Johan Hederstedt

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Johan Hederstedt
Johan Hederstedt MILI.030095.jpg
Hederstedt in 1988.
Birth nameJohan Ivar Hederstedt
Born (1943-08-26) 26 August 1943 (age 78)
Nässjö, Sweden
Service/branchSwedish Army
Years of service1966–2003
UnitÄlvsborg Regiment
Northern Småland Regiment
Commands held
Battles/warsCyprus dispute
Lebanese Civil War
Yugoslav Wars
AwardsH. M. The King's Medal

General Johan Ivar Hederstedt (born 26 August 1943) is a senior Swedish Army officer. Hederstedt was commissioned as an officer in 1966 and served in Älvsborg Regiment (I 15) and Northern Småland Regiment (I 12) in the 1960s and 1970s. Hederstedt served with UNFICYP in Cyprus and UNIFIL in Lebanon before becoming commanding officer of the Life Guards Brigade (MekIB 1) in 1988. He was commanding officer of the Western Army Division from 1993 to 1996 and was International Operations Commander at the Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters. Hederstedt was then Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces from 2000 to 2003.

Early life[]

Hederstedt was born on 26 August 1943 in Nässjö parish, Sweden[1] and did his military service in Älvsborg Regiment (I 15) in Borås in 1963. He was educated at the Swedish Infantry Cadet and Officer Candidate School and became second lieutenant in Älvsborg Regiment after graduating from the Royal Military Academy in 1966.[2]


Hederstedt underwent the Higher Staff Course at the Swedish Armed Forces Staff College from 1974 to 1976[3] and held aspirant positions in the central staffs and troop service at Älvsborg Regiment and Northern Småland Regiment (I 12) in Eksjö.[2] Hederstedt was serving at the Defense Staff's Operations Department, responsible of operational planning, from 1976 to 1981.[3] He served as chief of staff of the Swedish UN Battalion of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in Cyprus in 1981.[2] From 1981 to 1982 he was company commander in the Northern Småland Regiment and from 1982 to 1986 he served as the head of the Defense Staff's Quartermaster Department.[2][3] Hederstedt was battalion commander at Bohuslän Regiment (I 17) in Uddevalla from 1986 to 1988[3] when he was promoted to colonel.[2]

Hederstedt was appointed battalion commander of the Swedish UN Battalion of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in Lebanon in 1988. In Lebanon, Hederstedt conducted many negotiations on various levels with several of the factions (e.g., PLO, PFLP, Hezbollah, Black September, Amal, etc. and Israeli supported Christian guerrilla parties).[4] He was commanding officer of the Life Guards Brigade (MekIB 1) at Svea Life Guards (I 1) in Kungsängen from 1988 to 1993.[2] Between 1989 and 1992 Hederstedt was also the Course Director for UN Nordic Staff officers courses dealing with guerilla warfare. He also conducted fact-finding trips to troublespots, including Cyprus, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, and the Middle East (Israel, Gaza, and Lebanon).[4] Hederstedt was commanding officer of the Western Army Division in Skövde from 1993 to 1996.[2] Hederstedt was promoted to major general in 1996 and was appointed International Operations Commander at the Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters.[2]

In May 1997, Hederstedt led a Partnership for Peace exercise in Germany with 1,900 officers from 28 countries. In 1997 he also became military adviser to the Minister for Defence Björn von Sydow and in 1998 he was promoted to lieutenant general.[2] Hederstedt accompanied Björn von Sydow on several trips to Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, Congo, Uganda where they met with government leaders and members of opposition parties.[4] During the 1990s, Hederstedt was also on the ground monitoring the Balkan conflict. He was responsible for the Swedish participation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Kosovo. There he met with the leaders of many guerrilla movements and studied their organisations and command structures. Hederstedt reported to the Swedish government from the ground about the war in 1998 and 1999.[4] Hederstedt was appointed Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces on 1 July 2000 and simultaneously promoted to general.[2]

During his time as Supreme Commander Hederstedt executed the largest transformation of the Swedish Armed Forces in modern time. This included a change from a defence of invasion to a more flexible response defence, a radical change including a strong internationalization of the whole defence.[3] During 2001 Hederstedt was President in the European Union Military Committee. He was in this capacity the chairman of the chiefs of defence of European Union. During this time the European Union military structure and capacity was formed and developed. During his time as Supreme Commander, he developed and set the basics of a new organisational and technical worked based structure of the Swedish defence. The change of the defence also concluded a complete integration of the military services. A total regional logistic solution was also phased out and was replaced by a solution based on a complete overview which created large rationality and further improvement.[3] Hederstedt left the position of Supreme Commander och retired from the military on 31 December 2003.[5]


Hederstedt became partner of Gaia Leadership in 2004. In December 2004 Hederstedt got the mission of the Swedish government to coordinate and organise the aid work in Thailand after the Tsunami disaster. The primarily responsibility was to send home deceased Swedish citizens.[3]

Personal life[]

Hederstedt is married to Birgitta, a former planning director of the executive board of the National Board of Health and Welfare and former Regional Director of Halland.[6] Hederstedt has four grownup children from a previous marriage.[3]

Dates of rank[]

Awards and decorations[]



  1. ^ Sveriges befolkning 1980 (in Swedish). Stockholm: Sveriges släktforskarförb. 2004. ISBN 91-87676-37-0. SELIBR 9632925.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Lidén, Erik (2000). "Sveriges nionde överbefälhavare". Vårt försvar: tidskrift (in Swedish). Stockholm: Allmänna försvarsföreningen. 111 (2). SELIBR 3430365. Archived from the original on 13 August 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j von Hebel, Herman (19 June 2008). "THE PROSECUTOR v. ISSA HASSAN SESAY, MORRIS KALLON, AUGUSTINE GBAO" (PDF). Special Court for Sierra Leone. pp. 5–6. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d von Hebel, Herman (19 June 2008). "THE PROSECUTOR v. ISSA HASSAN SESAY, MORRIS KALLON, AUGUSTINE GBAO" (PDF). Special Court for Sierra Leone. p. 2. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Johan Hederstedt avgår som ÖB vid årsskiftet". Expressen (in Swedish). TT. 4 November 2003. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  6. ^ Rydeman, Johan (9 January 2008). "Birgitta Hederstedt - ny direktör för Region Halland". Hallands Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Sök medaljförläning" (in Swedish). Royal Court of Sweden. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  8. ^ Petersson, Ulf, ed. (2005). "Medalj till förre ÖB Johan Hederstedt" [Medal to former Supreme Commander Johan Hederstedt]. Insats & Försvar (in Swedish). Swedish Armed Forces (1): 65. ISSN 1652-3571.
  9. ^ "Johan Ivari Hederstedt". Office of the President of the Republic. 2004. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  10. ^ Andersson, Björn (2016). Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademien: Svenska krigsmanna sällskapet (till 1805), Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademien : 20 år med akademien och dess ledamöter 1996-2016 (in Swedish). Stockholm: Kungl. Krigsvetenskapsakademien. p. 37. ISBN 978-91-980878-8-8. SELIBR 20033514.
Military offices
Preceded by
Western Army Division
Succeeded by
Sven-Eric Andersson
Preceded by Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces
Succeeded by
Retrieved from ""