SAS chief criticised for joining action quits


Fox Raiders
Jul 2, 2007
San Diego, CA
The head of the SAS has resigned from the elite army regiment “for personal reasons”, defence sources said last night.

The commanding officer of 22 Special Air Service Regiment, who cannot be named for his own security, has been involved in covert operations in Iraq and Afghanistan where he gained a reputation for leading from the front.

However, this has drawn criticism from the army hierarchy, which believes that commanding officers, whether they are in the SAS or in conventional regiments, need to be less involved in frontline combat and more concerned with the “big picture”, sending their men out to do the fighting, according to a report in The Sun.

The commanding officer of the SAS — a lieutenant-colonel in his early forties — has served in the Army for more than 20 years and is planning to end his military career when he hands over the special forces role to his successor. The head of the SAS normally stays in the job for about three years and he will have completed his full appointment period by the time he leaves.

Defence sources were anxious to emphasise that the commanding officer was leaving the SAS for “personal reasons”, but acknowledged that the reports of his style of leadership were not far off the mark. The regiment’s motto is “Who Dares Wins”.

Previous SAS commanders have included General Sir Michael Rose, who fought with the regiment in the 1982 Falklands conflict, and General Sir Peter de la Billière, who led the British force in the Gulf War in 1991 after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

In the past, commanding officers of 22 SAS have often gone on to become Director Special Forces with the rank of brigadier.

The present head of the special forces — the SAS and the Special Boat Service, the Royal Marines’ equivalent — served as a senior commander in Iraq.

He has had a glittering career in the Army, with tours of duty in the most dangerous areas in Iraq and Afghanistan. The special forces have divided up their roles in these two war zones, with the SAS based mainly in Baghdad and operating with their American counterparts in hunting down al-Qaeda terrorists, and the SBS serving in southern Afghanistan.

In recent weeks the SAS has also been searching for the five Britons who were kidnapped in Baghdad.

The lieutenant-colonel’s future money-earning prospects in the civilian world will be unrivalled. As head of the most famous regiment in the world he will be able to command a big salary in a security company. When he leaves the Army he is expected to be recruited by one of the top companies who are winning big contracts in Iraq.

At least 10,000 people are now operating in Iraq with private security companies, all of which rely on ex-special forces soldiers to perform the dangerous roles that are needed in a country suffering from increasingly sophisticated insurgency groups.

However, as a senior officer and with his SAS background, the lieutenant-colonel is likely to be snapped up as a director of one of the private security companies.
Sign of the times. Politicans running the good guys out and leaving thier shit behind. Fucking snails.
Damn shame that a good guy and a great leader gets run out by the pols. It sounds like the men that he led really respected their commander and went the extra mile for him.

Best wishes to the Lt. Colonel in whatever field of employment he decides to pursue in the next part of his life...
None of that "leading from the front" shit for the British Army...

Kind of reminds me of Chesty Puller, who would be at or near the front with his troops most of the time. When somebody would come to visit and finally track down Puller where the action was, he'd ask "where's you're CP?", to which Puller would reply "right here", tapping on his breast pocket which held his maps and various dispos.
Yes it sucks but the SAS have a history of leaders who lead from the front...... if it was really such a bad idea in the mind on the British military it wouldnt keep happening.:)

If anything, this is just helping him find another job once he is out.