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-   -   New CDS Announced (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/573533-new-cds-announced.html)

TheWizard 21st Jan 2016 21:31

New CDS Announced
Light Blue at the helm again. Congratulations Sir Stuart.
New Head Of Armed Forces Is Appointed

Chinny Crewman 21st Jan 2016 21:36

From The Times:
Airman beats army and navy rivals to top job | The Times

Text for those unable to access behind the paywall:
A straight-talking airman will be named tomorrow as the new head of the armed forces in an apparent snub to a top army officer and the head of the Royal Navy who had been favourites for the job.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, vice chief of the defence staff, will take over the top post from General Sir Nicholas Houghton in the summer, The Times understands.
His appointment will be welcomed by many senior officers within the Ministry of Defence who regard him as a strong, smart leader who is not afraid of speaking truth to power.
The choice of Air Chief Marshal Peach will come as a surprise, however.
Top brass at his level often step down after serving in two, consecutive four-star posts.
The former fast jet airman has been the No 2 in the armed forces since May 2013 and beforehand was the commander of Joint Forces Command, a new, four-star headquarters that oversees operational elements of the army, the navy and the RAF.
General Sir Richard Barrons, the incumbent joint forces commander, had been regarded as one of the most likely people to take over from Sir Nicholas, even though his appointment would make it three army officers in a row as chief of the defence staff.
“If anyone has had his nose put out of joint it will be Barrons,” a Whitehall source said.
Also in the running had been Admiral Sir George Zambellas, the first sea lord.
The top job had been considered his to lose three years ago because it was “the navy’s turn” to lead the military, defence sources said at the time.
However, Admiral Zambellas has had to struggle with big challenges facing his service, including a shortfall of engineers and questions over whether there were enough sailors to man all the ships and submarines that are due to come on line.
The last time a navy officer headed the armed forces was between 2001 and 2003 when Admiral Lord Boyce was in charge during a testing period that covered the 9/11 attacks and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Since then the army has held the post on three occasions, with General Lord Walker of Aldringham at the helm from 2003 until 2006, General Lord Richards of Herstmonceux from 2010 to 2013 and most recently General Houghton.
Air Chief Marshal Lord Stirrup, an RAF man, was the longest-serving chief of the defence staff in recent times, holding the post from 2006 until 2010. The position is usually held for three years.
Born in 1956 in the West Midlands, Air Chief Marshal Peach commissioned into the RAF in 1977 to train as a navigator.
He flew in a photo reconnaissance aircraft before moving into the navigator seat, also known as the weapon systems operator, on a Tornado fast jet.
He commanded IX (Bomber) Squadron at RAF Brüggen in Germany between 1994 and 1996. He has served in Iraq and Kosovo and also conducted operational tours in Belize, Hong Kong and Germany.
Climbing up through the ranks, Air Chief Marshal Peach was chief of defence intelligence and deputy chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee between 2006 and 2009.
He is married with two children.
The Ministry of Defence declined to comment when asked for confirmation of the appointment.

Courtney Mil 21st Jan 2016 21:55

A clever man. I had the pleasure of working for him twice, once out of area. Congratulations, Sir.

ICM 21st Jan 2016 22:08

And a Nav as CDS - who would ever have thought that possible? Huge congrats to Stu, a colleague from his time as PSO to CinC RAFG/2ATAF.

And NB that he has risen through the Star ranks in Purple appointments and without being head of his own Service.

KPax 21st Jan 2016 22:15

Has the Chief of the Air Staff ever been a Nav.

Courtney Mil 21st Jan 2016 22:22

Nope. Unless I missed one very recently. The first one was an infantryman!

Megaton 21st Jan 2016 23:21

Top bloke. I worked for him a couple of times too.

NutLoose 21st Jan 2016 23:55

Question, if the post is three years normally, does that mean post term they are retired? Or do they then revert to their previous position, i.e. Is CDS your swansong so to speak.

Finningley Boy 22nd Jan 2016 00:09


It certainly is, for most senior appointments, heading your respective service is usually the retirement one. What's interesting about this, is since the first full time appointed head of HM Forces, Sir William Dickson (incidentally had an uncanny resemblance to Sir Stuart Peach), in 1956 this is only the third time that a former Vice Chief of Defence rather than an individual service chief of Staff has been appointed, the out going Nicholas Houghton and Lord Vincent in 1991 being the only other two. Also interesting that a senior officer who has never held either such prior appointment was also considered and the preferred choice of the MOD.

Personally I'd have thought Sir George Zambellas would have been appointed CDS, the last Naval chief was Lord Boyce; 2001-2003!:8


thing 22nd Jan 2016 00:17

Well done to Sir Stuart. Quick question from one who left a long time ago; I notice he was born the same year as me so that's makes him 60 this year, so maybe 63 ish when he retires. Are CDS allowed to be that old these days? I'm not inferring that he is too old to do the job at all, just seem to remember that everyone retired at 55 when I was in.

Finningley Boy 22nd Jan 2016 00:19

Nope. Unless I missed one very recently. The first one was an infantryman!
Royal Scots Fusiliers I believe Courtney.


The Oberon 22nd Jan 2016 05:35

Time flies, hardly seems any time at all since I worked for him at the AWC.
Well done, Sir.

Old-Duffer 22nd Jan 2016 05:59


At the very top, age is not really the issue. It's lower down the 'stars' that one is more vulnerable and it has now become a situation that after - say - an appointment at 1 or 2 star, if you can't be appointed to another job, you will be required to leave. There is also much inter-service competition for joint/combined service posts. I know of a one star and two 2 stars who had to leave despite being exceptionally gifted.

The interesting thing is: who will be VCDS vice Sir Stuart?

Old Duffer

Al Richey 22nd Jan 2016 06:00

Also worked for him at the AWC. One of the best bosses I had and really pleased he has got the top job.

Melchett01 22nd Jan 2016 06:15

An interesting appointment that appears to be dividing people and very surprising given that Gen Barrons was widely regarded as being the most politically astute and successful at navigation the corridors of power.


I believe there has been a change in recent years on the policy of directed retirement whereby the stars are pensioned off if no suitable follow on appointment. Whereas it used to be 2-star upwards it has indeed moved down to the 1-star level which I can see causing a degree of bed blocking as gp capts unsure of a positive trajectory decide not to take promotion and risk 5+ years of gp capt pay and pension for a couple of years as a star. Given the shrinking of the services as a whole, I wouldn't be surprised, if longer term, that wasn't further reduced to directed retirement at gp capt to keep the career flow going.

airsound 22nd Jan 2016 06:50

Presumably SODCAT will be organising the bash to end all bashes. Not sure I'm on the mailing list any more.


✮ In case you're too young - Society of Directional Consultants and Allied Trades

99 Change Hands 22nd Jan 2016 07:44

Not bad going for the stroppy drunk Flt Lt I met at Pirelli's party at BGG.

The Oberon 22nd Jan 2016 08:11

Originally Posted by 99 Change Hands (Post 9245445)
Not bad going for the stroppy drunk Flt Lt I met at Pirelli's party at BGG.

Or for a 1* who rode a SWO's bike to and from work whilst wearing his old aircrew leather jacket.

Wensleydale 22nd Jan 2016 08:43

Parties? I was on YUAS with him (Sheffield Uni) in the 1970s.......now where was the address of that journalist from The Sun?

Jumping_Jack 22nd Jan 2016 09:00

Is having a RAF hater a good thing as CDS? My understanding is that he was embittered by never getting CAS and has made his feelings clear about the RAF in the past. Just hearsay from those supposedly in the know.....

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