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Sir Nick Houghton
Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton GCB, CBE, ADC Gen. MOD 45155682.jpg
General Sir Nicholas Houghton
Born 18 October 1954(1954-10-18) (age 66)
Place of birth Otley, West Yorkshire
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army British Army
Years of service 1974 –
Rank General
Service number 497441
Commands held 1st Bn The Green Howards
39 Infantry Brigade
Permanent Joint Headquarters
Battles/wars The Troubles
Iraq War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Officer of the Legion of Merit (United States)
General Sir John Nicholas Reynolds Houghton GCB CBE ADC Gen (born 18 October 1954) is the Chief of the Defence Staff of the British Armed Forces.[1] He served as Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion The Green Howards in Northern Ireland during The Troubles and later became Commander of 39 Infantry Brigade in Northern Ireland. He was deployed as Senior British Military Representative and Deputy Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq during the Iraq War. He went on to be Chief of Joint Operations at Permanent Joint Headquarters and has just finished as Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, having handed over to Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach on 10 May 2013.

Early lifeEdit

Born the son of Frank and Margaret Houghton on 18 October 1954 at Otley near Leeds,[2] Houghton was educated at Woodhouse Grove School in Bradford.[3] He graduated from St Peter's College, University of Oxford in 1977[4] after doing an in-Service Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern History.[5]

Military careerEdit

After attending Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Houghton was commissioned into the Green Howards as a second lieutenant on 9 March 1974.[6] He was promoted to lieutenant on 9 March 1976,[7] to captain on 9 September 1980[8] and to major on 30 September 1986.[9] He was appointed Military Assistant to the Chief of Staff British Army of the Rhine and subsequently became a member of the Directing Staff at the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham.[10] Promoted to lieutenant colonel on 30 June 1991,[11] he became Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion The Green Howards in 1991[5] and was deployed to Northern Ireland in 1993.[12] Houghton was made Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff at HQ Land Command in 1994 and he attended the Higher Command and Staff Course in 1997.[5] Promoted to brigadier on 31 December 1997 with seniority from 30 June 1997,[13] he became Commander of 39 Infantry Brigade in Northern Ireland in 1997 and was Director of Military Operations at the Ministry of Defence from December 1999 to July 2002.[5] He was promoted to major general on 26 July 2002[14] and was made Chief of Staff of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps that year[2] before becoming Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations) in 2004.[5] Promoted to lieutenant general on 14 October 2005,[15] Houghton was deployed as Senior British Military Representative and Deputy Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq in October 2005.[5] He became Chief of Joint Operations at Permanent Joint Headquarters (UK) in 2006[5] and, after being relieved of that post on 13 March 2009,[5] he was promoted to general and appointed Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff on 5 May 2009.[16] Houghton took over as Chief of the Defence Staff on 18 July 2013.[17] He has stated that one of his key objectives is to re-shape the Armed forces in the post-Afghanistan era.[18] Houghton has also raised concerns about the Armed Forces' abilities with the personnel and budget cuts.[19]

Honours and decorationsEdit

On 12 October 1993, Houghton was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) "in recognition of distinguished service in Northern Ireland".[12] He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) on 14 April 2000 "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Northern Ireland during the period 1 April 1999 to 30 September 1999".[20] In 2006, he was made an Officer of the Legion of Merit "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services during coalition operations in Iraq.[21] He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2008 Birthday Honours[22] and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) in the 2011 Birthday Honours.[23][24]

Houghton was Colonel of the Regiment of 158 (Royal Anglian) Transport Regiment (Volunteers) from 1 November 2003[25] to 1 September 2008[26] and honorary Colonel Commandant of the King's Division from 10 December 2005[27] to 10 December 2008[28] as well as Colonel of the Regiment of The Yorkshire Regiment from 6 June 2006[29] to 6 June 2011.[30] He was appointed Colonel Commandant of the Intelligence Corps on 19 July 2008[31] and Aide-de-Camp General (ADC Gen) to The Queen on 1 October 2009.[32]

