Ministry of Defense

Armed Forces Military Organization



Air Force

Home Guard


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Armed Forces


Ministry of Defense


Subordinate to the MoD are the "Armed Forces' Military Organization" as well as the three civilian agencies: the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, the National Security Agency and the Defense Estate Agency.


Armed Forces Military Organization



The achievement of the Armed Forces Military Organization consists of the national arms supported by two swords in saltire, Or.


Æ See illustration in the head of this essay.


The formal commander-in-chief or supreme commander of the norwegian armed forces is King Harald V, however, the acting commander-in-chief is the Chief of Defence.


Achievement of King Harald V


On the national strategic level the armed forces are headed by the Chief of Defense:


File:Flag of the Norwegian Chief of Defence.svg

Flag of the Chief of Defense

Formerly flag of the Minister of Defense


Subordinated to the Chief of Defense is the Staff of Defense, headed by the Chief of Staff of Defense (Försvarschefen).


Staff of Defense

Arms: Gules, three swords per pale Or.

Crown: Royal Norwegian crown


Chief of Staff of Defense


Arms: Gules, three swords per pale Or

Crest: On a crowned helmet to the dexter, a crowned lion with an axe issuant Or.


The arms were designed by Halvard Trætteberg and  approved by king Haakon VII in 1962



Tri Service



The National Joint Headquarters (NJHQ) has operational control of the Norwegian armed forces worldwide. It is headed by the Supreme Commander Norwegian Forces - a three star general or admiral. Subordinate to NJHQ is the Regional Headquarters South in Stavanger and the Regional Headquarters North in Bodø. Located the same place as NJHQ is NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre (JWC).


National Headquarters in Stavanger (2005)


Arms: Azure, three swords per pale Argent

Crown: Norwegian Royal Crown


The three swords symbolize the army, the navy and the air force


Joint Headquarters North

in Bodø

Joint Headquarters South

in Stavanger



Ancient Arms

Ancient Arms






 Arms 2005

Arms 2005




Because of  the Kalmar War of 1611, the Danish king tried to revive the norse volunteer leidang, with dire results. In 1628, at the proposal of statholder Jens Juell, king Christian IV enacted a war order on 18 January by which a national norwegian army was established and this year is generally regarded as the year when the modern Norwegian army was born.

Until 1814 the army of the norwegians remained a part of the danish army but in 1814 a separate norwegian army under norwegian command was established which was made the army of the kingdom of 1905.


The Army

Emblem of the army, approved by king Olav V, 28 November 1979.


Historical Army Achievements


An early achievement of the army has been preserved in the Archbishops museum in Trondheim. It is from the reign of Frederick IV (1699-1730)



It shows a cuirass supported by armory and crested with the crowned royal cypher of king Frederick IV surrounded by a garland.


From the time of king Oscar II (1872-1905) there is another achievement in the same museum:



It is:

Arms: Gules, the royal cypher O II Or (within a riveted bordure Or)

Crown: The royal Norwegian crown

Supporters: Two Norwegian lions armed with axes proper.


A third achievement is from the time of king Haakon VII (1905-’57):



It is:

Arms: Gules, the royal cypher H VII, Or.

Crown: The Norwegian Royal Crown

Supporters: Two crowned lions Or.


No such achievement is available from the time of king Olav V. Instead, after WWII, the cap badge of the army came to consist of the crowned royal cypher surrounded  by a garland of oak.   [1]

The Emblem of the Army





Cap badge 18th century

Sjako star 1818

Helmet badge 1844-1905

Cocarde 1941-1951

Hat badge 1959-1983


Hat badge 1983-present

The Royal Guard




Hans Majestet Kongens Garde (HMKG) (lit.: His Majesty The King's Guard; the Royal Guards) is a battalion of the Norwegian Army.

The Norwegian guards company was established on November 8. 1856 by King Oscar I. The company moved from Stockholm to Kristiania in 1888. On Norway's independence in 1905, the company became the royal guard for Haakon VII and was increased to battalion size.


