Sir Jonathon Band has enjoyed a distinguished naval career, serving on a variety of Royal Navy vessels including minesweepers, frigates and aircraft carriers.
A fervent believer in British sea power, he has in recent years been a firm advocate for the modernisation of the Navy including new frigates, destroyers and its two new aircraft carriers. He was promoted to First Sea Lord in 2009.
A stalwart supporter of the Royal Navy
Jonathon Band was born in England in 1950. He joined the Senior Service in 1967 and served on a variety of surface ships, culminating with HMS Illustrious, one of Britain’s three revolutionary Invincible-class aircraft carriers, during the Bosnian crisis of the 1990s.
Jonathon attended Brambletye prep school, and then Haileybury between 1964 and 1967, before joining Britannia Royal Naval College and then Exeter University as part of the Navy’s undergraduate programme.
On graduation, he served first on the minesweeper, HMS Lewiston before joining the crew of HMS Rothesay, a 12M-class frigate. In 1974, promoted to lieutenant, he served on the Tribal-class frigate HMS Eskimo and later also served during the Falklands war.
In 1988, promoted as captain, he took his first command, that of HMS Norfolk, a Type-23 anti-submarine frigate.
A position of influence
Between 1991 and 2000, Band served in a number of different roles including as Assistant Director, Navy Plans and Programmes; Aide de Camp to the Queen and for two years as Commander of HMS Illustrious.
Appointed Rear Admiral in 1997 and Vice Admiral in 2000, Band went on to serve as Deputy Commander-in-Chief Fleet, and then Commander-in-Chief Fleet, where he was responsible for planning for the Iraq War.
He was knighted in the 2002 New Year Honours list and took over the First Sea Lord’s duties from Admiral Sir Alan West in 2006.
First Sea Lord
A fierce exponent of British sea power and a profound believer in the need for a modern Royal Navy, he has on many occasions stood firm on the need for naval investment. This was most notably the case in 2007 when he forcibly advocated the completion of the Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers at a time when politicians were quietly reducing the size of the fleet.
Band was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the 2008 Birthday Honours and was promoted to First Sea Lord on 21 July 2009.
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