General Sir David Richards appointed next Chief of the General Staff
A Defence Policy and Business news article
17 Oct 08
Currently serving as Commander-in-Chief Land Forces, General Sir David Richards will take up post as Chief of the General Staff in August 2009.
He will be succeeded in turn as Commander-in-Chief Land Forces by Lieutenant General Peter Wall, who will be promoted to the rank of General on taking up his new appointment.
General Sir David Richards KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen (Late Royal Regiment of Artillery)
Born in 1952 and educated at Eastbourne College, General Sir 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 nine 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 three 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 two years in Berlin as the Chief of Staff of the Berlin Infantry Brigade. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, he spent the next three 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 UK’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.
Promoted to Major General, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps in April 2001 before becoming Assistant Chief of the General Staff in September 2002. He assumed the appointment of Commander Allied Rapid Reaction Corps in January 2005, in which role he served as Commander of the International Stabilisation and Assistance Force Afghanistan between May 2006 and February 2007.
On completion of NATO/ISAF expansion across the whole of Afghanistan in October 2006, he was promoted to General for the remainder of his time in Afghanistan. His operational awards include a Mention in Despatches, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, the Distinguished Service Order and Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.
General Sir David Richards has a home in Wiltshire, is married to Caroline and has 2 daughters (Joanna and Pippa). He is Honorary Colonel of 3rd Regiment RHA, Colonel Commandant Royal Artillery, Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkhas, Chairman Gurkha Welfare Trust and President of Army Tennis.
A keen student of military history, he is also a qualified offshore yachtsman – he is Admiral of the Army Sailing Association and of the British Kiel Yacht Club - a Governor of his old School, an occasional horseman and an unskilled but hard-working gardener. He became Commander in Chief Land Forces on 1 February 2008.