Jock Stirrup

Marshal of the Royal Air Force Graham Eric Stirrup, Baron Stirrup, KG, GCB, AFC, FRAeS, FCMI (born 4 December 1949), informally known as Jock Stirrup, is a former senior Royal Air Force commander who was the Chief of the Defence Staff from 2006 until his retirement in late 2010. He is now a Crossbench member of the House of Lords. In April 2013, he was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Garter by Queen Elizabeth II.

The Lord Stirrup
Marshal of the Royal Air Force The Lord Stirrup
Nickname(s)Jock
Born (1949-12-04) 4 December 1949 (age 71)
Paddington, London
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Air Force
Years of service1968–2011
RankMarshal of the Royal Air Force
Service number8020760D
Commands heldChief of the Defence Staff (2006–10)
Chief of the Air Staff (2003–06)
No. 1 Group (1997–98)
RAF Marham (1990–92)
No. 2 Squadron (1985–87)
Battles/warsDhofar War
Cold War
Operation Telic
War in Afghanistan
AwardsKnight of the Order of the Garter
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Air Force Cross

As a junior RAF officer, Stirrup was a jet pilot, and saw action in the Dhofar War. Later in his career, he commanded No. 2 Squadron and RAF Marham. After several senior air force appointments, Stirrup was made the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Strike Command and during this time he served as the first commander of British forces engaged in fighting the Taliban. In 2002, Stirrup was appointed the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff responsible for equipment and capability and was heavily involved in procuring equipment for the invasion of Iraq. Spending a little over a year in that role, he was then appointed the Chief of the Air Staff, in which capacity he served from 2003 to 2006. He became Chief of the Defence Staff in 2006: during his time in office the British Armed Forces faced significant commitments both to Iraq (Operation Telic) and Afghanistan (Operation Herrick). Stirrup retired as Chief of the Defence Staff on 29 October 2010, taking a seat in the House of Lords in 2011.