Military Wiki
Chief of Defence
Flag of the Norwegian Chief of Defence.svg
Standard for the Chief of Defence
Coat of arms of the Norwegian Chief of Defence.png
Coat of arms for the Chief of Defence
Ministry of Defence
ColKristoffersenWarCross2011front (cropped).jpg
Eirik Kristoffersen

since 17 August 2020
Ministry of Defence
Type Active
Reports to Minister of Defence
Appointer The Prime Minister
with approval from The Council of State
Term length No fixed length
Formation 18 May 1940
First holder Otto Ruge

The Chief of Defence (Forsvarssjefen) is the highest-ranking officer of the Norwegian Armed Forces, second only to the King of Norway. Even though he holds the same rank as the King of Norway, according to the Norwegian Constitution the King holds the highest command of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Home Guard.

The Chief of Defence is the top advisor to the Government regarding military issues. He is responsible for carrying out the mission the King or Minister of Defence gives to the Military. He is also Norway's representative to NATO's military committee.[1]

The post was first established in 1940,[2][3] and is currently held by General Eirik Kristoffersen.[4]

List of Chiefs of Defence[]

Chief of Defence Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch
Otto Ruge
Ruge, OttoMajor General Otto Ruge
18 May 19409 June 194022 daysNorwegian Army seal Army
Carl Gustav Fleischer
Fleischer, Carl GustavMajor General Carl Gustav Fleischer (Acting)
10 June 194022 February 19421 year, 257 daysNorwegian Army seal Army
Wilhelm von Tangen Hansteen
Hansteen, Wilhelm von TangenMajor General Wilhelm von Tangen Hansteen
23 February 194230 June 19442 years, 128 daysNorwegian Army seal Army
OlavHRH Crown Prince Olav
1 July 194415 July 19451 year, 14 daysNorwegian Army seal Army
Otto Ruge
Ruge, OttoLieutenant General Otto Ruge
16 July 194531 December 1945168 daysNorwegian Army seal Army
Elias Corneliussen
Corneliussen, EliasRear Admiral Elias Corneliussen (Acting)
1 January 194631 May 1946150 daysRoyal Norwegian Navy seal Navy
Halvor Hansson
Hansson, HalvorMajor General Halvor Hansson (Acting)
1 June 194631 July 194660 daysNorwegian Army seal Army
Ole Berg
Berg, OleLieutenant General Ole Berg
(as Chief of the Defence Staff)
1 August 194631 October 19559 years, 91 daysNorwegian Army seal Army
Finn Lambrechts
Lambrechts, FinnLieutenant General Finn Lambrechts
(as Chief of the Defence Staff)
1 November 19558 December 1956 †1 year, 37 daysRoyal Norwegian Air Force seal Air Force
Bjarne Øen
Øen, BjarneLieutenant General Bjarne Øen
(as Chief of the Defence Staff)
10 January 195731 December 19625 years, 355 daysRoyal Norwegian Air Force seal Air Force
Bjarne Øen
Øen, BjarneLieutenant General Bjarne Øen
1 January 196331 December 1963364 daysRoyal Norwegian Air Force seal Air Force
Folke Hauger Johannessen
Johannessen, Folke Hauger(Vice) Admiral Folke Hauger Johannessen
1 January 196431 December 19728 years, 365 daysRoyal Norwegian Navy seal Navy
Herman Fredrik Zeiner-Gundersen
Zeiner-Gundersen, Herman FredrikGeneral Herman Fredrik Zeiner-Gundersen
1 February 197220 March 19775 years, 47 daysNorwegian Army seal Army
Sverre B. Hamre
Hamre, Sverre B.General Sverre B. Hamre
21 March 197730 June 19825 years, 70 daysNorwegian Army seal Army
Sven Hauge
Hauge, SvenGeneral Sven Hauge
1 July 198230 June 19841 year, 365 daysRoyal Norwegian Air Force seal Air Force
Fredrik Bull-Hansen
Bull-Hansen, FredrikGeneral Fredrik Bull-Hansen
1 July 198431 August 19873 years, 61 daysNorwegian Army seal Army
Vigleik Eide
Eide, VigleikGeneral Vigleik Eide
31 August 19875 September 19892 years, 5 daysNorwegian Army seal Army
Torolf Rein
Rein, TorolfAdmiral Torolf Rein
(born 1934)
5 September 198931 October 19945 years, 56 daysRoyal Norwegian Navy seal Navy
Arne Solli
Solli, ArneGeneral Arne Solli
31 October 199430 April 19994 years, 181 daysNorwegian Army seal Army
Sigurd Frisvold
Frisvold, SigurdGeneral Sigurd Frisvold
(born 1947)
1 May 199931 March 20055 years, 334 daysNorwegian Army seal Army
Sverre Diesen
Diesen, SverreGeneral Sverre Diesen
(born 1949)
1 April 200530 September 20094 years, 182 daysNorwegian Army seal Army
Harald Sunde[5]
Sunde, HaraldGeneral Harald Sunde[5]
(born 1954)
1 October 200919 November 20134 years, 49 daysNorwegian Army seal Army
Haakon Bruun-Hanssen[5]
Bruun-Hanssen, HaakonAdmiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen[5]
(born 1960)
19 November 201317 August 20206 years, 272 daysRoyal Norwegian Navy seal Navy
Eirik Kristoffersen[5]
Kristoffersen, Eirik JohanGeneral Eirik Kristoffersen[5]
(born 1969)
17 August 2020Incumbent1 year, 23 daysNorwegian Army seal Army

References and footnotes[]

  1. Overview of the Chief of Defence of Norway position and a listing of holders (in Norwegian) Archived 2009-09-15 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. Derry, T.K. (1972). A History of Modern Norway: 1814—1972. Clarendon Press, Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-822503-4. 
  3. Kersaudy, François (1987). Norway 1940. St. Martin's Press, New York. ISBN 0-312-06427-6. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Norway has appointed a new Chief of Defence"., 21 June 2013, webpage: Regj398.

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