As Defence Attaché at the British Embassy in Washington, Major General Buster Howes OBE is focused on operations and contingency planning, defence intelligence, cyber and space, service personnel, defence education and doctrine.
Buster was educated at Christ’s Hospital and York and London Universities and was commissioned into the Royal Marines in 1982. He initially served as a troop commander in 42 Commando RM, deploying for the first time on operations in Northern Ireland. After training a recruit troop, he qualified as a Mountain Leader and was then posted to Recce Troop, 45 Commando RM. Following a stint as AdC to Major General Training of Reserve and Special Forces RM, he was appointed to the 2nd Division, USMC, as a Regimental Operations Officer (for the First Gulf War). He subsequently commanded Charlie Company, 40 Commando RM; Commando Training Wing at CTCRM; 42 Commando RM (for the Second Gulf War); and 3 Commando Brigade.
Buster has worked in personnel policy in the Fleet HQ as well as having been a planner in the Rapid Reaction Force Operations Staff of UNPROFOR in Bosnia and a strategist in the Naval Staff Directorate in MOD. He has attended the Naval Staff College, the Higher Command and Staff Course, the Royal College of Defence Studies, and the Pinnacle Course. Additionally, he has served as a Divisional Director for ICSC(L) at the JSCSC and as COS to Commander Amphibious Forces (CAF). He was Chief Joint Co-ordination and Effects in HQ ISAD X in Kabul, followed by a post as Director Naval Staff, in 2007. He served as Head of Overseas Operations in MOD before being appointed Commandant General Royal Marines/CAF in February 2010. For 15 months up to 1 August, Buster Howes commanded Operation ATLANTA, the EU Counter Piracy Mission in the Indian Ocean.
Captain of Deal Castle, President of the Royal Marines Mountaineering Club, and Vice President of the RNRM Children’s Charity, Buster has three daughters and his interests range from teaching them table manners and repairing the things they break, to mountaineering, gardening, art and ideas. He recently gave up water skiing.
Defence Attaché, USA
A Defence Attaché is a member of the armed forces who serves in an embassy as a representative of their country’s defence establishment abroad. The Defence Attaché is responsible for bilateral military and defence relations.