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
Forsvarschefen
Coat of arms for the Chief of Defence
Standard of the Chief of Defence
Incumbent
General Michael Hyldgaard [da]
Acting
 since 3 April 2024
Ministry of Defence
AbbreviationFC
Member ofDefence Command of Denmark
Reports to Minister of Defence
AppointerMinister of Defence
Term lengthFive years
(renewable)
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

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.[citation needed]

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 2012.[3] There is no fixed length of time associated with the position, the contract however currently has to be renewed every 5 years.[4]

List of officeholders

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No. Portrait Name
(born–died)
Term of office Defence branch Ref.
Took office Left office Time in office
1   Admiral
Erhard J.C. Qvistgaard
(1898–1980)
1 October 1950 30 September 1962 11 years, 364 days Navy [5][6]
2   General
Kurt Ramberg [da]
(1908–1997)
1 October 1962 30 November 1972 10 years, 60 days Air force [5][7]
3   General
Otto Blixenkrone-Møller [da]
(1912–2006)
1 December 1972 30 April 1977 4 years, 150 days Army [5]
4   General
Knud Jørgensen [da]
(1919–1990)
1 May 1977 30 September 1984 7 years, 152 days Air force [5]
5   General
Otto K. Lind
(1920–2000)
1 October 1984 30 November 1985 1 year, 60 days Army [5]
6   Admiral
Sven Eigil Thiede [da]
(1924–2005)
1 December 1985 31 October 1989 3 years, 334 days Navy [5]
7   General
Jørgen Lyng
(born 1934)
1 November 1989 31 March 1996 6 years, 151 days Army [5]
8   Admiral
Hans Jørgen Garde
(1939–1996)[a]
1 April 1996 3 August 1996 † 124 days Navy [5]
  General
Christian Hvidt [da]
(born 1942)
3 August 1996 20 August 1996 17 days Air force [8]
9 20 August 1996 30 September 2002 6 years, 41 days [5]
10   General
Hans Jesper Helsø
(born 1948)
1 October 2002 31 July 2008 5 years, 304 days Army [5]
11   Admiral
Tim Sloth Jørgensen
(born 1951)
1 August 2008 4 October 2009 1 year, 64 days Navy [5]
  Lieutenant general
Bjørn Bisserup
(born 1960)
acting
5 October 2009 15 November 2009 41 days Army [5][9]
12   General
Knud Bartels
(born 1952)
16 November 2009 2 January 2012 2 years, 47 days Army [5]
  Lieutenant general
Bjørn Bisserup
(born 1960)
acting
2 January 2012 20 March 2012 78 days Army [10]
13   General
Peter Bartram
(born 1961)
20 March 2012 10 January 2017 4 years, 296 days Army [11][12]
14   General
Bjørn Bisserup
(born 1960)
10 January 2017 1 December 2020 3 years, 326 days Army [12][13]
15   General
Flemming Lentfer
(born 1964)
1 December 2020 3 April 2024 3 years, 124 days Air force [14][15]
  General
Michael Hyldgaard [da]
(born 1964)
acting
3 April 2024 Incumbent 79 days Army [15]

Timeline

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

Notes

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  1. ^ Died in a plane crash.

References

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  1. ^ Frederiksen 2017.
  2. ^ Defence Command Denmark 2017.
  3. ^ Halskov, Lars [in Danish]; Svendsen, Jacob (28 January 2012). "Minister ændrer fundamentalt på udvælgelsen af forsvarschef". Politiken (in Danish). Archived from the original on 28 January 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2024.
  4. ^ /ritzau/ 2016a.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Balsved 2013.
  6. ^ Pontoppidan & Teisen 1984, p. 445.
  7. ^ Pontoppidan & Teisen 1984, p. 447.
  8. ^ Andersen 1996.
  9. ^ /ritzau/ 2009.
  10. ^ Kongehuset 2012.
  11. ^ Ministry of Defence 2012.
  12. ^ a b /ritzau/ 2016b.
  13. ^ Therkildsen & Redder 2016.
  14. ^ /ritzau/ 2020.
  15. ^ a b "Forsvarsministeren hjemsender forsvarschefen". Forsvaret (in Danish). 3 April 2024. Retrieved 3 April 2024.
Bibliography