Jonathon Band

Admiral Sir Jonathon Band GCB, DL (born 2 February 1950) is a retired Royal Navy officer who was the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff from 2006 to 2009. Before serving as First Sea Lord he was Commander-in-Chief Fleet. Since becoming First Sea Lord, Band had been a firm advocate of the creation of new ships to meet new threats and maintain the status of the Royal Navy as one of the world's leading naval forces.[1]

Sir Jonathon Band
US Navy 090413-N-8732C-036 dm. Sir Jonathon Band, GCB, ADC, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff of the Royal Navy, left, speaks with a Sailor from the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard at the Washington Navy Yard
Admiral Sir Jonathon Band speaks with a sailor from the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard, Washington Navy Yard (2009)
Born2 February 1950 (age 69)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Navy
Years of service1967–2009
Commands heldFirst Sea Lord
Commander-in-Chief Fleet
HMS Illustrious
HMS Norfolk
HMS Phoebe
HMS Soberton
Battles/warsFalklands War
Bosnian War
Iraq War
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

Early life

Born the son of Victor and Muriel Band, Band attended two independent schools: Brambletye School, a preparatory school, in Ashurst Wood, West Sussex, and from the age of thirteen, Haileybury and Imperial Service College.[2] He entered the Royal Navy in 1967, before undertaking sea training in the Far East. He returned to the UK on an undergraduate programme and studied for three years at the University of Exeter, gaining a BA in 1972.[2]

Early naval career

After graduating from Exeter, Band served in junior officer appointments in HMS Lewiston and HMS Rothesay. He was confirmed in the rank of sub-lieutenant on 1 September 1971.[3] In the mid 1970s, he undertook an exchange programme with the United States Navy and served on board the guided missile cruiser, USS Belknap, which is now no longer in service. He was promoted to lieutenant on 30 January 1974.[4] Following warfare training in 1976 and 1977 he served for two years as the principal warfare officer and operations officer on board the frigate HMS Eskimo. This appointment included deployments to the West Indies and South Atlantic.[5]

From 1979 and 1981 he commanded the minesweeper HMS Soberton[2] for nearly two years in the Fishery Protection Squadron around the British coast. Between 1981 and 1983 he also served as flag lieutenant to Commander-in-Chief Fleet, a period where he was involved in the Falklands War. Promoted to the rank of commander on 30 June 1983,[6] he assumed command of the frigate HMS Phoebe.[2] The frigate operated in NATO waters, at the time of the RN’s first operational experience with surface ship towed passive sonar. In 1985 he attended the Joint Services Defence College and was soon appointed to the Defence Staff in the Ministry of Defence in the Directorate of Defence Policy. Promoted to captain on 30 June 1988,[7] he left the Directorate of Policy and commanded HMS Norfolk.[2] He was also responsible for helping re-equip 9th Frigate Squadron, the first Type 23 frigate squadron.[8]

HMS Illustrious 1
The aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious which Band commanded during the Bosnian War

In 1991, he became the Assistant Director Navy Plans and Programmes in the Ministry of Defence, a period that saw the implementation of the "Options for Change" Review. In 1994 he was a member of the Defence Costs Study (Front Line First) Secretariat. He was appointed Aide-de-Camp to the Queen on 9 April 1995.[9] His last sea command was that of HMS Illustrious, the aircraft carrier, between 1995 and 1997.[2] The period included two operational deployments to the Adriatic in which he and Illustrious supported the intervention of the U.S., the United Nations, and NATO operations in Bosnia.[8]

In May 1997 he was elevated to flag rank and promoted to rear admiral. He returned to the Ministry of Defence as Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff.[2] This appointment included the period of the Strategic Defence Review, in which he was heavily involved in the Royal Navy's contributions to the review.[10] He left this appointment in December 1999 and assumed the position of team leader of the Defence Education and Training Study in January 2000[2] with the rank of vice admiral.[11]

Commander-in-Chief Fleet

The Queen and Adm Jonathon Band in 2006
Admiral Band with Queen Elizabeth II in 2006

After a tour as Deputy Commander-in-Chief Fleet from May 2001, Band was promoted to full admiral and served as Commander-in-Chief Fleet, responsible for the preparation and operation of the ships, submarines and aircraft of the Royal Navy based at Northwood between August 2002 and November 2005.[2] In that post he was involved in the planning of the Iraq War[8] and also had a NATO command as Commander Allied Maritime Component Command, Northwood.[2] He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 2002 New Year Honours.[12]

