Jonathon Band

Jonathon Band

Infobox Military Person
name= Sir Jonathon Band
lived= 1950 –

caption=Admiral Band giving evidence to a Commons committee, Feb 2007
allegiance= flagicon|United Kingdom United Kingdom
serviceyears= 1967 -
rank= Admiral
commands=HMS "Soberton"
HMS "Phoebe"
HMS "Norfolk"
HMS "Illustrious"
First Sea Lord
battles= Cold War
Falklands War
Bosnian War
War on Terrorism
Iraq War
awards= Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

Admiral Sir Jonathon Band GCB, ADC (born 1950), since 2006, is the First Sea Lord of the United Kingdom, the most senior serving officer in the Royal Navy. Before serving as First Sea Lord he was Commander-in-Chief Fleet. Since becoming First Sea Lord, Band has been a firm advocate of the creation of new ships to meet new threats and maintain the status of the Royal Navy as one of the world's leading naval forces. [ Navy Matters | Sustained Surface Combatant Capability ] ]

Early life and education

Born in 1950, Band spent much of his early childhood abroad. Whilst at school, Band was a Petty Officer in the Combined Cadet Force. He entered the Royal Navy in 1967 and was educated at Haileybury before undertaking sea training in the Far East. He returned to England on an undergraduate programme and studied for three years at the University of Exeter.cite news|title = First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff|url =|work = Royal Navy|publisher = Royal Navy|date = 2006] He is married to Sarah, Lady Band. [ [ 2006 - BAE Systems ] ] They have two daughters and live in Southsea, Portsmouth.


After graduating from Exeter, he served in junior officer appointments in HMS "Lewiston" and HMS "Rothesay". In the mid 1970s, he undertook an exchange programme with the United States Navy and served onboard the guided missile cruiser, USS "Belknap", which is now no longer in service. Following warfare training in 1976 and 1977 he served for two years as the Principal Warfare Officer and Operations Officer onboard the Frigate HMS "Eskimo". This appointment included deployments to the West Indies and South Atlantic.


In 1980 he commanded the minesweeper HMS "Soberton" for nearly two years in the Fishery Protection Squadron around the British coast. Between 1981 and 1983 he also served as Flag Lieutenant to Commander-in-Chief Fleet, a period where he was involved in the Falklands War. Promoted to the rank of Commander in 1983, he assumed command of the frigate HMS "Phoebe". The frigate operated in NATO waters, at the time of the RN’s first operational experience with surface ship towed passive sonar. In 1985 he attended the Joint Services Defence College and was soon appointed to the Defence Staff in the Ministry of Defence in the Directorate of Defence Policy. Promoted Captain in 1988, he left the Directorate of Policy and commanded HMS "Norfolk". He was also responsible for helping establish the first Type 23 Frigate Squadron.


In 1991, he became the Assistant Director Navy Plans and Programmes in the Ministry of Defence, a period that saw the implementation of the “Options for Change” Review. In 1994 he was a member of the Defence Costs Study (Front Line First) Secretariat. His last Sea Command was that of HMS "Illustrious", the aircraft carrier, between 1995 and 1997. The period included two operational deployments to the Adriatic in which he and the Illustrious supported the intervention of the U.S., the United Nations, and NATO operations in Bosnia.

In May 1997 he was elevated to Flag rank and promoted to Rear Admiral. He returned to the Ministry of Defence as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff. This appointment included the period of the Strategic Defence Review, in which he was heavily involved in the Royal Navy's contributions to the review. [ [ House of Commons - Defence - Eighth Report ] ] He left this appointment in December 1999 and assumed the position of Team Leader of the Defence Education and Training Study in January 2000. In 2000 he was also promoted to Vice Admiral.

