Daniel Knobel

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Daniel Pieter Knobel
Born (1936-11-29) 29 November 1936 (age 80)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Allegiance South Africa
Service/branch South African Military Health Service
Rank Lieutenant General

Lieutenant-General Daniel 'Neil' Knobel MBChB SSAS SD SOE SM MMM KStJ PHD (born 29 November 1936)[1] was a South African military commander. A medical doctor, he was Surgeon-General,[2] in command of the South African Medical Service, from 1988 to 1997.[3]

Medical career[edit]

Daniel Knobel was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1936. Educated at the Afrikaans Boys High School in Pretoria, South Africa, he graduated as a Medical Doctor and Specialist Anatomist at the Edinburgh University in Scotland in 1966. After being involved in Academic Medicine as a teacher of Anatomy to approximately 20,000 students of all health professions in both Scotland and South Africa, he retired as Professor and Head of the Anatomy Department at the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 1979.[4]

Having served for 13 years (from 1966 to 1979) as a Medical Officer, in various Staff and Operational positions in the Part Time Forces of the South African Defence Force, he joined the Permanent Force as Chief of Staff Medical Operations, with the rank of Brigadier in 1980. During the Period 1980 to 1988, he obtained the Command and Staff and Joint Staff qualifications of the SADF, and served in various capacities in numerous operations in the RSA, South West Africa, Angola and Mozambique. In 1988 he was appointed as Surgeon General of the SADF with the rank of Lieutenant General.[5]

During his term of office he was responsible for the medical care of four successive State Presidents of the RSA, all Foreign Dignitaries, as well as providing a specialized supporting service to all the Security Services and the Department of Health in South Africa.

Honours and awards[edit]

He officially visited 160 Military and Scientific installations in 14 Countries, received 21 honours and awards and was decorated on seven occasions. In particular the Order of the Star of South Africa (Silver) was conferred on him by the State President of the RSA in 1992 and in 1994, HM the Queen, Queen Elizabeth the 2nd, sanctioned his promotion to Knight of the Order of St John.

Medal List[edit]

Professional Recognition[edit]

He is the author/co-author of 72 Academic, Military and/or Scientific publications and is associated with 45 Professional Societies/Organizations. With a special devotion to the needs of the Disabled, he established the Curamus Association and Curamus Monument, for serving and ex-serving members of the Security Services of the RSA in 1989 and was awarded the World Veterans Fund Rehabilitation Prize for his work in this regard in 2000.

See also[edit]


Military offices

Preceded by
Nicolaas Nieuwoudt
Chief of the South African Military Health Service
1988 – 1997
Succeeded by
Davidson Masuku
Preceded by
Deputy Chief of Staff Operations
1987 – 1988
Succeeded by
James Kriel