Director Special Forces
Director Special Forces (DSF) is the senior British Armed Forces officer responsible for Special Forces. The post is a senior role within the Ministry of Defence (MoD). As Director, the incumbent is responsible for the provision of United Kingdom Special Forces UKSF capability to MoD, and holds Operational Command for discrete Special Forces operations.
In March 1987, the post of Director SAS became Director Special Forces; it consisted of the Army Special Air Service, Royal Marines Special Boat Service and Army 14 Intelligence Company under the command of the DSF, who held the rank of brigadier, and with a Deputy, who held the rank of colonel.
During the 2000s, the size of the directorate increased substantially with the inclusion of the Special Forces Support Group, Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (formerly 14th Intelligence Company). This was to meet a demand for a special reconnaissance capability identified in the Strategic Defence Review: A New Chapter published in 2002 in response to the 2001 September 11 attacks. However there was a reduction in the scope of UK Special forces when, following a review, it was found that the SAS Reserve lacked a clearly defined role, and also stated that the reservists lacked the capability, equipment, and skills to serve alongside the regular special forces. As an outcome of this review, on 1 September 2014, 21 and 23 SAS were removed from the UKSF order of battle and placed  with the HAC under the command of 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade. This change was partly reverted in 2019 with 21 and 23 SAS returning as an integrated part of the UKSF group.
In 2008, the rank of the DSF was upgraded from brigadier to major-general with the directorate becoming an independent, operational-level component command, alongside Land, Navy and Air elements in the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) and in the deployable Joint Task Force Headquarters.
Commanders of special forces have been:
- 1964–1967 Colonel John Waddy (late Parachute Regiment)
- 1967–1969 Colonel Mike Wingate Gray (late Black Watch)
- 1969–1972 Brigadier Fergie Semple (late Royal Engineers)
- 1972–1975 Brigadier John Simpson (late Gordon Highlanders)
- 1975–1979 Brigadier John Watts (late Royal Ulster Rifles)
- 1979–1983 Brigadier Peter de la Billière (late Durham Light Infantry)
- 1983–1985 Brigadier John Foley (late Royal Green Jackets)
Director Special Forces
- 1986–1988 Brigadier Michael Wilkes (late Royal Artillery)
- 1988–1989 Brigadier Michael Rose (late Coldstream Guards)
- 1989–1993 Brigadier Jeremy Phipps (late Queen's Own Hussars)
- 1993–1996 Brigadier Cedric Delves (late Devonshire and Dorset Regiment)
- 1996–1999 Brigadier John Sutherell (late Royal Anglian Regiment)
- 1999–2001 Brigadier John Holmes (late Scots Guards)
- 2001–2003 Brigadier Graeme Lamb (late Queen's Own Highlanders)
- 2003–2006 Brigadier Jonathan Shaw (late Parachute Regiment)
- 2006–2009 Brigadier Adrian Bradshaw (late King's Royal Hussars)
- 2009–2012 Major General Jacko Page (late Parachute Regiment)
- 2012–2015 Major General Mark Carleton-Smith (late Irish Guards)
- 2015–2018 Major General James Chiswell (late Parachute Regiment)
- Special Air Service
- Special Boat Service
- Special Reconnaissance Regiment
- Special Forces Support Group
- 18 Signal Regiment
- Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing
- "How Defence Works" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- Urban, Mark (1992). Big Boys' Rules: The SAS and the Secret Struggle Against the IRA. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 9780571161126.
- Cucu, Dan (December 2004). Romanian Special Forces: Identifying appropriate missions and organizational structure (PDF) (Master's thesis). U.S. Navy Postgraduate School. OCLC 834274749. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
- Davies, Andrew; Jennings, Peter; Scheer, Benjamin (2014). A Versatile Force: The Future of Australia's Special Operations Capability (PDF). Barton, Australian Capital Territory: Australian Strategic Policy Institute. ISBN 9781921302978. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-04-30. Retrieved 2017-06-23.
- The Strategic Defence Review: A New Chapter (PDF). London: The Stationery Office. 18 July 2002. ISBN 0101556624. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- Rayment, Sean (11 Apr 2010). "SAS reservists withdrawn from Afghan front line". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 Jan 2018.
- Army Reserve Quarterly
- Janes International Defence Review, May 2014, page 4
- Army Briefing Note 120/14, Newly formed Force Troops Command Specialist Brigades, Quote "It commands all of the Army's Intelligence, Surveillance and Electronic Warfare assets, and is made up of units specifically from the former 1 Military Intelligence Brigade and 1 Artillery Brigade, as well as 14 Signal Regiment, 21 and 23 SAS(R)."
- "21 & 23 SAS (Reserve)". www.army.mod.uk. Retrieved 2020-06-08.
- "Army Commands" (PDF). 26 July 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
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- "Jordan, UK discuss military cooperation". the Jordan Times. Retrieved 2016-12-22.