Brigadier General Knudsen joined the Danish Army in 1981 and was commissioned into the Jutland Dragoon Regiment. He saw regimental service in infantry, tank and reconnaissance units.
Graduating from the Junior Command and Staff Course in 1990 he was posted as second in command of a Reconnaissance Squadron. In 1992 he served as staff officer during the preparation phase of UNPROFOR on the Balkans and later as second in command of an infantry company, which was part of the entry force.
In 1993 he commanded an armoured infantry company and in 1994 a tank squadron.
After the completion of the Danish Army General Staff Course and the Joint Command and General Staff Course he was in 1996 appointed as staff officer in the Study and Doctrine Branch of the Danish Army Operational Command. He worked primarily with Army requirements, acquisition, and the Danish Defence Agreements.
In 1998 he was appointed as Chief of the Combat Vehicles Division at the Danish Army Combat School. He worked in the field of requirement, acquisition, and training. Among other things he dealt with the development and implementation of the Danish version of the Leopard 2 A5 (DK) tank, the light armored vehicle Piranha, and other cross-country vehicles and training equipments.
In 2001 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and appointed as second in command and Chief of Staff of the Danish Battle Group in Kosovo. After that he served as Commander of the Reconnaissance Battalion, Danish Division.
In 2003 he was appointed as Head of the Study and Doctrine Branch at the Danish Army Operational Command. His work was concentrated on the transformation of the Danish Army and the defence agreement for 2005 – 2009.
In 2005 Per Orluff Knudsen was assigned as the Danish National Liaison Officer to United States Joint Forces Command (US JFCOM) in Virginia, USA. He was physically located with the Joint Concept Development & Experimentation Directorate (J9) in Suffolk, Virginia, but liaised with all of US JFCOM.
Back in Denmark in 2009 he was posted as Head of the Land Warfare Center and Course Director of the Army General Staff Course at the Royal Danish Defence College.
In 2011 he was promoted to colonel and assigned as the Director of Training and Resources Division at the Danish Army Operational Command.
Per Orluff Knudsen was promoted to Brigadier General as of May 2013 and posted as Commanding Officer of the Danish 1. Brigade, which also conducted the pre-deployment training of Danish formations for international operations in i.e. Afghanistan and Kosovo.
Between January 2016 and August 2018 the Brigadier General served as Chief of Staff at the NATO HQ Multinational Corps North-East in Poland.
In August 2018 Brigadier General Per Orluff Knudsen was assigned as NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation's Representative to the US Pentagon. He served in this position until he was assigned his current position as Danish National Military Representative to SHAPE in August 2021.
In February 2015 he graduated from Senior Course 125 at NATO Defense College.
Brigadier General Knudsen was born in 1962 in Brande, Denmark. He is married to Dorte. They have three adult boys.
- Commander of the Royal Order of Dannebrog.
- Polish Minister of Defence Achievement Medal.
- United States Joint Service Achievement Award.
- 25 years of Distinguished Service in the Army.
- United States Joint Service Commendation Medal.
- French Médaille de la Défense nationale.
- UN medal, UNPROFOR 1.
- NATO medal, KFOR 6.
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