Order of the Bath UK ribbon
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) 2011[23]
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) 2008[22]
Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) 2000[20]
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) 1993[12]
General Service Medal 1962 BAR General Service Medal (1962)
UNFICYP UNFICYP medal
Iraq Medal BAR Iraq Medal
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal 2002
QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012
Accumulated Campaign Service Medal BAR Accumulated Campaign Service Medal
Us legion of merit officer rib Officer of the Legion of Merit 2006 (United States)[21]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1982 Houghton married Margaret Glover: they have one son and one daughter.[2] His interests include golf, sailing, shooting, cooking and history.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. www,gov.uk - Chief of the Defence Staff
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Who's Who 2010, A & C Black, 2010, ISBN 978-1-4081-1414-8
  3. "John Nicholas Reynolds Houghton". Burke's Peerage. Burke's Peerage (UK) Limited. http://www.burkespeerage.com/FamilyHomepage.aspx?FID=6888. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  4. "Notable Alumni". St Peter's College, University of Oxford. http://www.spc.ox.ac.uk/text/321/notable_alumni.html. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 "Biography at mod.com as Vice Chief of the Defence Staff". http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/People/ChiefsOfStaff/ViceChiefOfTheDefenceStaffvcds.htm. Retrieved 2013-03-16. 
  6. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46270. p. 5057. 22 April 1974. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  7. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46845. p. 3579. 8 March 1976. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  8. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 48331. p. 13956. 6 October 1980. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  9. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 50677. p. 12945. 6 October 1986. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  10. "General Sir Nicholas Houghton GCB CBE ADC Gen, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS)". Newcastle University. http://www.ncl.ac.uk/events/public-lectures/item.php?defence-lecture. Retrieved 2013-03-16. 
  11. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 52615. p. 11597. 29 July 1991. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 53453. p. 16387. 11 October 1993. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  13. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 55006. p. 101. 5 January 1998. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  14. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 56646. p. 9095. 30 July 2002. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  15. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 57789. p. 13419. 18 October 2005. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  16. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59052. p. 7596. 5 May 2009. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  17. "Sir David Richards to become a lord - after overseeing the sacking of 20,000 troops". 13 July 2013. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sir-david-richards-become-lord-2051418. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  18. "Exclusive interview with the new Chief of the Defence Staff". Defence Focus. August 2013. p. 8. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/229495/DF_AUGUST_2013_ISSUE__273.pdf. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  19. "BBC News - Chief of defence staff warns of military expectations". Bbc.co.uk. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23790776. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 55819. p. 4251. 14 April 2000. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  21. 21.0 21.1 The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58183. p. 17361. 15 December 2006. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  22. 22.0 22.1 The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58729. p. 2. 14 June 2008. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  23. 23.0 23.1 The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59808. p. 2. 11 June 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  24. "Queen's Birthday Honours List 2011". Direct Gov.UK. http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_197793.pdf. Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  25. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 57122. p. 14549. 25 November 2003. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  26. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58844. p. 15296. 7 October 2008. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  27. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 57887. p. 1364. 31 January 2006. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  28. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58912. p. 19637. 16 December 2008. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  29. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58191. p. 17824. 27 December 2006. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  30. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59803. p. 10703. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  31. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58771. p. 11005. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  32. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59216. p. 17989. 20 October 2009. Retrieved 2012-07-07.

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Robin Brims
Senior British Military Representative
and Deputy Commanding General, Multinational Force, Iraq

2005–2006
Succeeded by
Robert Fry
Preceded by
Sir Glenn Torpy
Chief of Joint Operations
2006–2009
Succeeded by
Sir Stuart Peach
Preceded by
Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman
Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff
2009–2013
Succeeded by
Sir Stuart Peach
Preceded by
Sir David Richards
Chief of the Defence Staff
2013–
Succeeded by
Incumbent
New title
Regiment formed
Colonel of the Yorkshire Regiment
2006–2011
Succeeded by
Graham Binns



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