperGeneral
Hans Jesper Helsø
(born 1948)
1 October 200231 July 20085 years, 304 days 
11Jørgensen, Tim SlothAdmiral
Tim Sloth Jørgensen
(born 1951)
1 August 20084 October 20091 year, 64 days 
Bisserup, BjörnLieutenant general
Bjørn Bisserup
(born 1960)
5 October 200915 November 200941 days 
12Bartels, KnudGeneral
Knud Bartels
(born 1952)
16 November 20092 January 20122 years, 47 days 
Bisserup, BjörnLieutenant general
Bjørn Bisserup
(born 1960)
2 January 201220 March 201278 days 
13Bartram, PeterGeneral
Peter Bartram
(born 1961)
20 March 201210 January 20174 years, 296 days 
14Bisserup, BjörnGeneral
Bjørn Bisserup
(born 1960)
10 January 20171 December 20203 years, 326 days 
15Lentfer, FlemmingGeneral
Flemming Lentfer
(born 1964)
1 December 2020Incumbent2 years, 69 days 
Air force


Flemming LentferBjørn BisserupPeter BartramKnud BartelsTim Sloth JørgensenHans Jesper HelsøChristian HvidtHans Jørgen GardeJørgen LyngSven Eigil ThiedeOtto K. LindKnud JørgensenOtto Blixenkrone-MøllerKurt RambergErhard J.C. Qvistgaard


  1. ^ Died in a plane crash.


  • Andersen, Leif (20 August 1996). "Ny forsvarschef" (in Danish). Danske Nyheder. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  • Balsved, Johnny (27 September 2013). "Forsvarschefer". (in Danish). Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  • Defence Command Denmark (16 January 2017). "The Chief of Defence". Defence Command Denmark. Archived from the original on 22 February 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  • Frederiksen, Claus Hjort (24 May 2017). Holm, Jon Bach (ed.). "LBK nr 582 af 24/05/2017". (in Danish). Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  • Kongehuset (1 January 2012). "Gæsteliste ved Nytårskur og -taffel 1. januar 2012" (in Danish). Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  • Ministry of Defence (20 March 2012). "New Chief of Defence". Danish Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  • Pontoppidan, S. E.; Teisen, J., eds. (1984). Danske Søofficerer 1934-1983 (in Danish). Copenhagen: Søe-Lieutenant-Selskab.
  • Therkildsen, Thomas Funding; Redder, Hans (6 November 2016). "Her er den nye chef for Forsvaret". (in Danish). TV2. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  • /ritzau/ (5 October 2009). "Bisserup vil ikke være forsvarschef". (in Danish). Berlingske. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  • /ritzau/ (10 November 2016a). "Her er Danmarks nye forsvarschef". (in Danish). Berlingske. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  • /ritzau/ (28 October 2016b). "Forsvarschef stopper: Jeg er klar til et karriereskifte". (in Danish). TV2. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  • /ritzau/ (9 October 2020). "Flemming Lentfer bliver ny chef for Forsvaret". (in Danish). TV2. Retrieved 9 October 2020.