Håkan Syrén

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Håkan Syrén
Håkan syrén ÖB.jpg
Born (1952-01-31) 31 January 1952 (age 65)
Växjö, Sweden
Allegiance Sweden
Service/branch Swedish Navy
Years of service 1970–2012[1]
Rank General
Commands held CO of KA 1
Director of MUST
Supreme Commander
Chairman of EUMC
Other work ADC to His Majesty the King

General Håkan Erik Gunnar Syrén (born 31 January 1952) is a Swedish Amphibious Corps general and former chairman of the European Union Military Committee. He was the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces from 1 January 2004 to 25 March 2009, and was the first Supreme Commander to come from the Navy.


Syrén was born in Växjö, Sweden, the son of lieutenant colonel Gunnar Syrén[2] and his wife Siv Syrén. He grew up in Uppsala, where he graduated from Lundellska läroverket in 1970.[2] Syrén studied at the Royal Swedish Naval Academy from which he graduated in 1973.[3]

He was then instructor and platoon commander at the Vaxholm Coastal Artillery Regiment (KA 1) from 1973 to 1979 and studied at the Military Academy Karlberg in Stockholm from 1980 to 1984. Syrén was a staff officer at the Naval Staff in Stockholm from 1984 to 1988 and was a student at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, USA from 1988 to 1989. Back in Sweden, he was teacher of strategy at the Military Academy Karlberg from 1989 to 1990 and head of the Planning Department at the Navy Staff from 1990 to 1992. Syrén was then commanding officer of the Marine Amphibious Battalion from 1992 to 1994 and commanding officer of the Vaxholm Coastal Artillery Regiment from 1994 to 1996.[4]

Syrén was head of Operations Planning Department at the Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters from 1996 to 1998.[4] In 1997 he completed a management course at the Swedish Defence University and in 1999 he completed the Senior International Defence Management Course (SIDMC) at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, USA.[3] Back in Sweden, Syrén served as secretary to the Defence Commission at the Ministry of Defence in 1999 and served as director of the Military Intelligence and Security Service at the Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters from 1999 to 2003.[4]

In 2004, Syrén was appointed Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces. His appointment lasted until 31 December 2009. On 25 March 2009 he was succeeded by Sverker Göranson as Supreme Commander. On 29 October 2008, the Chiefs of Defence meeting of the European Union Military Committee (EUMC) endorsed Syrén as the next chairman of the EUMC. In the position as CEUMC he was formally appointed by the Council of the European Union for a period of three years and succeeded general Henri Bentégeat on 6 November 2009.[5][6] His appointment lasted until November 2012 and after this, he started his consulting firm In General AB the same year.[7]

Other work[edit]

Syrén was ADC to His Majesty the King from 1988 to 1996.[3] He became a member of the Royal Swedish Society of Naval Sciences in 1993 and of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences in 1996.[3] Syrén became a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in 1997[3] and is a member of the Swedish Society for International Affairs (Utrikespolitiska samfundet).[8] In December 2012 he became a senior advisor to the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC)[9] and the following year he became a board member of the SSC.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Syrén is married to Birgitta and together they have three children.[3]



Syréns promotions:[3]

  • 1973 – Lieutenant
  • 1976 – Captain
  • 1983 – Major
  • 1988 – Lieutenant Colonel
  • 1994 – Colonel
  • 1996 – Brigadier (Överste 1. graden)
  • 1999 – Major General
  • 2000 – Lieutenant General
  • 2004 – General

Awards and decorations[edit]


  1. ^ Tengroth, Jesper (20 November 2012). "Avanmälan genomförd – nu lämnar Syrén efter 43 år i Försvarsmakten" (in Swedish). Swedish Armed Forces. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Johansson, Anders (6 October 1999). "Nye spionchefen läser inte Guillou". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Curriculum vitae" (PDF) (in Swedish). Swedish Armed Forces. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-03-25. 
  4. ^ a b c Heyman, Charles (2011). The British Army: A Pocket Guide, 2012-2013. Casemate Publishers. p. 49. ISBN 1848841078. 
  5. ^ "Swede likely to head top military council] European Voice". European Voice. 24 October 2008. 
  6. ^ "Press Release, 2914th Council meeting, General Affairs and External Relations, Brussels" (PDF). Council of the European Union. 8 December 2008. p. 35. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  7. ^ Stenquist, Victor (2015-05-13). "Förre ÖB tjänar miljoner – på försvarsindustrin". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  8. ^ "LEDAMOTSFÖRTECKNING UTRIKESPOLITISKA SAMFUNDET" (PDF) (in Swedish). Swedish Institute for International Affairs. p. 77. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "SSC APPOINTS HÅKAN SYRÉN AS SENIOR ADVISOR". Swedish Space Corporation. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "NEW MEMBERS ELECTED TO SSC'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS". Swedish Space Corporation. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "Sök medaljförläning" (in Swedish). Royal Court of Sweden. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  12. ^ "Storkorset av Finlands Lejons orden till förre ÖB Håkan Syrén" (in Swedish). Embassy of Finland, Stockholm. 4 May 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  13. ^ Ålsnäs, Marcus (2006-06-28). "Fransk hedersutmärkelse till svenska ÖB" [French honorary award to the Swedish Supreme Commander]. Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Johan Hederstedt
Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces
Succeeded by
Sverker Göranson
Preceded by
Henri Bentégeat
Chairman of the European Union Military Committee
Succeeded by
Patrick de Rousiers