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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 December 2006, 16:24 GMT
Profile: Major General Richard Shirreff
Major General Richard Shirreff
Maj Gen Shirreff is married with two teenage children
Major General Richard Shirreff has been the commander of British troops in southern Iraq since the summer.

He has overseen a drive to root out corruption and help rebuild the country.

Known as Operation Sinbad, it was launched in September.

Maj Gen Shirreff's observation that he would be happy with a "60% solution" in Iraq, as well as remarking on long-standing issues surrounding the troops' training and support, mark his first significant intervention on Iraq.

His career dates back to 1978, when he was commissioned into 14th/20th King's Hussars after training at Sandhurst military academy.

The soldier, who was born in Kenya in 1955, initially served in Germany, Canada and Northern Ireland.

First Gulf War

Later, while attached to 6th Queen Elizabeth's Own Gurkha Rifles, he served in Hong Kong and Brunei.

He assumed charge of the King's Royal Hussars in 1994, after attending Staff College and periods spent commanding squadrons in Northern Ireland and during the first Gulf War.

A promotion followed four years later and he went on to become commander of 7th Armoured Brigade, which was deployed to Kosovo in 2000.

Maj Gen Shirreff was made a CBE before spending two years as principal staff officer to the chief of defence staff.

The soldier was promoted to major general in May 2003 and went on to spend two years as chief of staff of HQ Land Command.

Two years later he qualified as a military parachutist.

Maj Gen Shirreff is married to Sarah-Jane and the couple have two teenage children.

The soldier's interests are believed to include skiing, golf, game shooting and rugby.


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