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General Sir Richard Shirreff, BA (Oxon), MA (Oxon), KCB, CBE


© PHOTOGRAPH of New Westminster College - General Sir Richard Shirreff, KCB, CBE - Distinguished Fellow of New Westminster College - http://newwestminstercollege.ca

BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY: General Sir Richard Shirreff, BA (Oxon), MA (Oxon), KCB, CBE

General Sir Richard Shirreff is a Senior General Officer of the British Army and a Distinguished Fellow of New Westminster College. He was educated in England at Oundle and Exeter College and earned a BA in Modern History in 1977 from the University of Oxford. He also earned a MA at Oxford in 1981. General Shirreff attended the Army Staff Course at Camberley in 1987, the Higher Command and Staff Course in 1999 and the Foundation Term of the Royal College of Defence Studies in 2003.

General Shirreff has a distinguished record of ethical leadership is an experienced, innovative senior-level leader with a proven record of success who has risen to one of the most senior and prestigious positions in the British Army, Department of Defence and NATO. Since March 2011, he has served as the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe at NATO. He was commissioned from Sandhurst into the 14th/20th King’s Hussars in 1978. His regimental service was spent in Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, the Gulf, and while attached to 6th Queen Elizabeth’s Own Gurkha Rifles for a year, Hong Kong and Brunei. His Staff posts have included:  Chief of Staff, Headquarters 33 Armoured Brigade; Military Assistant to the Commander in Chief, British Army of the Rhine and Commander Northern Army Group; Colonel Army Plans in the MOD; Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Staff HQ LAND Command. He commanded The King’s Royal Hussars 1994-96.

General Shirreff commanded 7th Armoured Brigade 1999-2000, amongst other things forming the core of a multinational brigade in Kosovo and 3rd (UK) Division from 2005-7. During this time the divisional HQ deployed as HQ Multinational Division South East in Iraq between July 2006 and January 2007. He has commanded on operations at every level from platoon to division. This has included combat in the Gulf War of 1991 as a tank squadron leader, counter-insurgency operations in the infantry role in Northern Ireland (three tours), together with Iraq and Kosovo. He qualified as a military parachutist in 2005. Assuming command of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps in December 2007, apart from preparing the Corps for deployment in support of ISAF, he also oversaw the relocation of the Corps from Germany to the United Kingdom. He became the 27th DSACEUR on 4 March 2011, and therefore was also appointed as Operation ALTHEA Operation Commander under Berlin Plus arrangements.

General Shirreff’s honours, decorations and awards include:

  • 2013: Distinguished Fellow of New Westminster College, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2010: Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, United Kingdom
  • 2010: Honorary Colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, British Terrotorial Army, United Kingdom
  • 2001: Commander of the Order of the British Empire, United Kingdom
  • 1995: Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service, United Kingdom
  • Honorary Colonel of the Oxford University OTC
  • Honorary Liveryman of the Salters’ Company
  • Honorary Freeman of the City of London
  • General Shirreff’s memberships include:
  • President, Combined Services Adaptive Sports Association
  • President, Combined Services Disabled Ski Team
  • President, RAC Skiing

As a Distinguished Fellow of New Westminster College, General Sir Richard Shirreff is dedicated to supporting the highest standards of academic excellence and is committed to the advancement of New Westminster College and its Global Network of Fellows.


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