|Born||19 April 1951|
|Years of service||1971–2007|
|Unit|| Royal Army Ordnance Corps |
Royal Logistic Corps
|Commands held||1 Ordnance Battalion|
101 Logistic Brigade
General Officer Commanding, Theatre Troops, Iraq
|Battles/wars|| The Troubles |
|Awards||Commander of the Order of the British Empire|
|Other work||Army Advisor, Defence Select Committee |
Defence and security consultant
Major General Timothy Cross, CBE (born 19 April 1951) is a retired British Army officer and military logistics expert.He was commissioned in 1971 into the Royal Army Ordnance Corps and went on to serve in Germany, Northern Ireland and Cyprus, interspersed with staff duties and further education. He was posted to Paris in 1984, where he was involved in the development of the MILAN anti-tank weapon, before returning to his regiment as a company commander. He took command of 1 Ordnance Battalion in 1990 and was tasked with running logistics for 1st Armoured Division during the Gulf War. He went on to serve as Commander, Logistic Support for 3rd Infantry Division in 1992.
Cross served his first of three tours in the Balkans, attached to the Implementation Force (IFOR), in 1995–1996. His second was in 1997, with the Stabilisation Force (SFOR), where he commanded 101 Logistic Brigade, and his third in 1999 with the Kosovo Force (KFOR). During his tour with KFOR, he was responsible for co-ordinating multinational troops and civilian agencies in establishing refugee camps in the aftermath of the Kosovo War. He was later appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service with KFOR. Cross was promoted to major general (two-star rank in NATO terms) in 2000 and served as Director General, Defence Supply Chain until 2002, when he became involved in planning for the forthcoming invasion of Iraq. He was the most senior British officer involved in the planning and in the Coalition Provisional Authority.
His last command was as General Officer Commanding, Theatre Troops, Iraq. Since retiring from the Army in 2007, Cross has been critical of the planning for Iraq after the removal of Saddam Hussein's government, giving evidence to the Iraq Inquiry that he urged politicians to delay the invasion, and calling the post-war planning "woefully thin". He serves as an advisor to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee and to several private companies, and is a visiting lecturer at several British universities. A convert to Christianity, he is a licensed lay reader in the Church of England and affiliated with several Christian organisations. Cross is married, with three children.
Cross is the son of Sidney George and Patricia Mary Cross. Having always wanted to be a soldier, he applied to join the Army at the age of fourteen, but was rejected due to his age.He joined the Army Cadet Force in 1964 and, after his secondary education, was accepted to study at Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College, before attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1969.
Cross started at Sandhurst in 1969 and was commissioned into the Royal Army Ordnance Corps as a second lieutenant on 30 July 1971.His first tour was in West Germany, with the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) in 1971, after which he undertook an in-service degree at the Royal Military College of Science. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1973. Having graduated as a Bachelor of Science in 1975, he served a tour with 22 Air Defence Regiment, Royal Artillery, with responsibility for the regiment's new Rapier missiles. Promoted to captain in 1977, he went on to train as an Ammunition Technical Officer (ATO) and was posted to Northern Ireland in 1978, where he was involved in explosive ordnance disposal along with inspection duties.
Returning to the BAOR in 1979, Cross served as Adjutant to 1 Ordnance Battalion,before a tour in Cyprus, attached to the United Nations peace-keeping force in 1981. He studied for an MSc in guided weapons at Staff College, Camberley from 1982 to 1983 and was promoted major on 30 September 1983. Between 1984 and 1985, he was posted to Paris as a British liaison to the MILAN anti-tank missile programme, after which he rejoined 1 Ordnance Battalion as the company commander of 12 Ordnance Company. He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel on 30 June 1988. Returning to Staff College, Camberley later that year as a member of the Directing Staff, he was heavily involved in the modernisation of the Command and Staff Course. In 1990, Cross returned again to Germany to take command of 1 Ordnance Battalion, in which he had previously been adjutant and a company commander, and, in a double-hatted post, was appointed Commander Supply, 1st Armoured Division. In the latter role, he was posted to Kuwait and later Iraq, as part of Operation Granby during the Gulf War.
After Iraq, Cross was appointed the first Commander, Logistic Support for 3rd Infantry Division in late 1992.During a re-organisation of the Army in 1993, the Royal Army Ordnance Corps was amalgamated to become part of the newly formed Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), into which Cross transferred and was promoted to colonel. Having completed the Higher Command and Staff Course earlier in 1995, he returned to 3rd Division and served in Bosnia as part of NATO's Implementation Force in 1995 and 1996.
