Born in Tidworth Garrison military hospital and raised in Norway, Gibraltar and Iraq, General Sir Patrick Sanders was commissioned in 1986 and spent his early service as an Infantry Officer in The Royal Green Jackets in Germany, Norway and the UK. He has commanded on operations in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
His staff appointments have been in operational and strategic roles. He has been a member of the Directing Staff at the Joint Staff College, Pol/Mil adviser for the Commander of Coalition Forces in Iraq in 2003-4, Colonel Army Strategy, Chief of Defence Staff’s Liaison Officer to the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Operations) in the MOD.
His higher command appointments were 20 Armoured Brigade, the 3rd (UK) Division and the Field Army. He was promoted to General in May 2019 and commanded UK Strategic Command until May 2022. He became Chief of the General Staff in June 2022.
He is Colonel Commandant of The Rifles and the Honourable Artillery Company, and President of the Armed Forces Winter Sports Association. He speaks French and Norwegian, colloquial Spanish and can tell when he is being insulted in Arabic, Pashtun, Dari, Albanian and Serbo-Croat. Married to Fiona Bullen, a successful author, they have made their home in a small Wiltshire village.
General Sanders enjoys cycling, all forms of skiing, shooting and whisky. A season ticket holder with their son Kit, he is a martyr to Tottenham Hotspur FC. He dislikes scotch eggs and can’t bear Arsenal.