GENERAL SIR DAVID RICHARDS TAKES OVER AS CHIEF OF THE GENERAL STAFF
28 Aug 09. New Chief of the General Staff. At midday on Friday 28th August 2009 General Sir Richard Dannatt GCB CBE MC ADC Gen handed over as Chief of the General Staff to General Sir David Richards KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen after 3 years in post.
On retirement General Dannatt will become the 159th Constable of the Tower of London, a ceremonial role dating back to the eleventh Century. Members of the Army working in the MoD gathered to give General Dannatt the traditional send-off, both from the Ministry and from the Army, and he took the chance to thank them and the whole of the Army for their efforts. In a farewell message, General Dannatt paid tribute to the young men and women of the Army who continue to put themselves in harm’s way on behalf of the nation. “It has been a tremendous honour and privilege and a deeply humbling experience to lead you all for the past few years, you are truly outstanding people. As I march into the military sunset I do so confident that the Army’s determination, professionalism and reputation remains where it should be; second to none.”
General Richards’ first act on taking up his appointment was to thank his predecessor:
“I wish to thank General Sir Richard Dannatt for his leadership, dedication and courage as Chief of the General Staff and, more broadly, for his long and distinguished 40 year career. I am conscious that I have a hard act to follow but I look forward to building on his legacy.”
General Richards then went on to outline his approach to his new role, “As part of the Defence team, I will continue to focus on what is needed to meet the Government’s aims in Afghanistan and the region, and ensuring the Army achieves the tasks laid upon it. The Army’s most valuable assets are its people: it is essential that we continue to look after our soldiers and their families, especially those injured or affected adversely through conflict. Looking to the longer term, I will be focusing on making sure that the Army is geared up for future conflict as it evolves in this highly interdependent and globalised era.”
General Sir David Richards KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen Chief of the General Staff
Born in 1952 and educated at Eastbourne College, David Richards was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1971 prior to studying international relations at University College Cardiff. Graduating in 1974 he spent the next 9 years at regimental duty in the Far East, Germany and the UK (principally with 29 Commando Regiment RA and C Anti-Tank Battery Royal Horse Artillery) and on the staff of 11th Armoured Brigade in Germany. This period included 3 tours in Northern Ireland. After attending the Staff College in 1984, he returned to 11th Armoured Brigade to command a field battery in 47th Field Regiment. From there he spent 2 years in Berlin as the Chief of Staff of the Berlin Infantry Brigade. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, he spent the next 3 years as an instructor at the Staff College, Camberley, before being appointed to command 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery. This period included another operational tour in Northern Ireland.
In 1994 he was promoted and appointed Colonel Army Plans in the MOD, responsible for the shape and size of the Army. Promoted to Brigadier in 1996, and after attending the Higher Command and Staff course, he became Commander 4th Armoured Brigade in Germany. In 1998 he was posted to the Permanent Joint Headquarters as Chief Joint Force Operations, the UKâ€™s default one star commander for short notice expeditionary operations. In this role he was involved in a number of operations, including commanding the UK Contingent in East Timor in 1999, and twice commanding a UK Joint Task Force in Sierra Leone in 2000.Â
Promoted to Major General, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) in Apr 2001 before becoming Assistant Chief of the General Staff in Sep 2002. Appo