His term of office, normally three years, is expected to begin in June 2012, when he will succeed the current Chairman, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola. “It is a great honor for me to have been elected as the next Chairman of the Military Committee, and I thank my fellow Chiefs of Defence for the responsibility they have entrusted in me. Admiral Di Paola has done and is doing a tremendous job, and I look forward to continue his work when I take office next summer. For the time being, however, I will focus on my current position as Danish Chief of Defence”.
General Bartels has served NATO for many years, including as Danish Military Representative to NATO’s Military Committee.
“On behalf of the Military Committee I welcome the election of General Knud Bartels. This is the first time Denmark has won the election as the top Officer in NATO”, said Admiral Di Paola, Chairman since June 2008. “His high professionalism and familiarity with NATO issues and processes will surely stand him in good stead. These are challenging times for NATO, our ongoing missions in Afghanistan, Libya, Kosovo, the Mediterranean Sea and off the coasts of Somalia, along with the Transformation of the Alliance and the implementation of the new NATO Command Structure require full dedication and commitment”.
The Chairman of the Military Committee is the principal military advisor to the Secretary General and the conduit through which consensus-based advice from NATO’s Chiefs of Defence is presented to the political body of NATO, the North Atlantic Council.
Since 1963, when the position was made full-time and determined by election, the position has been held by 16 officers from: Germany (five times), the United Kingdom (three times), Canada (twice), Norway (twice), Italy (twice), Belgium and the Netherlands (once each).