Hans Jesper Helsø

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Hans Jesper Helsø

General Hans Jesper Helsø.jpg
Helsø at his retirement party in 2008
Born (1948-07-09) 9 July 1948 (age 70)[1]
Copenhagen, Denmark
Allegiance Denmark
Service/branchFlag of Denmark (state).svg Royal Danish Army
Years of service1968-2008 (40 years)[2]
AwardsCommander of the Order of the Dannebrog

Hans Jesper Helsø (born July 9, 1948), is a former Danish Chief of Defence.[3]

Helsø served his conscription in 1968 and initially became sergeant and officer of the reserve. In 1974 he becomes lieutenant and served the following four years at King's Artillery Regiment.[2] In 1982-83 he is - as a captain - at the General Staff Course in the United States. In 1990 he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel and come back to the artillery as Head of Department for a few years. After a short staff service at the Army Operational Command, he became Head of the King's Artillery Regiment between 1994 and 1996.[2] In 2000-02, he is Chief of the Army Operational Command, and then Chief of Operations and Planning Staffs until his appointment as Chief of Defence. In August 2008 Helsø reached the army's age-limit and was replaced by Tim Sloth Jørgensen.[1]

His service has been supplemented with a few international missions; first in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in 1979 and then UNPROFOR in the Balkans in 1995.[2]

In 2002 - a few months before planned - Helsø had to step in as Chief of Defence as a result of Christian Hvidt's early resignation, his period as Chief of Defence is marked by the Defence moving from being a mobilization defense to be a conscription based professional defense, in which overseas missions form a significant part of the effort. The planning of this change occurred in the Defence's own management and is described in the episode K-notatet in the TV series Magtens Billeder.

After his time as Chief of Defense Helsø engaged in organizations related to the military, including as a member of Soldier Scholarship Award Committee and on the board of the YMCA Soldiers Mission.

Helsø is married and has four children.[1]

Awards and Decorations[edit]

DNK Order of Danebrog Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross of the Order of Dannebrog
DK Haederstegn for god tjeneste.png 25 Years of Good Service (Denmark)
RESOFF ASS R.png The Reserve Officers Association of Denmark Medal of Honor
DKFredsprismedalje Ribbon.png Peace Prize Medal, (Denmark)
Ordre national du Merite GO ribbon.svg Grand Officer of National Order of Merit, (France)
EST Order of the Cross of the Eagle 1st Class BAR.png Grand Cross of the Order the Eagle, (Estonia)
US Legion of Merit Commander ribbon.png Commander of the Legion of Merit, (USA)
Comm Medal for Adv Lv Mem NATO.png Commemorative Medal for Advancing Latvia's Membership to NATO, (Latvia)
UNFICYP Medal bar.svg UN Medal for UNFICYP
ONZ Medal w Służbie Pokoju UNPROFOR BAR.svg UN Medal for UNPROFOR
Vierdaagse Medal Bar.png Nijmegen Cross
Other Accoutrements
Danish Parachutist Badge.png Parachutist Badge
Danish Pistol Badge.png Pistol Badge Badge (Gold)
Danish Rifle Badge.png Rifle Badge (Gold)
Danish Sub-machine Gun Badge.png Sub-machine Gun Badge (Silver)
Danish Light Machine Gun Badge.png Light Machine Gun Badge (Silver)
Danish Combat Swimming Skill Badge.png Combat Swimming Skill Badge (Silver)
Danish First Aid Skill Badge.png First Aid Skill Badge (Bronze)


  1. ^ a b c Lauridsen, Søren. "Chief of Defence's Less Than Impressive Goodbye Party" (in Danish). Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "General Hans Jesper Helsø". NATO.org. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Hans Jesper Helsø New Chief of Defence" (in Danish). Politikken. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
Military offices
Preceded by
Christian Hvidt
Chief of Defence
Succeeded by
Tim Sloth Jørgensen