In 2003 he spoke out for the crew of HMS Turbulent, for their efforts on achieving the longest deployment time of a submarine. Turbulent was away for more than ten months and he stated "They are a huge credit. The submarine has done the equivalent of going twice around the world."[13] In March 2004 he spent several weeks touring naval facilities and ships in the Caribbean, including Antigua.[14]

In the Trafalgar 200 celebrations, celebrating the British victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Band attended the ceremonies and the fleet review in the UK. In an interview, he stated:

Trafalgar 200 is important internationally. It celebrates the fact that mariners are a great club of people who have a joint respect for the sea. There is no greater connecting medium in the world than the ocean, and it unites us

— Jonathan Band, Interview with BBC News, 2006[15]

First Sea Lord

US Navy 090416-N-3610L-260 Capt. John Breast, air boss aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), and Adm. Sir Jonathon Band, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff of the Royal Navy
Band aboard USS Ronald Reagan (April 2009)

In February 2006 Band took over the positions of First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff from Admiral Sir Alan West and in a press statement set out the Navy's priorities in the 21st century.[16] Upon taking up the post of First Sea Lord he became the professional head of the Royal Navy. Band is a proponent for the Sustained surface combatant capability and the creation of new ships to maintain the Royal Navy as one of the world's leading navies.[1] These include the new Type 45 destroyer and the Royal Navy CVF programme, designed to replace the UK's current aircraft carriers.[1]

In June 2006 he went on a fact finding and diplomatic mission to Pakistan where he met the head of the Pakistan Air Force, the head of the Pakistan Navy and the Army Chief of Staff. On the following day he met with the President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa. In November 2006 he attended a press conference on HMS Illustrious, which was moored in the River Thames at Greenwich. He announced that the 25th anniversary of the Falklands War would be commemorated across 8,000 miles and four time zones – in London, Pangbourne and the Falkland Islands – from 14 to 17 June 2007.[17]

In February 2007, at a journalists' briefing, he warned that the Royal Navy needed another £1 billion to meet future foreign policy demands and appealed to the Government for additional funding, a third of the navy's annual operating budget, to spend on building more modern ships.[18] In a later interview with the Daily Telegraph he said that an increase of more than 30 per cent in the fleet's day-to-day budget was necessary to pay for better sailors' wages, the running of ships and improved accommodation. He threatened to resign as head of the navy if the Government failed to agree to pay for two new aircraft carriers – the Royal Navy CVF programme, which it had previously promised.[19]

In May 2007 the Government gave the £3.9bn go-ahead for the new aircraft carriers.[20] Band said:

This is a significant decision to invest in the future, to be able to deliver air power around the world. I am entirely content that the country will get the navy it deserves; a powerful navy for the future; which is entirely right because we are a large player on the world scene.

— Jonathan Band, Interview with the Guardian, 2007[20]

In 2007 he was awarded an honorary degree in law from the University of Portsmouth.[8] He was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the 2008 Birthday Honours[21] and succeeded by Mark Stanhope as First Sea Lord on 21 July 2009.[22]

Later professional life

In early 2009 Band became a patron for the International Scott Centenary Expedition 2012; their aim is to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Scott's race to the South Pole and the subsequent deaths of the polar party on the Ross Ice Shelf.[23] He became a Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire on 27 November 2009[24] and a non-executive director of the cruise company, Carnival Corporation & plc, in April 2010.[25]

Band has also become a non-executive director of the British arm of the American defense contractor Lockheed Martin who produce the F35-B aircraft which will be utilized on the new aircraft carriers.[26][27] He is also a defence adviser at US arms firm Babcock and a non-executive director of military consultancy Survitec Group.[28]

He is also a Younger Brother of Trinity House and a liveryman of the Shipwrights' Company.[2]

Personal life

In 1979 he married Sarah Asbury: they have two daughters[2] and live in Southsea, Portsmouth.


