Chief of the Defence Staff (United Kingdom)


Chief of the Defence Staff (United Kingdom)
Chief of the Defence Staff
=
Incumbent
Sir David Richards

since 29 October 2010
Style General
Appointer Recommendation of Secretary of State for Defence to the Prime Minister
Approved by HM The Queen[1]
Inaugural holder Marshal of the RAF
Sir William Dickson
Website mod.uk

The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) is the professional head of the British Armed Forces, a senior official within the Ministry of Defence, and the most senior uniformed military adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence and the Prime Minister. The Chief of the Defence Staff is the British equivalent position of what in NATO and the European Union is known as the Chief of Defence.

Constitutionally, the Sovereign is the de jure Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. However, in practice, the British Government de facto exercises the Royal Prerogative and provides direction of the Armed Forces through the Ministry of Defence's Defence Council of which the Chief of the Defence Staff is a member.

The current Chief of the Defence Staff is General Sir David Richards, GCB CBE DSO, who succeeded the then Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup (now Lord Stirrup) on Friday 29 October 2010. Chiefs of the Defence Staff are appointed on the recommendation of the Secretary of State for Defence to the Prime Minister before being approved by HM The Queen.[1]

Contents

Supporting and associated posts

The CDS is supported by a deputy, the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, who since 1997 (when the CDS post was downgraded) has been of equivalent rank but is ordinarily from a different service to the CDS. Currently, however, this is not the case as both the Chief and Vice Chief of the Defence Staff are Army officers. There are also several Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (DCDS) posts who support the VCDS. As of 2010 these are:[2]

  • Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations) - the DCDS (Operations) ordinarily reports to the VCDS but also reports directly to the CDS on operational matters
  • Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Personnel and Training)
  • Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Capability)

The CDS maintains a close working relationship with the Ministry of Defence's Permanent Under Secretary, who is the Ministry's senior civil servant, and they both report directly to the Secretary of State for Defence. The CDS focusses on military operations and strategy while the Permanent Under Secretary's remit concerns administrative and financial policy.

History of the post

The post was created in 1959 to reflect the new concept of joint operations that had come to the fore in World War II. The first incumbent was Marshal of the RAF Sir William Dickson. Prior to the creation of the post, he had served as the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, from 1956 onwards. Before 1956, although no permanent post of chairman existed, the three service chiefs took it in turn to act as chairman at meetings. From 1959 until the mid-to-late 1970s, CDS appointments were granted on a strict rotational basis between the three services. In more recent years, there has been a trend towards favouring Army appointments over the two other services.

From the creation of the post until 1997, the Chief of the Defence Staff was appointed to the highest rank in the respective branch of the British armed forces to which he belonged, being an Admiral of the Fleet, a Field Marshal or Marshal of the Royal Air Force, (NATO rank code OF-10). However, with the post-Cold War reduction in the manpower strength of the British Armed Forces and the additional reasoning that no new Field Marshals are to be routinely appointed in peacetime; since 1997 the Chief of the Defence Staff has been appointed only to the rank of Admiral, General or Air Chief Marshal, (NATO OF-9).

