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Graham Binns
Major General Graham Binns
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1977 - 2010
Rank Major General
Service number 503083
Commands held 7th Armoured Brigade
1st (UK) Armoured Division
Battles/wars War in Iraq
Awards Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross

Major General Graham John Binns, CBE, DSO, MC is a retired British Army officer. Binns served as General Officer Commanding 1st Armoured Division and then Commandant Joint Services Command and Staff College. He had previously commanded the 7th Armoured Brigade (the "Desert Rats") during Operation Telic 1 when they took Basra in southern Iraq. He is the Honorary Colonel of The Yorkshire Regiment and Chief Executive of Aegis Defence Services.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Graham Binns was educated at Hymers College in Hull.[1]

Military career[edit | edit source]

Binns was commissioned on 11 December 1976, into the General list. He was transferred to The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire on 2 July 1977.[2] He was promoted to Lieutenant on 11 December 1978.[3] He was further promoted to Captain on 11 June 1983.[4] With this regiment he saw service in Germany, Norway, and the UK.[5]

Between 1986 and 1988, he served in the Ministry of Defence.[6] He then attended the Canadian Forces Command & Staff College in Toronto in 1988, after which he was posted again to Northern Ireland, where he became Chief of Staff of 39th Infantry Brigade.[6][7] He was promoted to Major on 30 September 1989.[8]

He returned to The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire in 1992 to command an armoured infantry company, mounted in Warrior tracked armoured vehicles, with which he served a tour in Bosnia and participated in Operation Grapple.[6] In 1994, he spent some time as an exchange officer at the United States Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Binns was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 30 June 1995,[9] and returned to Britain to join the Directing Staff at the Staff College, Camberley.[5]

In January 1997,[6] he returned once again to The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire and participated in exercises in Kenya, Belize and Canada. It was during this time with the battalion that he once more saw service in Northern Ireland. In April 1999, Binns became Chief of Crisis Plans Branch, Headquarters Allied Forces Southern Europe and led the team responsible for NATO operational planning in the Balkans.[5] He was promoted to Colonel on 30 June 1999, with seniority from that date.[10] He served as Chief of Staff at HQ KFOR, a NATO-led force under a United Nations mandate that operated the military mission in Kosovo.[5] He was promoted to Brigadier on 31 December 2000, with seniority from 30 June 2000.[11] In January 2001, he assumed command of 7 Armoured Brigade[7] and was involved in operations in the Balkans and the Middle East.[6]

He served as Assistant Chief of Staff Commitments at Land Command until December 2005. Between this post and his next command, he attended the Royal College of Defence Studies.[6] He was appointed to the honorary position of Deputy Colonel of the Regiment of The Yorkshire Regiment on 6 June 2006.[12] He was appointed General Officer Commanding 1st (UK) Armoured Division on 1 October 2006 and promoted to Major General on the same day.[13]

Binns, having joined elements of 1st (UK) Armoured Division in Iraq where it formed HQ Multi-National Division (South East), Iraq, signed a memorandum of understanding that returned the responsibility for running the province of Basra to local Iraqi leaders. He signed the document, along with General Mohan al-Furaiji and Governor Muhammad Wa'ili, in a disused departure lounge of Basra airport.[14]

After returning to the UK in February 2008, Binns was given the honorary appointment of Colonel-Commandant of The King’s Division on 10 December 2008.[15] In 2009 he took over command of the Joint Services Command and Staff College.[16] He gave evidence to The Iraq Inquiry about his role in the handing over of control on 15 January 2010.[17][18]

After retiring in 2010, he became chief executive of security company Aegis Defence Services.[19]

In 2011 he was appointed to the honorary position of Colonel of the Regiment of The Yorkshire Regiment.