  1. ^ a b c "Sustained Surface Combatant Capability". Navy Matters. Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Who's Who 2010, A & C Black, 2010, ISBN 978-1-408-11414-8
  3. ^ "No. 45510". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 November 1971. p. 11849.
  4. ^ "No. 46239". The London Gazette. 19 March 1974. p. 3525.
  5. ^ Jones, Stephanie (2005). Nelson's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Commander – Contributors. Nicholas Brealey. ISBN 978-1857883718. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  6. ^ "No. 49406". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 July 1983. p. 8821.
  7. ^ "No. 51406". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 July 1988. p. 7963.
  8. ^ a b c d "Bios of Visiting Fellows and Professors". University of Reading. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  9. ^ "No. 54104". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 July 1995. p. 9861.
  10. ^ "Defence – Eighth Report". House of Commons. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  11. ^ "Departmental Education and Training". House of Commons. 22 July 1999. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  12. ^ "No. 56430". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2001. p. 2.
  13. ^ "Sub returns after record mission". BBC News. 16 April 2003. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  14. ^ "British admiral pays official visit to Antigua-Barbuda". Caribbean News. 9 March 2004. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  15. ^ "Nelson's impact around the world". BBC News. 25 June 2005. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  16. ^ "Senior Royal Navy appointment". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  17. ^ "MOD Announces Series Of Falklands Commemorative Events". MOD Oracle. 14 November 2006. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  18. ^ "Navy needs extra £1bn – admiral". BBC News. 17 February 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  19. ^ "First Sea Lord in threat to quit over cuts". The Telegraph. 18 February 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  20. ^ a b "£3.9bn go-ahead for new aircraft carriers". The Guardian. May 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  21. ^ "No. 58729". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2008. p. 2.
  22. ^ "Admiral Sir Trevor Soar takes up Navy fleet position". The Portsmouth News. 11 June 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  23. ^ "Scott Centenary Expedition 2012: Patrons". Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  24. ^ "No. 59254". The London Gazette. 27 November 2009. p. 20613.
  25. ^ "Annual Report 2011". Carnival Corporation & plc. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  26. ^ "Lockheed Martin – UK Board". Lockheed Martin. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  27. ^ "UK to spend £2.5bn on F-35 fighters". BBC News Online. 10 February 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  28. ^ "Resources - Influence - Person - 1235 - Jonathon Band". CAAT. 14 September 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
Military offices
Preceded by
Jeremy Blackham
Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff
Succeeded by
James Burnell-Nugent
Preceded by
Sir Fabian Malbon
Deputy Commander-in-Chief Fleet
Succeeded by
Sir Mark Stanhope
Preceded by
Sir Alan West
Commander-in-Chief Fleet
Succeeded by
Sir James Burnell-Nugent
First Sea Lord
Succeeded by
Sir Mark Stanhope
9th Frigate Squadron (United Kingdom)

The 9th Frigate Squadron was an administrative unit of the Royal Navy from 1985 to 1993.

Alan West, Baron West of Spithead

Alan William John West, Baron West of Spithead, (born 21 April 1948) is a retired admiral of the Royal Navy and formerly, from June 2007 to May 2010, a Labour Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the British Home Office with responsibility for security and a security advisor to Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Prior to his ministerial appointment, he was First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff from 2002 to 2006.

Band (surname)

Band is a surname of German origin and may refer to:

Albert Band (1924–2002), film director and producer

Alex Band (born 1981), musician

Charles Band (born 1951), film director, writer and producer

David Louis Band (1957–2009), astronomer

Doug Band (born 1972), aide and counselor

George Band (1929-2011), British mountaineer

Jonathon Band (born 1950), First Sea Lord

Max Band (1901–1974), landscape artist

Richard Band (born 1953), composer

Commander-in-Chief Fleet

The Commander-in-Chief Fleet (CINCFLEET) was the Admiral responsible for the operation, resourcing and training of the ships, submarines and aircraft, and personnel, of the British Royal Navy from 1971 until April 2012. The post was subordinate to the First Sea Lord, the professional head of the Naval Service. In April 2012, the role was downgraded from admiral to three-star vice admiral. The replacement post was re-designated Fleet Commander and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff.


Commodore-in-chief is an honorary appointment bestowed by the monarch of the Commonwealth realms on various members of the Royal Family. Previously, there have been honorary air commodores-in-chief in the British Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force, but no parallel affiliations with the navies of either country.

Commodore-in-Chief is an appointment rather than a rank. Holding an appointment of commodore-in-chief does not confer upon the holder the rank of commodore or indeed any other rank. Members of the Royal Family wear the uniform of their rank and are not issued with a different uniform for the appointment. However, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, who was appointed the Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in 2006, has since appeared in the uniform of a RFA Commodore.

Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies

The Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies is a policy think-tank which conducts research and teaching on issues related to maritime security.

Fabian Malbon

Vice Admiral Sir Fabian Malbon, (born 1 October 1946) is a retired Royal Navy officer who served as the Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey from 2005 to 2011.

HMS Norfolk (F230)

HMS Norfolk was a British Type 23 frigate, the sixth in the Royal Navy to use this name, laid down in 1985 by Yarrow Shipbuilders. She was launched on the Clyde by Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon in July 1987 and named for the Dukedom of Norfolk. She was commissioned on 1 June 1990. Norfolk was the 'first of class', as well as being the first of a new generation of 'lean manned' ships. She was commissioned into the Chilean Navy in 2006 as Almirante Cochrane.

