He was Chief of the Defence Staff from 1951 to 1957 and military commander of the III. Military Area from 1957 to 1963 when he retired as a Lieutenant General. After graduating in Stockholm in 1916, he became second lieutenant at the Svea Artillery Regiment (A 1) in 1919 and lieutenant in 1923. Åkerman became captain of the General Staff in 1931 and was General Staff officer of the Western Army Division from 1931 to 1933.
Åkerman was then head of the Air Defense Detail of the General Staff from 1934 to 1937 and artillery battery commander of Svea Artillery Regiment from 1937 to 1939.
Åkerman was major in the General Staff Corps in 1939 and teacher at the Swedish Air Force Staff College the same year. He left the Swedish Army in 1939 and joined the Finnish Army during the Winter War as part of the Swedish Volunteer Corps.
Åkerman was promoted to major in the Finnish Army and then lieutenant colonel in 1940. He was then again major of the Swedish General Staff Corps in 1940.
Åkerman was again teacher at the Swedish Air Force Staff College from 1941 to 1942 and strategy teacher at the War College from 1940 to 1942.
He became a lieutenant colonel in 1941 and colonel in 1943. Åkerman was head of the War College from 1942 to 1946 and commander of the Östgöta Air Defence Regiment (Lv 2) from 1946 to 1948. He was promoted to colonel in the Swedish Air Force and inspector of the air surveillance in 1948.
Åkerman was promoted to major general and Chief of the Defence Staff in 1951 and was military commander of the III. Military Area from 1957 to 1963 and was promoted to lieutenant general in 1963.
Åkerman became a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences in 1942. Furthermore, he was board member of the insurance companies Svenska liv in 1960, Städernas försäkringsbolag in 1964 and Hansa from 1967 to 1969.