Hans-Jörg Detlefsen was born in 1963 in Böel/Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, initiated his military career in 1983.
After naval officer training, he conducted his flight training on fighter/bomber aircraft in Sacramento, USA; Cottesmore,UK; and Fürstenfeldbruck and Jever in Germany. He graduated as a naval aviator for TORNADO aircraft in 1989.
In 1999, he became squadron leader at Naval Air Wing 2 Eggebek. From 2003 to 2004, he served as group commander and was responsible for the transfer of naval air capabilities to the German Air Force after the decision was made to reduce naval air capabilities.
He has collected more than 2,000 flying hours in 15 years of active flying duty. During this time, he commanded German naval fighter/bombers several times on extended flights in international exercises, including weapons and missile training (live firing) abroad.
From 1997 to 1999, he attended the general staff course at the Bundeswehr Command and Staff College in Hamburg. After assignments as military assistant to the German Naval Fleet Commander and as desk officer in the Ministry of Defence, he returned to the Command and Staff College in 2004 as a tutor on the Joint General Staff course.
From 2006 to 2008 he worked as a military assistant to the Minister of Defence. After promotion to captain, was assigned to the post of military advisor and Division Head in the Permanent Representation of Germany to the EU in Brussels.
In 2012 he returned to Nordholz/Cuxhaven as Chief of Staff of the Naval Air Command. In 2013, he became Commander-in-Chief of Naval Air Command. During that period, he was in charge of reorganising the naval air forces and prepared for the introduction of new types of aircraft, helicopters and drones into the German Navy.
In 2016, he was appointed as Head of Division in the Directorate-General for Security and Defence Policy at the Ministry of Defence in Berlin, with responsibility for the FMOD's bilateral relations and military capacity-building worldwide. On year later in 2017, he was appointed as Head of Division for military matters and security policy at the Federal Chancellery. In 2018, he was the interim Head of the Inter-ministerial working group on hybrid threats. Hans-Jörg has two grown children.
Rear Admiral Detlefsen qualifications include the US Navy Flag Level Course Maritime Component Commander and the Senior Navigator course with the US Air Force. Additionally he has had training on speaking, communication, and moderator skills, completed the UN observer course participant at NORDIC UN and the EU Defence College High-Level Course on Sector Security Reform (SSR/ DDR).