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Wednesday, 24 July, 2002, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
A lifetime of service
British IFOR troops in Bosnia
Gen Walker commanded IFOR peacekeepers in Bosnia
General Sir Michael Walker, who has been appointed Chief of the Defence Staff, is a highly experienced career soldier with more than 35 years' military experience.

He has served in Cyprus, Northern Ireland and most famously Bosnia, where he was the first commander of the multi-national IFOR peace-keeping force.

But the Army was not his initial calling - he spent 18 months teaching in a preparatory school before signing up at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.

Born in Salisbury, southern Rhodesia, on 7 July 1944, General Walker's education was split between that country and North Yorkshire.

General Sir Mike Walker
Gen Walker has served in Bosnia and Northern Ireland
Upon completing his Army training in 1966, he was commissioned into the Royal Anglian Regiment, where he served as a platoon commander with the 1st Battalion in both Celle and Catterick.

He was posted to Cyprus for a two-year stint in 1969, and he also served in Northern Ireland during the early 1970s.

After some time as a staff officer with the MoD, he returned to his battalion - based at Tidworth in Wiltshire - to become a company commander.

Returning to the MoD in 1979, he worked his way up to Lieutenant Colonel and was appointed Military Assistant to the Chief of the General Staff - a post he held from 1982 to 1985.

Bosnia command

He then commanded his battalion in Londonderry and Gibraltar, before being posted to Germany where he commanded 20th Armoured Brigade for three years.

Further promotions followed - including command of the 2nd Infantry Division - and in April 1992 he became General Officer Commanding Eastern District.

Following another stint with the MoD as Assistant Chief of the General Staff, he assumed command of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) in Rheindahlen, Germany, as Lieutenant General.

Admiral Sir Michael Boyce
He takes over from Admiral Sir Michael Boyce
He led these troops in Bosnia from December 1995 to the following November as part of the IFOR peace-keeping force.

But in February 1997 he relinquished command of the ARRC, and was appointed Commander-in-Chief Land Command, based in Wiltshire.

He became Chief of the General Staff on 17 April 2000, upon the retirement of General Sir Roger Wheeler.

General Walker is married to Victoria (Tor), and they have two sons and a daughter all currently at university.

His interests include, sailing, shooting, tennis, skiing and golf.

See also:

24 Jul 02 | Politics
15 Jul 02 | Politics
15 Jul 02 | Politics
05 Jul 02 | England
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