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Sir David Richards

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Sir Dave shows the fist ... err ... hand of friendship to the MoD.

Current Chief of the General Staff (CGS).

Gen Richards previously was Commander-in-Chief Land Forces. He has extensive operational experience in East Timor, Sierra Leone, and first-hand knowledge of Afghanistan when he commanded the NATO coalition forces 2006 - 2007.

Upset the foreigners when he spoke plainly about Afghanistan saying he “...caused a bit of an upset in Nato and the MoD by forcefully pointing out that we had insufficient troops for the task given us — not even a reserve — and that the international community’s effort there was approaching something close to anarchy.” Well said sir!

He has called himself "a seat-of-the-pants soldier" but that probably doesn't have anything to do with 3 Para Mortar Platoon.

May take a different tack to confrontation with the politicians compared to Sir Richard Dannatt (his predecessor).

He started well saying in a MoD release ”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” and suggested that he will continue the work of predecessor on getting “what is needed” to achieve success in Afghanistan.

The jury will be out on Sir Dave for a few months to see if he's a Squaddie's man or a MoD stooge... but as a hairy arrsed Gunner, there's not much chance of the latter.


  • Born 1952; educated Eastbourne College, University College Cardiff
  • Commissioned into Royal Artillery 1971
  • Service includes time in Far East, Germany, East Timor, Sierra Leone; four tours in Northern Ireland
  • Became Assistant Chief of the General Staff in 2002
  • Commander of the International Stabilisation and Assistance Force Afghanistan, 2006-2007
  • Commander-in-Chief Land Forces, 2008-2009
  • Operational awards include a Mention in Despatches, CBE, the DSO and KCB