Admiral Sir Tony Radakin is the professional head of the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces and principal military adviser to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Defence.
Appointed Chief of the Defence Staff in November 2021, his time in post to date has been dominated by efforts to shape the international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He regularly meets with his counterparts in Kyiv, Washington and Brussels and he has worked alongside the Defence Secretary to coordinate military assistance to Ukraine and to strengthen the United Kingdom’s contribution to NATO.
Admiral Radakin previously served as First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff from June 2019 until early November 2021, during which time he instigated a renewed Royal Navy presence around the globe, secured an expanded shipbuilding programme and helped broker the AUKUS agreement between the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States.
Commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1990, he has served in numerous command and staff appointments, both ashore and afloat, and in command of UK and international forces. Operational tours have included the Iran/Iraq Tanker War, security duties in the Falklands, NATO operations in the Adriatic, countering smuggling in Hong Kong and the Caribbean, and three tours in Iraq – each in command.
A qualified barrister with an MA in International Relations and Defence Studies, he is a graduate of the Higher Command and Staff Course and the London Business School’s Senior Executive Programme, and various international courses, principally in America.
In May 2023 he became the first commoner appointed to the ancient ceremonial office of Lord High Constable of England for the Coronation of King Charles III.
Admiral Radakin lives in Hampshire with his wife and four sons, born between 1998 and 2005. He is president of the UK Armed Forces Tennis and Royal Navy Squash Associations, and Vice Admiral of the Royal Navy Sailing Association.