- Michael Rose (British Army officer)
Sir Michael Rose
Michael Rose (left) with John Shalikashvili in 1994
Allegiance United Kingdom Service/branch British Army Years of service 1959 – 1997 Rank General Commands held Special Air Service
Director Special Forces
2nd Infantry Division
Staff College, Camberley
UK Field Army
Battles/wars Falklands War
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order
Queen's Gallantry Medal
South Atlantic Medal
Mentioned in Despatches
General Sir Hugh Michael Rose KCB, CBE, DSO, QGM (born 1940 in what was then British India), often known as Mike Rose, is a retired British Army General. As well as commanding 22 Special Air Service Regiment, he was Commander UNPROFOR Bosnia in 1994 during the Yugoslav Wars.
The stepson of British author John Masters, Rose was educated at Cheltenham College, St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, and the Sorbonne. He was commissioned into the Gloucestershire Regiment Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve (TAVR) in 1959, and transferred to the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR) in 1962. He joined the Coldstream Guards in 1964.
After attending the Staff College, Camberley, Rose became the Brigade Major 16th Parachute Brigade from 1973 until 1975. He was Commanding Officer of the 22 SAS Regiment from 1979 to 1982, as part of which he was in control of the operation to free the hostages of the Iranian Embassy Siege in 1980. He commanded Special Service operations in-theatre during the Falkland Conflict. He then served as the commander of the 39th Infantry Brigade from 1983 to 1985. In 1987, Rose was the Commandant of the School of Infantry until 1988, when he became the first Director Special Forces until 1989. He attended the Royal College of Defence Studies.
Rose was General Officer Commanding North East District and Commander 2nd Infantry Division based in York from 1989 to 1991, and between 1991 and 1993 served as Commandant of the Staff College, Camberley. Then, from 1993 to 1994, Rose was Commander UK Field Army and Inspector-General of the Territorial Army. Finally, from 1994 to 1995 he was Commander, United Nations Protection Force, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Rose was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal 1981, made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire 1986, was knighted with a knight Commander of the Order of the Bath 1994, and received the Distinguished Service Order in 1995.
He had extensive experience worldwide, particularly in the Middle East, as a special forces officer. Rose served in Germany, Aden, Malaysia, the Gulf States, Dhofar, and in Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands, for both of which he was Mentioned in Despatches, mostly in a relatively informal, small formation setting, working to very narrow objectives, with clearly superb results.
He was also Colonel of the Regiment of the Coldstream Guards.
Rose is a director of Control Risks Group, a private security and consulting company.
Opposition to Tony Blair
In 2006 he came once again to public attention when he criticised British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and called for his impeachment for leading the country to war in Iraq under false pretenses. This highlighted the unease felt in the highest levels of the British armed forces about the legality, and indeed the practicality, of the 2003 American-led invasion of Iraq.
On 9 January 2006, Rose called for Tony Blair to be impeached over the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, saying on BBC Radio 4's Today programme "To go to war on what turns out to be false grounds is something that no one should be allowed to walk away from."
In 2007, he called for the admission of defeat and withdrawal of Coalition forces from Iraq describing the war as "hopeless" and comparing the situation to that faced by the British during the American Revolutionary War.
- Brendan Simms (2001), Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia, Allen Lane The Penguin Press
Military offices Preceded by
Director Special Forces
General Officer Commanding the 2nd Infantry Division
Commandant of the Staff College, Camberley
Sir Michael Wilkes
Commander UK Field Army
Sir Richard Swinburn
Sir Michael Wilkes
Sir Alexander Harley
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