Knud Bartels

Knud Bartels

General Knud Bartels
Born (1955-04-08) 8 April 1955
Copenhagen, Denmark
Allegiance  Denmark
Service/branch Royal Danish Army
Years of service 1972– till date
Rank General
Commands held Danish Chief of Defence
Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

Grand Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog
25 Years Good Service Medal
Knight 1 st Class of the French National Order of Merit

Knight of the French Order of the Legion of Honour
Other work Adjunct Professor at Royal Danish Defence College[1]

Knud Bartels (8 April 1952 in Copenhagen) is a Danish general, and was Chairman of the NATO Military Committee from 2011 to 2015. He was the Chief of Defence of Denmark between 2009 and 2011.

Chief of Defence

He was appointed as Danish Chief of Defence on 16 November 2009 (announced on 10 November). He succeeded admiral Tim Sloth Jørgensen who resigned after being involved in the controversy around a fake Arabic translation of Jæger – i krig med eliten, a book by a former special forces soldier which he tried to suppress.

Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

As Chief of Defence (CHOD) and Denmark's former Permanent Representative on NATO's Military Committee, General Bartels was Denmark's candidate for the post as Chairman of NATO's Military Committee. The new chairman succeeded Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola (Italian Navy) on 1 July 2012. General Bartels' tenure as chief of defence was due to expire on 30 April 2012.

Although other Chiefs of Defence were considered for the top NATO job, in the final week before the vote the other candidates – as is the custom – sensing a lack of majority support for their own candidacy, withdrew from consideration so that the election of General Bartels could be unanimous when the Committee met to vote on Saturday 17 September 2011. The new chairman is appointed for a 3-year term, near the end of which he is normally approved for a one-year extension (serving a total of 4 years as chairman).

Upon his election on 17 September 2011, General Bartels announced that he planned to step-down as Danish CHOD on 30 April 2012 in order to prepare to take over as NATO Chairman effective 1 July 2012. However, following the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on 12 November 2011, Italy's new Prime Minister, Mario Monti, announced on 16 November that he had appointed Admiral Di Paola as Italy's new Defense Minister: at the time of this announcement, Admiral Di Paola was in Kabul, Afghanistan on NATO business. The admiral resigned as NATO Chairman on 18 November, turning over to his deputy Lieutenant General Walter Gaskin (U.S. Marine Corps), and flew to Rome.[2] It was then announced that General Bartels would take over in Brussels on 2 January 2012, even though the new Danish government had not yet selected his replacement as Danish chief of defense. He retired on 15 July 2015, after 43 years of service but, A lot has happened and agreement was reached by he government and Gen Knud Bartels and reports has it, He is a leading piece to force peace in Afghanistan and will be off the mission in a few months time..

Awards and decorations

Grand Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog
25 Years of Good Service (Denmark)
The Home Guard 25 years Long Service Medal (Denmark)
The Reserve Officers Association of Denmark Medal of Honor
Knight 1 st Class of the French National Order of Merit
Knight of the French Order of the Legion of Honour
Commander Degree of the Legion of Merit Medal[3]
Commander with Star of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit
Greek Commendation Medal Star of Merit of Honour
UN Medal for UNFICYP
NATO Medal for KFOR


  1. Forsvaret. "General Knud Bartels - new adjunct professor at the Defence Academy". (in Danish). Forsvarsakademiet. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  2. "NATO News- Chairman of the Military Committee Farewells NATO"; NATO news release 18 November 2011; accessed 19 November 2011.
  3. Chairman of the Military Committee discusses Euro-Atlantic Security Architecture and the importance of a solid Transatlantic Bond; NATO news release 04 October 2014; accessed 25 February 2015.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Knud Bartels.
Military offices
Preceded by
Giampaolo Di Paola
Chairperson of the Nato Military Committee
Succeeded by
Petr Pavel
Preceded by
Tim Sloth Jørgensen
Chief of Defence (Denmark)
Succeeded by
Peter Bartram
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