Sverker Göranson the new Supreme Commander

A 54-year-old army general with roots in the far south of Sweden is to be the new Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces. Lieutenant General Sverker Göranson succeeds Håkan Syrén. “I have accepted this post with a tremendous sense of humility in the face of the complex and highly responsible task of taking command and leading the Swedish Armed Forces into the future,” says Sverker Göranson.

The next Supreme Commander, Sverker Göranson, and Minister for Defence, Sten Tolgfors, at a press meeting in Rosenbad. Photo: Niklas Ehlén/Combat Camera
Lieutenant General Sverker Göranson.
Lieutenant General Sverker Göranson. Photo: Torbjörn F Gustafsson/Combat Camera
Lieutenant General Sverker Göranson. Photo: Torbjörn F Gustafsson/Combat Camera

The man who is going to head Sweden’s armed forces chose to treat the military path on completion of his upper secondary school engineering studies in 1975. Since launching his career with the armoured troops, over the past 30 years Göranson has advanced to the rank of lieutenant general.

Internationally, he has also trained at the US Army Command and General Staff College and completed UN Staff Officer training. Sverker Göranson served almost twelve months in Bosnia during the war there and later in the NATO led mission. He spent three and a half years at the Swedish embassy in Washington DC as army and assistant defence attaché.

In Sweden his postings have included second in command of the South Skåne Regiment, brigade commander of the Life Guards and at Head Quarters, head of plans and policy, army inspector and since 2007 the Swedish Armed Forces chief of staff and Head Quarters commander and accordingly a member of the Swedish Armed Forces command group.  He describes his leadership style as follows: “As commander I must set clear goals to ensure we can deliver the right results. Responsibilities are attached to each role. I am very particular in deciding priorities and directions as this work permeates down to everyone – principles that apply to all parts of the Swedish Armed Forces.”

Our response to the planning issues posed by the government was presented in January. This entails a continued realignment of our armed troops.  

 “Units are to have better capability to be able to be deployed at short notice, both nationally, regionally and globally at all levels of conflict,” Göranson maintains. Units will be given a rotating timetable with preparations, missions, stand by and recuperation. 

The Swedish Armed Forces’ proposals are based on what was ordered by the Defence Committee: all soldiers and sailors are to be voluntary recruits either as staff or contracted personnel. Which, in turn, means intelligent and motivated young people of both sexes who want to be part of the Swedish Armed Forces.

Sverker Göranson lives with his wife Ann and two children on the outskirts of Stockholm. He is an enthusiastic skier and a trained ski instructor who has skied with mountain guides in France, the USA and Canada.

He is also a big fan of The Boss. Anyone he has given a lift to can confirm that Göranson likes to play Springsteen CDs very loudly in his car. He has even managed to see Bruce Springsteen in concert four times in Sweden .
 “I’m looking forward to seeing him live for the fifth time this summer,” says Göranson. “I have a ticket for his concert in June.”

Göranson will take up his post  as Supreme Commander on 25 March in a ceremony at Karlsberg Castle.  

“The government has chosen an excellent successor for the post of Supreme Commander. I have worked closely with Sverker Göranson for several years and know that the Swedish Armed Forces will be led by a good supreme commander.  I feel entirely secure in handing over the command baton on 25 March and wish him every success in his new role,” says Supreme Commander Håkan Syrén.