HMS Phoebe (F42)

HMS Phoebe (F42) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy (RN). She was, like the rest of her class, named after a figure of mythology. Built by Alexander Stephen and Sons on the River Clyde, she was launched on 19 December 1964 and commissioned on 15 May 1966.

Henry Priestman (Royal Navy officer)

Captain Henry Priestman (ca. 1647 - 20 August 1712) was a Royal Navy officer and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1695 to 1698.

Italian ship San Giusto

San Giusto (L 9894) is a San Giorgio-class amphibious transport dock of the Italian Navy. The ship was built by Fincantieri-Cantieri Navali SpA at Riva Trigoso, laid down on 19 August 1991, and launched on 23 October 1993.

James Burnell-Nugent

Admiral Sir James Michael Burnell-Nugent, (born 20 November 1949) is a retired Royal Navy officer who served as Commander-in-Chief Fleet from 2005 to 2007.

Jeremy Blackham

Vice Admiral Sir Jeremy Joe Blackham (born 10 September 1943) is a former Royal Navy officer who became Deputy Commander-in-Chief Fleet.

John Chicheley

Rear Admiral Sir John Chicheley (c. 1640 – 20 March 1691) was a Royal Navy officer. He commanded a squadron at the Battle of Schooneveld in June 1673 and the Battle of Texel in August 1673 during the Franco-Dutch War. He went on to be Commissioner of the Ordnance and then Senior Naval Lord. He was also a Member of Parliament.

Mark Stanhope

Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, (born 26 March 1952) is a retired Royal Navy officer. After serving as a submarine commander, he commanded a frigate and then commanded an aircraft carrier on operational patrol off Sierra Leone. He went on to be Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation and then Commander-in-Chief Fleet. He served as First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval staff, the professional head of the Royal Navy, from July 2009 to April 2013. In this role he advised the British Government on the deployment of naval forces during operations around Libya. He was succeeded by Admiral Sir George Zambellas in April 2013.

North Devon Maritime Museum

The North Devon Maritime Museum is a museum situated in the estuary town of Appledore, Devon, England. Housed in Odun House, a Georgian Grade II listed building which has been the home of several ship owners and master mariners over the past 200 years, the museum opened in 1977. It is open from early April/Easter to the end of October each year and has an admission charge.The North Devon Maritime Museum has displays showing the shipbuilding and seafaring history of North Devon. It has seven exhibition rooms in which visitors can explore Hobart's Funnies - the World War II beach landing experiments carried out in the area including the Great Panjandrum, Swiss Roll, amphibious tanks and the 'Frogmen'; sail and steam vessels; shipwrecks; historical exhibits; models, dioramas and photographs and paintings covering North Devon's international maritime trades. Among the exhibits are a model of HMS Bideford, made from timbers salvaged from the original ship; a display on the history of Appledore's Richmond Dock, which opened in the 19th-century and which is now a Grade II listed site of international importance, and artifacts from the career of Admiral Sir Robin Durnford-Slater KCB.In April 2017 Admiral Sir Jonathon Band reopened the museum in celebration of its 40th birthday and its success in purchasing the museum building from Torridge District Council. The museum is possessed of an extensive library and archive which is available to bona fide researchers by appointment. The museum and gift shop are manned by volunteers.

Northwood Headquarters

Northwood Headquarters is a military headquarters facility of the British Armed Forces in Eastbury, Hertfordshire, England, adjacent to the London suburb of Northwood. It is home to five military command and control functions:

Headquarters, Joint Forces Command

the Permanent Joint Headquarters

the Multi National Headquarters

the Commander Operations for the Royal Navy

the NATO Allied Maritime Command


RNRMC (full name Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity) is a charity registered in England and Wales and Scotland. Its purpose is to support sailors, marines, and their families, for life. This includes the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Maritime Reserves, QARNNS (Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service), the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and former members of the now defunct Women's Royal Naval Service.

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity is a member of the Maritime Charities Funding Group (MCFG) and the Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO).

Robert Man

Admiral Robert Man (died 1783) was a Royal Navy officer. He commanded the third-rate HMS Lancaster at the Siege of Louisbourg in June 1758 during the French and Indian War. He went on to become commander-in-chief of the Leeward Islands Station, then Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet and finally First Naval Lord.

Senior Naval Lords (1689–1771)
First Naval Lords (1771–1904)
First Sea Lords (1904–present)


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