I am General Sir David Julian Richards, GCB, CBE, DSO, ADC I am a senior British Army officer, currently the Chief of the Defence Staff, the professional head of the British Armed Forces now on peace mission in Syria. I succeeded Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup in this role on 29 October 2010. Richards is supported in his role by his deputy, the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, currently General Sir Nicholas Houghton. i have also served in the Far East, Germany and Northern Ireland with the Royal Artillery before commanding forces in East Timor and most notably Sierra Leone, where his action without official sanctioning protected Freetown from rebel attacks during the Sierra Leone Civil War. i have also served with NATO as a Major General, and command ISAF forces in Southern Afghanistan as a Lieutenant General, between 2006 and 2008....i became Commander-in-Chief, Land Forces of the British Army in 2008 and held this role until 2009 when i was appointed Chief of the General Staff, the Head of the British Army. The following year he succeeded Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup as Chief of the Defense Staff.