Armed Forces - m04 - Management of Defence - Ministry of Defence - Defence Council - Chief of the Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup KCB AFC ADC FRAES FCMI RAF

MINISTRY OF DEFENCE

DEFENCE COUNCIL & CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE STAFF


In 1963, the three independent service ministries (Admiralty, War Office and Air Ministry) were merged to form the present MoD.

The UK MoD is the government department that is responsible for all defence related aspects of national policy. This large organisation, which directly affects the lives of about half a million servicemen, reservists and MoD employed civilians, is controlled by The Secretary of State for Defence and his deputies.

The Secretary of State for Defence has three principal deputies:

  • Minister of State for the Armed Forces

  • Minister of State for International Defence and Security

  • Under-Secretary of State for Defence Equipment and Support

  • Under Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Veterans

The Secretary of State is assisted by two principal advisers:

Permanent Under Secretary of State (PUS): The PUS is responsible for policy, finance and administration in the MoD. As the MoDís Principal Accounting Officer he is personally responsible to Parliament for the expenditure of all public money voted to the MoD for Defence purposes.

Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS): The CDS acts as the professional head of the Armed Forces and he is the principal military adviser to the Secretary of State and to the Government.

Both the PUS and the CDS have deputies; the Second Permanent Under Secretary of State (2nd PUS), and the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS).

In general terms defence is managed through a number of major committees that provide corporate leadership and strategic direction:

  • Defence Council

  • Defence Boards

  • Single Service Boards

  • Defence Board

  • Chiefs of Staff Committee

DEFENCE COUNCIL

The Defence Council is the senior committee which provides the legal basis for the conduct and administration of defence and this council is chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence, The composition of the Defence Council is as follows:

The Secretary of State for Defence
Minister of State for the Armed Forces
Minister of State for Defence and Security
Under-Secretary of State for Defence Equipment and Support
Under Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for Vetaerans

Permanent Secretary
Chief of the Defence Staff
Vice Chief of the Defence Staff
Chief of the Naval Staff and First Sea Lord
Chief of the Air Staff
Chief of the General Staff
Chief of Defence Materiel
Chief Scientific Adviser

Finance Director
Second Permanent Under Secretary of State for Defence

SINGLE SERVICE BOARDS

There are three single service boards: Admiralty Board, Army Board and the Air Force Board all of which are chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. In general the purpose of the boards is the administration and monitoring of single service performance. Each of these three boards has an executive committee chaired by the single service chief of staff; Navy Board, Executive Committee of the Army Board and the Air Force Board Standing Committee.

DEFENCE BOARD

This board is chaired by the PUS and is the MoDís senior non-ministerial committee. In essence the Defence Board is the MoDís main corporate board providing senior leadership and direction to the implementation of defence policy.

CHIEFS OF STAFF COMMITTEE

This committee is chaired by the CDS and is the MoDís senior committee that provides advice on operational military matters and the preparation and conduct of military operations.




CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE STAFF

The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) is the officer responsible to the Secretary of State for Defence for the coordinated effort of all three fighting services. He has his own Central Staff Organisation and a Vice Chief of the Defence Staff who ranks as number four in the services hierarchy, following the three single service commanders. The current Chief of the Defence Staff is:

General Sir David Richards GCB, CBE, DSO

Chief of the Defence Staff - General Sir David Richards KCB, CBE, DSO

General Sir David Richards was born in 1952 and educated at Eastbourne College, He 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 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.

He became Commander in Chief Land Forces in February 2008 and was appointed as Chief of the General Staff in August 2009. On 29 October 2010 he was appointed as Chief of the Defence Staff.

General Richards is the Honorary Colonel of 3rd Regiment RHA, Colonel Commandant Royal Artillery, Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkhas, Chairman of the Gurkha Welfare Trust and President of Army Tennis.


VICE CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE STAFF


Where appropriate the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff deputizes for the Chief of the Defence Staff. On a day to day basis he is responsible through the Central Staff for running defence business (with the Second Permanent Under-Secretary).

As of May 2009 the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff is General Sir Nicholas Houghton GCB CBE ADC Gen who had spent the previous two years as the Chief of Joint Operations at Permanent Joint Headquarters.