Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff
General (Army)
General (Royal Marines)
Rank insignia of the incumbent as per branch
Sir Timothy Fraser, KCB

since May 2019
Air Chief Marshal
Inaugural holderAir Chief Marshal
Sir Alfred Earle

The Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS) is the deputy to the Chief of the Defence Staff, the professional head of the British Armed Forces.[1] The position was titled Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff before 1964.[2] From 1966 to 1978 the post was occupied by a 3 star officer. From 1978 onwards the post has been held by a 4 star officer.

List of Vice Chiefs of the Defence Staff

These are:[2]

While in appointment
Name Branch Appointed Relinquished appointment
Air Chief Marshal Sir Alfred Earle GBE, CB
 Royal Air Force February 1964 May 1966
Lieutenant-General Sir George Cole KCB, CBE
 British Army May 1966 November 1967
Vice-Admiral Sir Ian Hogg KCB, DSC & Bar
 Royal Navy November 1967 March 1970
Air Marshal Sir John Barraclough KCB, CBE, DFC, AFC
 Royal Air Force March 1970 February 1972
Lieutenant-General Sir John Gibbon GCB, OBE
 British Army February 1972 January 1974
Air Marshal Sir Peter Le Cheminant KCB, DFC & Bar
 Royal Air Force January 1974 January 1976
Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Leach KCB
 Royal Navy January 1976 March 1977
Vice-Admiral Sir Anthony Morton KCB
 Royal Navy March 1977 April 1978
General Sir Edwin Bramall KCB, OBE, MC
 British Army April 1978 May 1979
General Sir Patrick Howard-Dobson GCB
 British Army May 1979 June 1981
Air Chief Marshal Sir David Evans GCB, CBE
 Royal Air Force June 1981 June 1983
Admiral Sir Peter Herbert KCB, OBE
 Royal Navy June 1983 January 1985
Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Harding KCB
 Royal Air Force January 1985 August 1985
Air Chief Marshal Sir Patrick Hine KCB
 Royal Air Force August 1985 October 1987
General Sir Richard Vincent KCB, DSO
 British Army October 1987 March 1991
Admiral Sir Benjamin Bathurst GCB
 Royal Navy March 1991 January 1993
Admiral Sir John Slater GCB, LVO
 Royal Navy January 1993 April 1995
Air Chief Marshal Sir John Willis GBE, KCB
 Royal Air Force April 1995 October 1997
Admiral Sir Peter Abbott GBE, KCB
 Royal Navy October 1997 May 2001
Air Chief Marshal Sir Anthony Bagnall GBE, KCB
 Royal Air Force May 2001 July 2005
General Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman GBE, KCB
 British Army July 2005 May 2009
General Sir Nicholas Houghton GCB, CBE
 British Army May 2009 May 2013
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach GBE, KCB
 Royal Air Force May 2013 May 2016
General Sir Gordon Messenger KCB, DSO & Bar, OBE, ADC
 Royal Marines May 2016 May 2019
Admiral Sir Timothy Fraser, KCB
 Royal Navy May 2019 Present


  1. ^ Vice Chief of Defence Staff Ministry of Defence