Message from the Colonel Commandant of the Royal Armoured Corps: General Sir Chris Deverell KCB MBE Bradshaw and Richard Shirreff. And I congratulate him on his promotion, which will mean that two of the three serving 4* officers in the Army will continue to be from the RAC, as has been the case since I was appointed Commander of Joint Forces Command in April 2016.
t is a great honour to take up the appointment of Colonel Commandant of the Royal Armoured Corps. James Everard, my predecessor in this role, has done an excellent job of husbanding this great institution. I wish him well in his next appointment as the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe. He will be the third RAC officer in a row to hold that position, after Adrian
I have been an RAC officer, man and boy, for over 37 years. In that time I have seen the Corps adjust from a large, armour-heavy and Germany-based organisation, facing the Soviet threat, with occasional forays to Northern Ireland, the Balkans and Cyprus, to the smaller and more balanced force that we are today, combat-hardened after over a decade of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have been privileged to have been part of this transition, from several different vantage points. Most recently as Chief of Materiel Land in Abbeywood, I placed the production contract for AJAX. Previously, as Director General Logistics, Support, and Equipment in HQ Army, I was responsible for all the Arms and Service Directors, including the (then 1*) Director Royal Armoured Corps. Before that, as Director Equipment Capability for Ground Manoeuvre, I ran the Urgent Operational Requirement programme for Iraq and Afghanistan when we bought all the Protected Mobility Fleet
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and transformed personal equipment, including small arms. I commanded 4 Armoured Brigade in Iraq and Germany, and the Joint CBRN Regiment at RAF Honington. And as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Commitments at HQ Land, I programmed the RAC’s training and operational tasks in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. My Regimental Duty was spent in Wolfenbuttel (on CVR(T)), in Fallingbostel (on Chieftain and Challenger), in Northern Ireland (at the Maze Prison and twice in Belfast), in Cyprus (with the UN in Nicosia) and in Belize (with 3rd Battalion The Queen’s Regiment), interspersed with three staff jobs in the Ministry of Defence, on the Chieftain Replacement project, as the ground manoeuvre desk officer in Army Plans (and as one of the Secretary of State’s Private Secretaries). I was also Colonel Commandant of the Royal Tank Regiment (and of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) for five years. This experience has taught me to be ready for anything! I have also learnt that, given a modicum of preparation, there is absolutely nothing an RAC crewman cannot do. Our officers and soldiers are dynamic, imaginative, flexible, determined, and thoroughly professional. On this basis, I look forward to sharing the future with you with confidence.
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Published on May 8, 2017