Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach will replace retiring General Sir Nicholas Houghton as the Chief of Defense staff, taking up his new role this summer. The current Vice Chief of Defense Staff.
Born in 1956 in the West Midlands, Sir Stuart went to Aldrige Grammar School before gaining a BA in Geography, Economics and Social History from the University of Sheffield later going on to receive an MPhil from Cambridge. Sir Stuart also holds several honorary doctorates including an honorary doctorate from the University of Sheffield for his contributions to UK defence and peacekeeping operations in the Balkans. In 2014 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in technology from Loughborough University, recognising his “outstanding contributions to maintaining the safety and security of the people and countries of the UK, as well as the wider global area”.
Sir Stuart Peach commissioned into the Royal Air Force in 1977 serving in Belize, Hong Kong and Germany in the 1980s, holding senior roles during military operations in Turkey, Iraq and Kosovo. Sir Stuart went on to command the air warfare centre and RAF Waddington from 2000 to 2003, later becoming the director of general intelligence collection at the Ministry of Defence between 2003 and 2006.
In 2006 he became Chief of Defence Intelligence and deputy chairman for the Joint Intelligence Committee in 2006, holding the title until 2009. In March 2009 Sir Stuart was appointed Chief of Joint Operations at PJHQ (UK), the MoDs worldwide operational command centre, later going on in 2011 to become the first commander of UK Joint Forces command. In May 2013 Sir Stuart was appointed the Vice-Chief of Defence Staff.
Along with the announcement of Sir Stuarts new role, Prime Minister David Cameron said that he was “confident that Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach is the right man to continue General Sir Nick Houghton’s great legacy” and that his experiences will “ensure our brave armed forces remain among the most capable and agile in the world”.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence, also said he was “looking forward to working closely with [Sir Stuart]” in taking the fight to Daesh (also know as ISIS) and ensuring that the Armed Forces were the best to keep Britain safe.