Awards and decorations[edit | edit source]

On 12 May 1992, the then Major Binns was appointed a Member of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.[20] The citation read:

in recognition of Meritorious service in Northern Ireland.[20]

On 26 April 1994, the then Major Binns was awarded the Military Cross for service in the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.[21] The citation read:

in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the former Republic of Yugoslavia during the period April 1993 to November 1993[21]

On 19 April 2002, the then Brigadier Binns was appointed a Commander of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.[22] The citation read:

in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the former Yugoslavia during the period 1 April 2001 to 30 September 2001[22]

On 31 October 2003, the then Brigadier Binns was appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order for service in Iraq.[23] The citation read:

in recognition of gallant and distinguished services whilst on operations in Iraq during the period 19 March to 19 April 2003[23]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Binns is married to Jennie. They have four children: Sophie (born September 1985), Thomas (born May 1988), Rosemary (born March 1990) and Matilda (born June 1992).[5]

He enjoys many sports including golf, sailing and orienteering.[5][6]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Guide to Independent Schools". Guide to Independent Schools. http://www.schoolsguidebook.co.uk/schools/view/203/Hymers/HMC/Hymers-College-Hymers-Avenue-Hull-HU3-1LW. Retrieved 17 January 2010. 
  2. "No. 47300". 15 August 1977. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/47300/page/ 
  3. "No. 47738". 8 January 1979. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/47738/page/ 
  4. "No. 49392". 20 June 1983. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/49392/page/ 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 "Former Commander: Brigadier Binns". 13 March 2007. http://www.nato.int/kfor/structur/whoswho/cv/bio_binns_a.htm. Retrieved 26 May 2009. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 "BIOGRAPHY - MAJOR GENERAL GJ BINNS CBE DSO MC". usacac.army.mil. http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/CGSC/Events/Binns/Maj%20Gen%20Binns%20-%20Bio.pdf. Retrieved 6 July 2009. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Brief biographical details of the senior UK commanders involved in Operation Telic". operations.mod.uk. http://www.operations.mod.uk/telic/biogs_old.htm. Retrieved 26 May 2009. 
  8. "No. 51890". 2 October 1989. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/51890/page/ 
  9. "No. 54091". 3 July 1995. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/54091/page/ 
  10. "No. 55543". 6 July 1999. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/55543/page/ 
  11. "No. 56078". 2 January 2001. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/56078/page/ 
  12. "No. 58191". 27 December 2006. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/58191/page/ 
  13. "No. 58113". 3 October 2006. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/58113/page/ 
  14. Coughlin, Con; Richard Holt (18 December 2007). "Britain 'fleeing' Iraq, says Zawahiri". Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1572862/Britain-fleeing-Iraq-says-Zawahiri.html. Retrieved 26 May 2009. 
  15. "No. 58912". 16 December 2008. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/58912/page/ 
  16. Change of Command at the Joint Services Command and Staff College Defence Academy, August 2009
  17. "Iraq inquiry - day by day timeline of evidence given". BBC News. BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8378559.stm. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  18. "Iraq inquiry hears evidence behind closed doors". BBC News. BBC. 15 January 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8462822.stm. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  19. "The rise of the UK's private security companies", BBC, 2 November 2010
  20. 20.0 20.1 "No. 52918". 11 May 1992. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/52918/page/ 
  21. 21.0 21.1 "No. 53653". 26 April 1994. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/53653/page/ 
  22. 22.0 22.1 "No. 56541". 19 April 2002. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/56541/page/ 
  23. 23.0 23.1 "No. 57100". 31 October 2003. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/57100/page/ 
Military offices
Preceded by
John Cooper
General Officer Commanding the 1st (UK) Armoured Division
Succeeded by
Adrian Bradshaw
Preceded by
Jonathan Shaw
General Officer Commanding
Multi-National Division (South East), Iraq

August 2007–February 2008
Succeeded by
Barney White-Spunner
Preceded by
Neil Morisetti
Commandant of the Joint Services Command and Staff College
2009 – 2010
Succeeded by
Ray Lock

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