Knud Bartels

Knud Bartels

General Knud Bartels NATO.jpg
Knud Bartels in 2012
Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
In office
2 January 2012 – 26 June 2015
Preceded byWalter E. Gaskin (acting)
Succeeded byPetr Pavel
Danish Chief of Defence
In office
16 November 2009 – 31 December 2011
Preceded byBjørn Bisserup (acting)
Succeeded byBjørn Bisserup (acting)
Personal details
Born (1952-04-08) 8 April 1952 (age 68)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Spouse(s)Unknown (died)
Inge Vansteenkiste
ParentsEyvind Bartels (father)
OccupationAdjunct Professor at Royal Danish Defence College[1]
Military service
Allegiance Denmark
Branch/service Royal Danish Army
Years of service1972–2015
AwardsGrand 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

Knud Bartels (8 April 1952 in Copenhagen)[2] is a retired Danish general, who served as the Danish Chief of Defence between 2009 and 2011 and was Chairman of the NATO Military Committee from 2011 to 2015.

Early life

Bartels was born in Copenhagen in 1955, and is the son of Eyvind Bartels, who served as Danish ambassador in OEEC and later Washington,[3] Knud Bartels, therefore spent much of his childhood abroad, living many years in Paris.[4] He joined the army in 1972, and went to Royal Danish Military Academy the following year.[5] He went on tour on the UN mission to Cypres in 1980, and became Denmark's Permanent Representative on NATO's Military Committee in 2006.[5]

Chief of Defence

He was appointed as Danish Chief of Defence on 16 November 2009 (announced on 10 November).[5] 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.[6]

Chairman of the NATO Military Committee

As Chief of Defence and Denmark's former Permanent Representative on NATO's Military Committee,[5] 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 Chiefs of Defence 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.[7] 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.[8]

Personal life

Bartels is married to Belgian Inge Vansteenkiste, where they have 4 children, 2 from each's former marriage.[9] After his retirement, he was the first person to be given the position of Adjunct Professor at the Royal Danish Defence College.[1]

Awards and decorations

DNK Order of Danebrog Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog
DK Haederstegn for god tjeneste.png 25 Years of Good Service (Denmark)
DK HJV 25-aars tegn Ribbon.png The Home Guard 25 years Long Service Medal (Denmark)
RESOFF ASS R.png The Reserve Officers Association of Denmark Medal of Honor
Ordre national du Merite Officier ribbon.svg Knight 1 st Class of the French National Order of Merit
Legion Honneur Chevalier ribbon.svg Knight of the French Order of the Legion of Honour
US Legion of Merit Commander ribbon.png Commander Degree of the Legion of Merit Medal[10]
Den kongelige norske fortjenstorden kommandør med stjerne stripe.svg Commander with Star of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit
GRE Order of Honour Grand Commander BAR.png Greek Commendation Medal Star of Merit of Honour
UNFICYP Medal bar.svg UN Medal for UNFICYP
NATO-medaljen KFOR.svg NATO Medal for KFOR
Other Accoutrements
Danish Freefall Parachutist Badge.png Freefall Parachutist Badge
Wings badge.JPG Parachutist Badge (UK)
Coat of arms of the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.svg CMC Badge

External links


  1. ^ a b Forsvaret. "General Knud Bartels - new adjunct professor at the Defence Academy". fak.dk (in Danish). Forsvarsakademiet. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). consilium.europa.eu. 10 January 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  3. ^ ErBj (17 July 2011). "Eyvind Bartels". denstoredanske.dk (in Danish). Gyldendal. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  4. ^ NATO (25 January 2012). "NATO's Military Committee - General Bartels takes the lead". YouTube. NATO. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d Ritzau (10 November 2009). "New Chief of Defence is Knud Bartels". kristeligt-dagblad.dk (in Danish). Kristeligt Dagblad. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  6. ^ Hvilsom, Frank; Vangkilde, Jesper. "Chief of Defence Steps Down". Politikken.dk (in Danish). Politikken. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  7. ^ "NATO News- Chairman of the Military Committee Farewells NATO"; NATO news release 18 November 2011; accessed 19 November 2011.
  8. ^ Vinther, Lars Bøgh. "General Bartels på pension". Forsvaret (in Danish). Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  9. ^ Holtze, Lea (6 September 2014). "Behind the Tough Exterior is a True Friend". kristeligt-dagblad.dk (in Danish). Kristeligt Dagblad. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  10. ^ 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.
Military offices
Preceded by
Giampaolo Di Paola
Chairman 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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