Commander-in-Chief Fleet

Between September 2001 and November 2005, he served as Commander-in-Chief Fleet, responsible for the preparation and operation of the ships, submarines and aircraft of the Royal Navy based at Northwood. In that post he had a NATO command as Commander Allied Maritime Component Command, Northwood. In 2002, he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the New Year's Honours List. [ [ Speaker - Admiral Sir Jonathan Band ] ]

In 2003 he spoke out for the crew of the HMS "Turbulent", for their efforts on achieving the longest deployment time of a submarine. HMS "Turbulent" was away for more than ten months and he stated "They are a huge credit. The submarine has done the equivalent of going twice around the world,". [ [ BBC NEWS | England | Devon | Sub returns after record mission ] ] In March 2004 he spent several weeks touring naval facilities and ships in the Caribbean and countries such as Antigua. [ [ Caribbean Net News: British admiral pays official visit to Antigua-Barbuda ] ]

In the Trafalgar 200 celebrations, celebrating the British victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Band attended the ceremonies and the fleet review in the UK. In an interview, he stated:

Band also attended a Marines' parade, in honour of Lord Nelson, in October 2006. [ [ BBC NEWS | England | London | Sea Cadets remember 1805 battle ] ]

First Sea Lord

In February 2006 Band took over the positions of First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff from Admiral Sir Alan West and in a press statement set out the Navy's priorities in the 21st century. Upon taking up the post of First Sea Lord he became the professional head of the Royal Navy. Band is a proponent for the Sustained Surface Combatant Capability and the creation of new ships to maintain the Royal Navy as one of the world's leading navies. These include the new Type 45 destroyer and the Royal Navy CVF programme, designed to replace the UK's current aircraft carriers. As head of the Royal Navy he led the Royal Navy's official involvement in the planning of the Iraq War.

In June 2006 he went on a fact finding and diplomatic mission to Pakistan where he met the head of the Pakistan Air Force, the head of the Pakistan Navy and the Army Chief of Staff. On the following day he met with the President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa.In November 2006 he attended a press conference on HMS "Illustrious", which was docked on the River Thames at Greenwich. He announced that the 25th anniversary of the Falklands War would be commemorated across 8,000 miles and four time zones - in London, Pangbourne and the Falkland Islands - from 14 to 17 June 2007. The event will be known as Operation Corporate and will be led by the current First Sea Lord at that time.

In February 2007, at a journalists' briefing, he warned that the Royal Navy needed another £1 billion pounds to meet future foreign policy demands and appealed to the Government for additional funding, a third of the Navy's annual operating budget, to spend on building more modern ships. [ [ BBC NEWS | UK | Navy needs extra £1bn - admiral ] ] In a later interview with the "Daily Telegraph" he said that an increase of more than 30 per cent in the Fleet's day-to-day budget was necessary to pay for better sailors' wages, the running of ships and improved accommodation. He threatened to resign as head of the Navy if the Government failed to agree to pay for two new aircraft carriers - the Royal Navy CVF programme, it had previously promised. [ [ First Sea Lord in threat to quit over cuts] "The Telegraph", 18 February 2007]

In May 2007 the government gave the £3.9bn go-ahead for the new aircraft carriers. [,,2134763,00.html New Aircraft Carriers Approved, Guardian, May 2007] ] Admiral Sir Jonathon said

In 2007 he was awarded an honorary degree of Law from the University of Portsmouth. [ [,64688,en.html University of Portsmouth Degree Awarded, 2007] ]

He is also President of the Royal Navy Volunteer Band Association, the Royal Navy Rugby Union and the Royal Naval and Royal Albert Yacht Club, as well as a Younger Brother of Trinity House.

tyles & Honours

* Mr Jonathon Band (1950-through other ranks-1981)
* Lieutenant Jonathon Band (1981-1983)
* Commander Jonathon Band (1983-1988)
* Captain Jonathon Band (1988-1997)
* Rear Admiral Jonathon Band (1997-2000)
* Vice Admiral Jonathon Band (2000-2002)
* Vice Admiral Sir Jonathon Band KCB (2002-2006)
* Admiral Sir Jonathon Band KCB (2006-2008)
* Admiral Sir Jonathon Band GCB (2008-)

Sir Jonathon would likely have been Midshipman and Sub-Lieutenant before being promoted to Lieutenant in 1981.

He was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) in the 2008 Birthday Honours.


External links

* [ Brief official biography.]
* [ Chief of the Naval Staff]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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