The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) is the professional head of the British Armed Forces and the principal military adviser to the British Government. Constitutionally, the British Monarch is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and therefore is senior to the CDS. In practice the Government provide direction through the Defence Council of which the CDS is a member. The post was created in 1959 to reflect the new conceptions of joint operations that had come to the fore in World War II. Prior to the creation of the post, Sir William Dickson 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.
From the creation of the post until 1997, the Chief of the Defence Staff was appointed to the highest rank in the 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 size of the British Armed Forces and the reasoning that no new Field Marshals are to be routinely appointed in peacetime, since 1997 the Chief of the Defence Staff has been appointed at the rank of Admiral, General or Air Chief Marshal, (NATO OF-9). The CDS is supported by a deputy, the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, who since 1997 has been of equivalent rank but is ordinarily from a different service to the CDS.
Chiefs of the Defence StaffEdit
|Name||Branch||Date appointed||Time in appointment||Relinquished appointment|
|Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir William Dickson GCB, KBE, DSO, AFC||This article incorporates http://www.af.mil/main/disclaimer.asp public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Air Force.||1 January 1959||0 years, 192 days||12 July 1959|
|Admiral of the Fleet The 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||This article incorporates http://www.af.mil/main/disclaimer.asp public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Air Force.||7 August 1967||3 years, 244 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||22 October 1973||3 years, 1 day||23 October 1976|
|Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Andrew Humphrey GCB, OBE, DFC, AFC||This article incorporates http://www.af.mil/main/disclaimer.asp public domain material from websites or documents of the United States 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||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||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||1 January 1993||1 year, 71 days||13 March 1994|
|Field Marshal Sir Peter Inge KG, GCB||British Army||14 March 1994||3 years, 18 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||4 May 2003||2 years, 359 days||28 April 2006|
|Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup GCB, AFC||28 April 2006||11 years, 114 days||Currently in appointment|
|General Sir David Richards KCB, CBE, DSO||British Army||From October 2010|
- ↑ "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.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 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.
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