List of Chiefs of the Defence Staff 1959-present

Marshal of the RAF Sir William Dickson, the first CDS
Admiral of the Fleet The Earl Mountbatten of Burma, the longest serving CDS
Field Marshal The Lord Inge, formerly Sir Peter Inge, the last five-star CDS
Rank Name Post-Nominals Branch Date appointed Time in appointment Relinquished appointment
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir William Dickson[3] GCB KBE DSO AFC  Royal Air Force 1 January 1959   &100000000000000000000000 years, &10000000000000192000000192 days   12 July 1959  
Admiral of the Fleet Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma KG GCB OM GCSI GCIE GCVO DSO  Royal Navy 13 July 1959   &100000000000000060000006 years, &100000000000000020000002 days   15 July 1965  
Field Marshal Sir Richard Hull KG GCB DSO  British Army 16 July 1965  [4] &100000000000000020000002 years, &1000000000000001900000019 days   4 August 1967  
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Charles Elworthy[5] KG GCB CBE DSO LVO DFC AFC  Royal Air Force 4 August 1967  [6] &100000000000000030000003 years, &10000000000000247000000247 days   8 April 1971  
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Peter Hill-Norton GCB  Royal Navy 9 April 1971   &100000000000000020000002 years, &10000000000000195000000195 days   21 October 1973  
Field Marshal Sir Michael Carver GCB CBE DSO MC  British Army 21 October 1973  [7] &100000000000000030000003 years, &100000000000000020000002 days   23 October 1976  
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Andrew Humphrey GCB OBE DFC AFC  Royal Air Force 24 October 1976  [8] &100000000000000000000000 years, &1000000000000009200000092 days   24 January 1977  
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Edward Ashmore GCB DSC  Royal Navy 9 February 1977   &100000000000000000000000 years, &10000000000000202000000202 days   30 August 1977  
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Neil Cameron[9] KT GCB CBE DSO DFC  Royal Air Force 31 August 1977  [10] &100000000000000020000002 years, &100000000000000000000000 days   31 August 1979  
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Terence Lewin KG GCB LVO DSC  Royal Navy 1 September 1979   &100000000000000030000003 years, &1000000000000002900000029 days   30 September 1982  
Field Marshal Sir Edwin Bramall KG GCB OBE MC  British Army 1 October 1982  [11] &100000000000000030000003 years, &1000000000000003000000030 days   31 October 1985  
Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Fieldhouse GCB GBE  Royal Navy 1 November 1985   &100000000000000030000003 years, &1000000000000003800000038 days   9 December 1988  
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir David Craig GCB OBE  Royal Air Force 9 December 1988  [12] &100000000000000020000002 years, &10000000000000113000000113 days   1 April 1991  
Field Marshal Sir Richard Vincent GBE KCB DSO  British Army 2 April 1991  [13] &100000000000000010000001 year, &10000000000000273000000273 days   31 December 1992  
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Peter Harding GCB  Royal Air Force 31 December 1992  [14] &100000000000000010000001 year, &1000000000000007200000072 days   13 March 1994  
Field Marshal Sir Peter Inge KG GCB  British Army 15 March 1994  [15] &100000000000000030000003 years, &1000000000000001700000017 days   1 April 1997  
General Sir Charles Guthrie GCB LVO OBE  British Army 2 April 1997  [16] &100000000000000030000003 years, &10000000000000319000000319 days   15 February 2001  
Admiral Sir Michael Boyce GCB OBE  Royal Navy 16 February 2001  [17] &100000000000000020000002 years, &1000000000000007500000075 days   2 May 2003  
General Sir Michael Walker GCB CMG CBE  British Army 2 May 2003  [18] &100000000000000020000002 years, &10000000000000361000000361 days   28 April 2006  
Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup GCB AFC  Royal Air Force 28 April 2006  [19] &100000000000000050000005 years, &10000000000000205000000205 days   29 October 2010  [20]
General Sir David Richards GCB CBE DSO  British Army   29 October 2010  [20] &100000000000000010000001 year, &1000000000000002100000021 days   Currently in appointment

Peerage

Customarily, former Chiefs of Defence Staff receive a life peerage on retirement, sitting in the House of Lords as non-political crossbench peers. Their appointment is recommended not via the House of Lords Appointments Commission as is normal procedure, but is instead nominated directly to Her Majesty The Queen by the Prime Minister, who elects to nominate 'a limited number of distinguished public servants' on retirement for a peerage.

The last Chief of the Defence Staff, Sir Jock Stirrup was introduced to the House of Lords on 1 February 2010 he as Baron Stirrup of Marylebone in the City of Westminster.[20][21][22]

References

  1. ^ a b Departmental Resource Accounts 2006-7 Ministry of Defence
  2. ^ Central Top Level Budget Ministry of Defence
  3. ^ Barrass, Malcolm (25 September 2007). "Marshal of the RAF Sir William Dickson". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. http://www.rafweb.org/Biographies/Dickson.htm. Retrieved 28 April 2009. 
  4. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43712. p. 6717. 13 July 1965. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  5. ^ Barrass, Malcolm (16 June 2007). "Marshal of the RAF The Lord Elworthy of Timaru". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. http://www.rafweb.org/Biographies/Elworthy.htm. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  6. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44376. p. 8445. 28 July 1967. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  7. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46109. p. 12551. 23 October 1973. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  8. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47050. p. 14421. 25 October 1976. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  9. ^ Barrass, Malcolm (16 June 2007). "Marshal of the RAF Lord Cameron of Balhousie". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. http://www.rafweb.org/Biographies/Cameron_N.htm. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  10. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47311. p. 11141. 26 August 1977. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  11. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 49142. p. 13571. 18 October 1982. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  12. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 51550. p. 13684. 5 December 1988. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  13. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 52489. p. 5083. 28 March 1991. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  14. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 53184. p. 1376. 25 January 1993. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  15. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 53645. p. 5799. 18 April 1994. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  16. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 54726. p. 4170. 7 April 1997. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  17. ^ MoD announces new Chief of Defence Staff
  18. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 56992. p. 8463. 8 July 2003. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  19. ^ SBAC RAF Chief becomes the new Chief of Defence Staff
  20. ^ a b c "Outgoing CDS to receive peerage". Downing Street. 27 October 2010. http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/press-notices/2010/10/outgoing-cds-to-receive-peerage-56223. 
  21. ^ House of Lords Business, February 1, 2011
  22. ^ "Gen Sir David Richards new head of British armed forces". BBC News. 14 July 2010. http://search.bbc.co.uk/click/p/4/ds/latest/t/Gen%2520Sir%2520David%2520Richards%2520new%2520head%2520of%2520British%2520armed%2520forces/id/17231391125538127918360779657154000/sp/420996ebadbd18ae661bdfde4ef05edb/-/http%253a%252f%252fwww%252ebbc%252eco%252euk%252fnews%252f10637366. 

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