Michael Rose (British Army officer)

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Sir Michael Rose
John M. Shalikashvili Michael Rose DF-ST-96-00658.jpg
Michael Rose (left) with John Shalikashvili in 1994
Born 1940
British India
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg 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
Bosnian 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 Special Air Service Regiment commanding officer, he was Commander UNPROFOR Bosnia in 1994 during the Yugoslav Wars.

Early life[edit]

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.

Military career[edit]

After attending the Staff College, Camberley, Rose became the Brigade Major 16th Parachute Brigade from 1973 until 1975. He was Commanding Officer of the regular and reserve SAS Regiments 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.[1] In 1987, Rose was the Commandant of the School of Infantry until 1988,[1] when he became the first Director Special Forces until 1989.[1] He attended the Royal College of Defence Studies.[2]

Rose was General Officer Commanding North East District and Commander 2nd Infantry Division based in York from 1989 to 1991,[1] and between 1991 and 1993 served as Commandant of the Staff College, Camberley.[1] Then, from 1993 to 1994, Rose was Commander UK Field Army and Inspector-General of the Territorial Army.[1] Finally, from 1994 to 1995 he was Commander, United Nations Protection Force, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Rose became Adjutant-General and Aide-de-Camp General to The Queen in 1995 until he retired in 1997.[1]

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.

He was called as a witness by Serbia and Montenegro in a case held at the International Court of Justice.[3]

He was also Colonel of the Regiment of the Coldstream Guards.

Other occupations[edit]

Rose is a director of Control Risks Group, a private security and consulting company.

Opposition to Iraq war[edit]

In 2006 Rose 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 pretences. This highlighted Rose's unease about the legality and practicality, of the 2003 American-led invasion of Iraq.[4][5]

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.[6]


Further reading[edit]

  • Brendan Simms (2001), Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia, Allen Lane The Penguin Press

Military offices
Preceded by
Michael Wilkes
Director Special Forces
Succeeded by
Jeremy Phipps
Preceded by
Murray Naylor
General Officer Commanding the 2nd Infantry Division
Succeeded by
Michael Walker
Preceded by
William Rous
Commandant of the Staff College, Camberley
Succeeded by
Christopher Wallace
Preceded by
Sir Michael Wilkes
Commander UK Field Army
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Swinburn
Preceded by
Sir Michael Wilkes
Adjutant General
Succeeded by
Sir Alexander Harley
Preceded by
Hon. Sir William Rous
Colonel of the Coldstream Guards
Succeeded by
Sir James Bucknall