He joined the Royal Navy as a Supply Officer in 1991, on a full term commission. As a junior officer, he served in the survey ship HMS Beagle and he was promoted to Lieutenant-Commander on 1 November 1999. He was Supply Officer of the destroyer HMS Southampton from 1999 to 2001 and then was at King's College London, earning an Master of Arts in Defence Studies. He then served as Military Assistant to the Capability Manager (Precision Attack) - Controller of the Navy - in the Ministry of Defence from September 2002 to July 2004.
In 2006, near the end of his appointment at the Palace, he was promoted to Commander, and was SO1 Strategy, Joint Support Chain, DE&S (Ministry of Defence, Bath) from August 2007 to July 2009 and he was the last Logistics Officer of the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal from July 2009 to January 2011.
Commander Ackland was Commandant of the Defence Maritime Logistics School (DMLS), HMS Raleigh in Cornwall, from March 2011. From late 2012 he was Executive Assistant to Second Sea Lord (EA/2SL), in Navy Headquarters' Leach Building at Whale Island, Portsmouth, until April 2013 when he became Executive Assistant to the Fleet Commander, located in the same building. He was made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) in 2007 for personal service to the Royal Family.
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