James Bucknall

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Sir James Bucknall
James Bucknall cropped.jpg
Bucknall in Afghanistan in 2010
Image courtesy of ISAF
Born 1958 (age 55–56)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1978–2013
Rank Lieutenant General
Unit Coldstream Guards
Commands held 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards
39 Infantry Brigade
Deputy Commander, ISAF
Battles/wars Bosnian War
The Troubles
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Mentioned in Despatches
Officer of the Legion of Merit (United States)

Lieutenant General Sir James Jeffrey Corfield Bucknall, KCB, CBE (born 1958) is a retired British Army officer and former Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.

Early life[edit]

Bucknall was born in 1958.[1] He was educated at Winchester College, a boys public boarding school in Winchester, Hampshire.[1]

Military career[edit]

In April 1977, Bucknall joined the British Army as a guardsman.[2] In September 1977, he entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.[2] He graduated the following year and was commissioned into Her Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards as a second lieutenant on a short service commission on 8 April 1978.[3] His first promotion was to lieutenant in April 1980.[4] He transferred from a short service commission to a regular commission in 1983, retaining seniority in his rank,[5] before promotion to captain in October 1984.[6]

After attending the Staff College, Camberley,[1] Bucknall attained field officer status with promotion to major in September 1990.[7] He took up a company command, after which he served in a staff post at HQ Northern Ireland,[1] and was Mentioned in Despatches in recognition of his services in the province.[8] He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1995,[9] prior to assuming command of 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards in Germany. In 1998, he was appointed chief of staff of 1st Armoured Division, and deployed to Bosnia to join the division.[1]

He was promoted to colonel in 1999[10] and, after completing the Higher Command and Staff Course,[1] to brigadier on 31 December 2001, with seniority from 30 June 2001.[11] Bucknall returned to Northern Ireland in 2003, taking command of 39 Infantry Brigade, with responsibility for Belfast and the surrounding area during The Troubles.[1] After Northern Ireland, Bucknall was assigned to the Ministry of Defence in London as Director Counter-Terrorism and UK Operations, after which he served in a staff position in Baghdad with responsibility for strategic planning,[1] for which he was later awarded the American Legion of Merit.[12]

High command[edit]

Bucknall attained general officer status with promotion to major general on 18 September 2006, whereupon he was appointed Chief of Staff of NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps[13] and initially deployed to Afghanistan to join, becoming chief of staff to ISAF IX, led by the ARRC.[1] From 2009 to 2010, Bucknall served as an Assistant Chief of the General Staff.[1]

Bucknall was promoted to Lieutenant General on 31 August 2010.[14] He was appointed Deputy Commander of the International Security Assistance Force—second in command of 130,000 troops from 48 countries[15]—and United Kingdom National Contingent Commander, Kabul—overall commander of all British forces in Afghanistan—succeeding General Sir Nick Parker.[16] While in Afghanistan, Bucknall emphasised that a continued effort was required to maintain the momentum in improving the security situation in the country, saying "progress is not irreversible, we are yet to make it so. But we are certainly on the right track".[17] In February 2011 he became Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.[18]

He retired from the British Army on 23 November 2013.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Bucknall lists his interests as history, field sports, cricket and association football, supporting Newcastle United F.C..[1]

Honours and decorations[edit]

In 2009, he was awarded the Legion of Merit in the degree of Officer by the United States "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services during coalition operations". He was granted unrestricted permission to wear the decoration on his uniform.[12] He was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service 'in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Afghanistan during the period 1st April 2011 to 30th September 2011'.[20]

He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) 'in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Northern Ireland in the period 1st April to 30th September 1994'.[21] He was promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Northern Ireland in the period 1st April to 30th September 2003'.[22] He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2013 New Year Honours.[23]

He was appointed honorary colonel of the Coldstream Guards in October 2009, in succession to Sir Michael Rose.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Lieutenant General J J C Bucknall CBE (GBR)". International Security Assistance Force. Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Yong, Michael. "ARRC Commander Sir James Bucknall to retire". Gloucestershire Echo. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47566. p. 7138. 12 June 1978. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 48170. p. 6336. 28 April 1980. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 49434. p. 10179. 1 August 1983. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 49897. p. 13957. 15 October 1984. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 52288. pp. 15447–15448. 1 October 1990. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 52918. p. 8168. 11 May 1992. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 54091. p. 9195. 3 July 1995. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 55543. p. 7301. 6 July 1999. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 56446. p. 171. 8 January 2002. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  12. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59133. p. 12503. 21 July 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58107. p. 13108. 26 September 2006. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59544. p. 17735. 14 September 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  15. ^ "Declaration by the Heads of State and Government of the Nations contributing to the UN-mandated, NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan". NATO/ISAF. 20 November 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
  16. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59565. p. 19215. 5 October 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  17. ^ "The right track to irreversible progress in Afghanistan". Defence News (Ministry of Defence). 22 December 10. Retrieved 21 February 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  18. ^ "Lieutenant General Bucknall takes command of Allied Rapid Reaction Corps". NATO. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  19. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60695. p. 23341. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60095. p. 5849. 23 March 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 54028. pp. 6609–6610. 5 May 1995. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  22. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 57269. p. 5129. 23 April 2004. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  23. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60367. p. 2. 29 December 2012.
  24. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59223. p. 18435. 27 October 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
Military offices
Preceded by
Simon Mayall
Assistant Chief of the General Staff
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Richard Barrons
Preceded by
Sir Nick Parker
Deputy Commander, ISAF
2010–2011
Succeeded by
Adrian Bradshaw
Preceded by
Sir Richard Shirreff
Commander Allied Rapid Reaction Corps
2011 –2013
Succeeded by
Timothy Evans