Simon Bryant (RAF officer)

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Sir Simon Bryant
Air Marshal Simon Bryant at Randolph AFB.jpg
Air Chief Marshal Simon Bryant
Born (1956-06-20) 20 June 1956 (age 60)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Air Force
Years of service 1977–2012
Rank Air Chief Marshal
Commands held Air Command (2010–12)
Air Member for Personnel (2009–10)
RAF Leuchars (2003–05)
No. 43 (Fighter) Squadron (1997–99)
Battles/wars War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service

Air Chief Marshal Sir Simon Bryant, KCB, CBE (born 20 June 1956)[1] is a former Royal Air Force officer, who served as Commander-in-Chief of Air Command, and he was the second-most senior officer in the service until this post was dis-established in March 2012. He was appointed in 2010, following the sudden death of the then Commander-in-Chief, Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Moran, having served as Deputy Commander-in-Chief Personnel for just over a year. He was knighted in the 2011 New Year Honours List.

Service career[edit]

Educated at Stamford School[2] and the University of Nottingham, graduating in 1977 in Geography, Bryant was commissioned as a University Cadet in 1974.[3] He was regraded on graduation,[4] and then promoted to flying officer[5] and to flight lieutenant in 1978.[6] Trained as a fast jet navigator, he completed two tours on the F-4 Phantom in the Air Defence role before an exchange tour with the US Navy, instructing on the F-14 Tomcat.[7] Promoted to squadron leader in 1985,[8] Bryant then flew the Tornado F3 as a squadron executive at RAF Leeming.[7]

Following a tour in the Air Secretary's Department, Staff College (graduating in 1992), a Force Development appointment in the Ministry of Defence,[7] and promotion to wing commander in 1993,[9] Bryant served as a Senior Operations Officer at the Combined Air Operations Centre at Vicenza in 1996, before being appointed Commanding Officer of 43(F) Squadron at RAF Leuchars, again flying the Tornado F3.[7]

Promoted group captain in 1999,[10] Bryant served as the Personal Staff Officer to the Deputy Supreme Commander at SHAPE before being appointed Commander of British Forces in Oman;[7] he was awarded a Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in 2002.[11]

Following the Higher Command and Staff Course,[7] Bryant was promoted to air commodore in 2004,[12] his initial appointment being as Air Officer Scotland before a further tour in the Middle East as Director of the Combined Air Operations Centre at Al Udeid in Qatar;[7] he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005.[13] On return to the UK, a tour as Head of Joint Capability at the Ministry of Defence[7] was followed by his promotion to air vice marshal and appointment as Chief of Staff Personnel (and Air Secretary) in 2006.[14] In 2009 he was promoted to air marshal and appointed Deputy Commander-in-Chief Personnel (and Air Member for Personnel),[15] in which position he had been serving for just over a year when the then Commander-in-Chief, Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Moran died suddenly, and Bryant was promoted in order to replace Moran.[16] He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 2011 New Year Honours List.[17]

In June 2011, Bryant said, that in the context of operations in Libya, "huge" demands were being placed on equipment and personnel.[18] Prime Minister David Cameron responded by telling the defence chiefs to stop criticising Libya mission.[19]

His retirement was marked by a dining-out on 30 March 2012.[20]


Bryant is married to Helen, and they have a son, Benjamin, and daughter Alexandra. He is a sportsman, particularly enjoying golf, real tennis, skiing, hockey and squash.[7]


  1. ^ "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 20 June 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2014. Air Chief Marshal Sir Simon Bryant, C–in–C Air Command, 2010–12, 57 
  2. ^ "Old Stamfordian Update 06/10" (PDF). Stamford School. April 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46455. p. 214. 7 January 1975. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47328. p. 11939. 20 September 1977. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47437. p. 607. 16 January 1978. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47670. p. 12646. 23 October 1978. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Commander-in-Chief Air Command". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 13 June 2011. 
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 50195. p. 9771. 15 July 1985. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 53363. p. 11374. 5 July 1993. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 55543. p. 7308. 6 July 1999. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 56735. p. 8. 29 October 2002. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 57168. p. 128. 6 January 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 57665. p. 6. 11 June 2005. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  14. ^ RAF Air Rank Appointments List 04/06 of 10 Apr 2006 retrieved 30 May 2011
  15. ^ RAF Air Rank Appointments List 07/08 of 16 Oct 2008 retrieved 30 May 2011
  16. ^ RAF Air Rank Appointments List 04/10 of 18 Jun 2010 retrieved 30 May 2011
  17. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59647. p. 2. 31 December 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  18. ^ "RAF stretched by Libya, says second-in-command". BBC. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  19. ^ "David Cameron tells defence chiefs to stop criticising Libya mission". 21 June 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  20. ^ "Last Commander in Chief dined out of RAF High Wycombe". Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
Military offices
Preceded by
M J Routledge
Air Officer Scotland and Station Commander, RAF Leuchars
Succeeded by
J Stinton
Preceded by
P J F Eberle
Head of Joint Capability, Ministry of Defence
Succeeded by
B L Bates
Preceded by
Peter Ruddock
Chief of Staff Personnel and Air Secretary
Succeeded by
Michael Lloyd
Preceded by
Stephen Dalton
Deputy Commander-in-Chief Personnel, Air Command
and Air Member for Personnel

Succeeded by
Andrew Pulford
Preceded by
Sir Chris Moran
Commander-in-Chief, Air Command
Succeeded by
Post disbanded