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23rd July, 2002




Her Majesty The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the following appointment:

General Sir Michael Walker GCB CMG CBE ADC Gen to be Chief of the Defence Staff in April 2003, in succession to Admiral Sir Michael Boyce GCB OBE ADC. This appointment carries with it membership of the Defence Council.



1. The following are biographies of Admiral Boyce and General Walker:

Admiral Sir Michael Boyce joined the Royal Navy in 1961. After completion of basic training he qualified as a Submariner in 1965 and in the next 7 years he served in HM Submarines ANCHORITE, VALIANT and CONQUEROR, also qualifying in this time as a Torpedo and Anti-Submarine specialist. He then completed the Submarine Commanding Officer''s Qualifying Course in 1973 and subsequently commanded HM Submarines OBERON and OPOSSUM before serving as Staff Warfare Officer to Captain (SM) Submarine Sea Training. After promotion to Commander in 1976 he attended the Royal Naval Staff Course from where he joined Flag Officer Submarines'' Staff as a Staff Warfare Officer.

He then commanded HM Submarine SUPERB after which he spent just under a year in the Ministry of Defence (Directorate of Naval Plans) where he was promoted to Captain in 1982. This was followed by command of HMS BRILLIANT and then appointment as Captain (SM) Submarine Sea Training. In 1986 he returned to the Ministry of Defence to the Directorate of Navy Plans and Programmes as Assistant Director (Warfare) and in 1988 he attended the Royal College of Defence Studies. He then served as Senior Naval Officer Middle East and Commander Task Group 321.1 in the rank of Commodore before becoming Director of Naval Staff Duties (DNSD) from August 1989 to June 1991.

From DNSD he was promoted to Rear Admiral and in July took up the duties of Flag Officer Sea Training and Naval Base Commander Portland. In November 1992 he assumed the duties of Flag Officer Surface Flotilla which included the NATO appointment of Commander Anti-Submarine Warfare Striking Force. He was promoted to Vice Admiral in February 1994 and was knighted in the 1995 New Years Honours List. Promoted to Admiral in May 1995 he simultaneously took up the appointment of Second Sea Lord and Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command. In September 1997 he became Commander-in-Chief Fleet with the accompanying NATO position of Commander-in-Chief Eastern Atlantic and Commander Allied Naval Forces Northwestern Europe. Admiral Boyce was appointed First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, and First and Principal Naval ADC, in October 1998, serving as the professional head of the Royal Navy until January 2001. He was appointed GCB in June 1999. He became Chief of Defence Staff on 16th February 2001.

General Sir Michael Walker was born on 7 July 1944 in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia. He was educated partly in Rhodesia and partly in Yorkshire. On leaving school he taught at a preparatory school for 18 months before attending the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He was commissioned into the Royal Anglian Regiment in 1966 and served with the 1st Battalion as a platoon commander in Celle and Caterick.

In 1969 he was posted to Cyprus as Aide-de-Camp to the General Officer Commanding Near East Land Forces. He returned to his battalion in 1971 and during the course of the next 5 years served in Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Tidworth variously as Operations Officer, Regimental Signals Officer and Adjutant. In 1975 he was posted to the Ministry of Defence as a Staff Officer. He attended the Army Staff Course at Shrivenham and Camberley, returning to his battalion in Tidworth as a Company Commander. At the end of 1979 he was posted back to the MOD to the Directorate of Military Operations.

On promotion to Lieutenant Colonel he was appointed Military Assistant to the Chief of the General Staff from 1982 to 1985. He then commanded his battalion in Londonderry and Gibraltar. He commanded 20th Armoured Brigade in Detmold from December 1987 and after three years in command was appointed Chief of Staff 1st (British) Corps in Bielefeld. General Walker assumed the appointment of General Officer Commanding North East District and Commander 2nd Infantry Division on 30 September 1991 and then General Officer Commanding Eastern District on 1 April 1992.

In December 1992 he returned to the Ministry of Defence as Assistant Chief of the General Staff. In December 1994, as Lieutenant General, he assumed command of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps in Rheindahlen, Germany, and deployed with HQ ARRC to Bosnia Herzegovina from December 1995 to November 1996 to command the multinational land component of IFOR. Upon relinquishing command of the ARRC in February 1997, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief Land Command based at Wilton. General Sir Michael Walker became Chief of the General Staff on 17 April 2000. General Sir Michael Walker is married to Victoria (Tor) and they have three children at university; a son and twins, a boy and a girl. His interests include sailing, shooting, tennis, skiing and golf.

2. The MOD website can be found at

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