Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff (United Kingdom)

Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff
Rank insignia of the incumbent as per branch
General Sir Gordon Messenger

since May 2016
Style Admiral
Air Chief Marshal
Inaugural holder Air Chief Marshal
Sir Alfred Earle

The Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS) is the deputy to the Chief of the Defence Staff, the professional head of the British Armed Forces.[1] The position was titled Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff before 1964.[2] From 1966 to 1978 the post was occupied by a 3 star officer. From 1978 onwards the post has been held by a 4 star officer.

List of Vice Chiefs of the Defence Staff

These were:[2]

While in appointment
Name Branch Appointed Relinquished appointment
Air Chief Marshal Sir Alfred Earle GBE, CB  Royal Air Force February 1964 May 1966
Lieutenant General Sir George Cole KCB, CBE  British Army May 1966 November 1967
Vice Admiral Sir Ian Hogg KCB, DSC & Bar  Royal Navy November 1967 March 1970
Air Marshal Sir John Barraclough KCB, CBE, DFC, AFC  Royal Air Force March 1970 February 1972
Lieutenant General Sir John Gibbon GCB, OBE  British Army February 1972 January 1974
Air Marshal Sir Peter Le Cheminant KCB, DFC & Bar  Royal Air Force January 1974 January 1976
Vice Admiral Sir Henry Leach KCB  Royal Navy January 1976 March 1977
Vice Admiral Sir Anthony Morton KCB  Royal Navy March 1977 April 1978
General Sir Edwin Bramall KCB, OBE, MC  British Army April 1978 May 1979
General Sir Patrick Howard-Dobson GCB  British Army May 1979 June 1981
Air Chief Marshal Sir David Evans GBC, CBE  Royal Air Force June 1981 June 1983
Admiral Sir Peter Herbert KCB, OBE  Royal Navy June 1983 January 1985
Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Harding KCB  Royal Air Force January 1985 August 1985
Air Chief Marshal Sir Patrick Hine KCB  Royal Air Force August 1985 October 1987
General Sir Richard Vincent KCB, DSO  British Army October 1987 March 1991
Admiral Sir Benjamin Bathurst GCB  Royal Navy March 1991 January 1993
Admiral Sir John Slater GCB, LVO  Royal Navy January 1993 April 1995
Air Chief Marshal Sir John Willis GBE, KCB  Royal Air Force April 1995 October 1997
Admiral Sir Peter Abbott GBE, KCB  Royal Navy October 1997 May 2001
Air Chief Marshal Sir Anthony Bagnall GBE, KCB  Royal Air Force May 2001 July 2005
General Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman GBE, KCB  British Army July 2005 May 2009
General Sir Nicholas Houghton GCB, CBE  British Army May 2009 May 2013
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach GBE, KCB  Royal Air Force May 2013 May 2016
General Sir Gordon Messenger KCB, DSO & Bar, OBE, ADC Royal Marines May 2016 current


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