Its arms are:

Arms: Sable, the crowned royal cypher between two swords upright Or.


The only officer of the norwegian army having his own arms of office is the Inspector General of the Army


Inspector General of the Army


Arms: Gules, the Norwegian lion betewen tow swords per pale Or.

Crest: On a helmet affrontée lambrequined Gules and Or, the Norwegian issuant swinging his axe Or, and with a shield of the arms proper

Supporters: Two marshal’s batons in saltire Or


The flag of the Inspector General is the ensign augmented in its upper mast canton with two marshal’s batons in saltire.




The history of the Norwegian navy goes back to the leidang which was first established by King Håkon the Good at the Gulating in 955.

During most of the union between Norway and Denmark the two countries had a common fleet. This fleet was established by King Hans (1483-1523) in 1509.

The modern Royal Norwegian Navy was founded on April 12, 1814 by Prince Christian Fredrik.









ไฟล์:Flag of the Inspector General of the Norwegian Navy.svg

Former flag of the Commanding Admiral (1905)

Now flag of the Inspector General of the Navy


The only officer of the norwegian navy having his own arms of office is the Inspector General of the Navy



Inspector General of the Navy

Arms: Azure, an anchor per pale Or.

Crest: On a wreath of the colors a lion issuant swinging a trident per fess Or,

Supporters: Two fouls anchors in saltire, Or.


Air Force


The Royal Norwegian Air Force (RnoAF) was established on 10 November 1944 from the Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service and the Norwegian Army Air Service.



About 1948/1949 the inistiative was taken to design an emblem for the RnoAF. A first emblem was drawn by capt. Jens Chr. Magnus in cooperation with Halvard Trætteberg. It consisted of an attacking falcon crowned with the royal crown and was approved by king Haakon VII in 1949. The emblem underwent several changes until a last design was approved by king Olav V on 25 November 1981.

The emblem consists of a blue disc charged with an attacking falcon, surrounded by a dark-blue bordure with the legend LUFTFORSVARET in silver lettering, crowned with the royal crown. Below is the motto KONGE FOLK OG FEDRELAND (King, People and Fatherland) in black lettering on a silver ribbon.


The Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service (Marinens Flyvevesen) was established in 1912. Its emblem consisted of a pair of wings charged with an anchor crowned with the royal crown.


RNNAS emblem

Coll. Forsvaersmuseet, Oslo


The Norwegian Army Air Service (NoAAS) was established in 1914. Its emblem consisted of a pair of wings crested with the national arms surrounded by a garland of laurel.

Wings 1941-1952








File:Flag of the Inspector General of the Royal Norwegian Air Force.svg

Flag of the Inspector General of the Air Force


Home Guard


The Norwegian Home Guard (Heimevernet), was founded 6 December 1946.



All districts of the Home guard, formerly by the number of 18 but nowadays by the number of thirteen, have their own arms and banners.[2] Also its units had their own coats of arms which were adopted in 1983 but became obsolete in 1997.

In 1993 the Guard received its own arms which consists of the crowned letters HV on a black field, surrounded by a garland.

The staff of  the Home Guard has this emblem on a grey background





The norwegian police service is subordinated to the Ministry of  Justice and Police (Justis-og Politi-departementet).


The history of the service reaches back to the 13th century. It was reorganised in the eighties of the 20th century.


From about the proclamation of independence the emblem of the norwegian police is the crowned national arms. The oldest badges show the national arms on an oval shield, surrounded by the name of the corps. From 1935 the national arms of the police badge is supported by two fasces per pale. Initially the arms were crowned with the crested crown but in 1937 the crest was omitted.



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© Hubert de Vries 2013-09-18



[1] Makilla, Øivind Richard: Avdelingsmerker og Gradtegn på Uniform i det Norske Forsvar. 1940-1997. Oslo, 1997. The new emblems on internet.

[2] Faner og Flagg. Oslo, 2008. Many arms of the districts are on Internet.