- Chief of the Defence Staff (United Kingdom)
Chief of the Defence Staff Style General Appointer Recommendation of Secretary of State for Defence to the Prime Minister
Approved by HM The Queen
Inaugural holder Marshal of the RAF
Sir William Dickson
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.
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:
- 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
Rank Name Post-Nominals Branch Date appointed Time in appointment Relinquished appointment Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir William Dickson GCB KBE DSO AFC Royal Air Force 1 January 1959 0 years, 192 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 6 years, 2 days 15 July 1965 Field Marshal Sir Richard Hull KG GCB DSO British Army 16 July 1965  2 years, 19 days 4 August 1967 Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Charles Elworthy KG GCB CBE DSO LVO DFC AFC Royal Air Force 4 August 1967  3 years, 247 days 8 April 1971 Admiral of the Fleet Sir Peter Hill-Norton GCB Royal Navy 9 April 1971 2 years, 195 days 21 October 1973 Field Marshal Sir Michael Carver GCB CBE DSO MC British Army 21 October 1973  3 years, 2 days 23 October 1976 Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Andrew Humphrey GCB OBE DFC AFC Royal Air Force 24 October 1976  0 years, 92 days 24 January 1977 Admiral of the Fleet Sir Edward Ashmore GCB DSC Royal Navy 9 February 1977 0 years, 202 days 30 August 1977 Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Neil Cameron KT GCB CBE DSO DFC Royal Air Force 31 August 1977  2 years, 0 days 31 August 1979 Admiral of the Fleet Sir Terence Lewin KG GCB LVO DSC Royal Navy 1 September 1979 3 years, 29 days 30 September 1982 Field Marshal Sir Edwin Bramall KG GCB OBE MC British Army 1 October 1982  3 years, 30 days 31 October 1985 Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Fieldhouse GCB GBE Royal Navy 1 November 1985 3 years, 38 days 9 December 1988 Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir David Craig GCB OBE Royal Air Force 9 December 1988  2 years, 113 days 1 April 1991 Field Marshal Sir Richard Vincent GBE KCB DSO British Army 2 April 1991  1 year, 273 days 31 December 1992 Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Peter Harding GCB Royal Air Force 31 December 1992  1 year, 72 days 13 March 1994 Field Marshal Sir Peter Inge KG GCB British Army 15 March 1994  3 years, 17 days 1 April 1997 General Sir Charles Guthrie GCB LVO OBE British Army 2 April 1997  3 years, 319 days 15 February 2001 Admiral Sir Michael Boyce GCB OBE Royal Navy 16 February 2001  2 years, 75 days 2 May 2003 General Sir Michael Walker GCB CMG CBE British Army 2 May 2003  2 years, 361 days 28 April 2006 Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup GCB AFC Royal Air Force 28 April 2006  5 years, 205 days 29 October 2010  General Sir David Richards GCB CBE DSO British Army 29 October 2010  1 year, 21 days Currently in appointment
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.
Chiefs of the Defence Staff of the United Kingdom
- ^ a b Departmental Resource Accounts 2006-7 Ministry of Defence
- ^ Central Top Level Budget Ministry of Defence
- ^ 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.
- ^ London Gazette: . 13 July 1965. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- ^ 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.
- ^ London Gazette: . 28 July 1967. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- ^ London Gazette: . 23 October 1973. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- ^ London Gazette: . 25 October 1976. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- ^ 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.
- ^ London Gazette: . 26 August 1977. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- ^ London Gazette: . 18 October 1982. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- ^ London Gazette: . 5 December 1988. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- ^ London Gazette: . 28 March 1991. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- ^ London Gazette: . 25 January 1993. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- ^ London Gazette: . 18 April 1994. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- ^ London Gazette: . 7 April 1997. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- ^ MoD announces new Chief of Defence Staff
- ^ London Gazette: . 8 July 2003. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- ^ SBAC RAF Chief becomes the new Chief of Defence Staff
- ^ 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.
- ^ House of Lords Business, February 1, 2011
- ^ "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.
Sir William Dickson • Earl Mountbatten • Sir Richard Hull • Sir Charles Elworthy • Sir Peter Hill-Norton • Sir Michael Carver • Sir Andrew Humphrey • Sir Edward Ashmore • Sir Neil Cameron • Sir Terence Lewin • Sir Edwin Bramall • Sir John Fieldhouse • Sir David Craig • Sir Richard Vincent • Sir Peter Harding • Sir Peter Inge • Sir Charles Guthrie • Sir Michael Boyce • Sir Michael Walker • Sir Jock Stirrup • Sir David Richards
United Kingdom Ministry of DefenceHeadquarters: Main Building, Palace of Whitehall Armed Forces Defence CouncilSecretary of State for Defence · Minister of State for the Armed Forces · Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology · Minister for International Security Strategy · Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Veterans Service boards Executive agencies
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.