General  Knud Bartels

Chairman of the Military Committee

  • Last updated: 02 Dec. 2014 11:24

As of 1 January 2012 General Bartels was appointed Chairman of NATO Military Committee.

From 2009 to 2011 General Knud Bartels served as Chief of Defence Denmark, the highest ranking officer in the Danish Armed Forces and the principal military adviser to the Danish government.

Prior to assuming command as Chief of Defence, General Bartels served as Denmark's Military Representative to the NATO Military Committee and the EU Military Committee from 2006 to 2009.

General Bartels enrolled as a soldier in 1972, and to a large extent soldiering has remained at the core of his career. His rise through the ranks from junior to general officer is dominated by operational duty at home and in missions, ranging from company to division commander, interrupted only by courses at Ecole Supérieure de Guerre in Paris and US Army War College in Carlisle. Furthermore, he has held postings as instructor at both the Army Combat School and the Royal Danish Defence College, including an appointment as Director Army Command and General Staff Course.

In addition, General Bartels has held his share of positions in both national and international joint staffs, including Assistant Chief of Staff Plans, Defence Command Denmark, and Director for Operations, NATO's International Military Staff in Brussels.

General Bartels is married to Inge and in their marriage they have brought together four adult children; two sons and two daughters – and they have their home in Brussels. The General has an interest in history, in particular military history, and he also enjoys art and music as well as old sports cars.

Date of birth:    8th April 1952 in Copenhagen, Denmark

Family: Married to Mrs. Inge Vansteenkiste (Goes by Mrs. Inge Bartels)

Military career:

1977 First Lieutenant
1982 Captain
1987 Major
1992 Lieutenant Colonel
1996 Colonel
2001 Brigadier
2001 Major General
2006 Lieutenant General
2009 General


1972 - 1973 Basic and NCO training
1973 - 1977 Royal Danish Army Academy
1977 - 1980 Regimental duty
1980 - 1981 United Nations Forces Cyprus
1981 - 1982 Junior Army and Joint Staff Course
1982 - 1984 Instructor in tactics, Army Combat School
1984 - 1986 Student Ecole Supérieure de Guerre, Paris
1986 - 1987 Instructor in tactics/operations, Royal Danish Defence College
1987 - 1988 Company Commander, II Armoured Battalion (Sjællandske Livregiment)
1988 - 1990 Instructor in tactics/operations, Royal Danish Defence College
1990 - 1992 Staff Officer Danish Defence Command
1992 - 1993 Commanding Officer I Battalion (Slesviske Fodregiment)
1993 - 1994 Student US Army War College, Carlisle
1994 - 1996 Director Army Command and General Staff Course, Royal Danish Defence College
1996 - 1997 Commander 3 Jutland Brigade
1997 - 1999 ACOS Plans Danish Defence Command
1999 Senior National Representative KFOR and MNB(N)
2000 - 2001 MA Director International Military Staff
2001 Deputy Military Representative to NATO Military Committee
2001 - 2004 Director for Operations, International Military Staff
2004 - 2006 General Officer Commanding Danish Division
2006 - 2009 Danish Military Representative to NATO Military Committee and EU Military Committee
2009 - 2011 Chief of Defence Denmark
2012 - Chairman of the NATO Military Committee


  • Grand Cross of the Order of Dannebrog (Denmark)
  • 25 Years Good Service Medal (Denmark)
  • The Home Guard Good Service Medal (Denmark)
  • The Reserve Officers Association of Denmark Medal of Honor (Denmark)
  • Commander with Star of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit (Norway)
  • Commander of the French Order of the Legion of Honour (France)
  • Commander of the Legion of Merit (United States of America)
  • Greek Commendation Medal Star of Merit of Honour (Greece)
  • Knight 1st Class of the French National Order of Merit (France)
  • NATO Medal (Kosovo)
  • UN Medal (Cyprus)