Cross was promoted to brigadier on 30 June 1996.He was appointed Director, Materiel Supply and Distribution (Army), a post which became Director, Materiel Support (Army) in 1997 as a result of re-organisation, based in Andover, Hampshire. At the end of 1997, he took command of the British National Support Element in the Balkans, responsible for supplying the British contingent of the NATO-led Stabilisation Force (SFOR). At the same time, he commanded the Combat Service Support Group, later renamed 101 Logistic Brigade. He returned to the UK in April 1998, only to be told that he would be returning to the Balkans in January 1999 as part of the Kosovo Force (KFOR). In this role, he was responsible for the humanitarian effort in the aftermath of the Kosovo War, establishing and maintaining refugee camps in Macedonia and Albania. He was tasked with commanding multinational troops, as well as coordinating the humanitarian efforts of personnel from the British Department for International Development, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and multiple non-governmental organisations. Speaking about his service with KFOR, he later called it a "challenging and demanding deployment" and "the first time that I have come face to face with a large-scale humanitarian crisis." He went on to say that the most challenging part was the military working alongside large numbers of civilian agencies and that the Army needed to learn how to better work with such organisations—a need he said was "widely recognised" outside the military. In recognition of his service in the Balkans, Cross was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2000 New Year Honours List.
From January to August 2000, Cross attended the Royal College of Defence Studies, after which he was promoted to major general (two-star rank)and appointed Director General, Defence Supply Chain. While Director General, he was responsible for the establishment of the United Kingdom's Joint Force Logistic Component for the forthcoming operations in Iraq and became involved in planning for the invasion of the country. In early 2003, he became the British representative to the United States Department of Defense's Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, later the Coalition Provisional Authority following the invasion, and one of three deputies to American Lieutenant General Jay Garner.
Cross was involved in coordinating the reconstruction of the country following the fall of Saddam Hussein's government,and was the most senior British officer involved in post-war planning for the country. Shortly after the invasion of Iraq, he appeared on BBC Breakfast with Frost , speaking to presenter Peter Sissons about his role. He praised the military campaign and went on to talk about the challenges of rebuilding the country, saying "I think in relative terms we are not as badly off as we might have feared", but agreed that there were insufficient "people on the ground" to ensure security in the aftermath of the invasion and removal of Saddam Hussein's government. He was later deeply critical of the planning made for post-war Iraq, and stated that he attempted to raise the issue of insufficient planning with politicians. However, he was never "overly concerned" by warnings from aid agencies of a massive humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of the invasion which, in the event, never materialised, though he admitted he had been too optimistic about the state of the Iraqi infrastructure. In the Breakfast with Frost interview, he drew an analogy with London, "if you imagine going into London and every Ministry building is completely empty of furniture, completely empty of people, most of the windows blown out, just trying to find the people who work in those Ministries, the equivalent of the Home Office and [finding] out who worked there, getting them back to work, beginning to pay their salaries which we're now beginning to do, and encouraging them to come back and work with us is bound to take a bit of time."
Cross was given the honorary title of Colonel Commandant, Royal Logistic Corps, on 5 April 2003.On 9 October 2004, he was appointed General Officer Commanding, Theatre Troops, Iraq—commander of all British Army combat personnel in the Iraq War. He retired from active service on 20 January 2007, retaining the honorary title of Colonel Commandant, Royal Logistic Corps, and, in April 2007, was given the further ceremonial appointment of Honorary Colonel, 168 Pioneer Regiment (Volunteers), Royal Logistic Corps.
Cross has lectured both in the UK and elsewhere since his retirement and is a visiting professor at several British universities including the University of Nottingham, University of Reading and Cranfield University. He serves as an advisor to a number of organisations. Since 2007, he has been army advisor to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, as well as a defence advisor for Fujitsu and other companies. He is a non-executive chairman at Asuure Ltd, a British security company, and serves as a director at the Centre for International Humanitarian Cooperation and the Humanitarian International Services Group.
Following his retirement, Cross attacked US foreign policy on Iraq, calling the plans "fatally flawed" shortly after General Sir Mike Jackson—Chief of the General Staff at the time of the invasion and also recently retired—called the same plans "intellectually bankrupt".In a 2009 interview, Cross praised the planning for the invasion and the removal of Saddam Hussein, but said that he "was very keen that we thought through carefully the postwar aspects of what we were going to do once the military campaign was over. And I think it's now very public knowledge that that was not well handled. It was not well thought through, it was not well executed. And we lived with the consequences of that."
On 7 December 2009, Cross publicly testified before the Iraq Inquiry, having previously argued that the proceedings should be held in public as, eventually, they were.He gave evidence about the post-war planning done prior to the invasion of Iraq, stating that he had urged Prime Minister Tony Blair and his aide, Alastair Campbell, to delay the invasion two days prior to the beginning of the conflict. Cross told Sir John Chilcot, the inquiry chairman, that preparations for Iraq after the removal of Saddam Hussein were "woefully thin". He went on to tell the inquiry that "although I was confident that we would secure a military victory, I offered my view that we should not begin that campaign until we had a much more coherent postwar plan."
In an interview for The Independent in January 2010, Cross, speaking again about post-war Iraq, claimed "A lot of senior generals were frustrated that they didn't have sufficient resources", and singled out both Blair and Clare Short, Secretary of State for International Development at the time of the invasion, as well as criticising the system in which funding was allocated for the Iraq campaign.
Cross, a Christian,converted to Christianity while on leave from a posting to Cyprus in 1981. He visited Jerusalem over the Easter weekend and was inspired by a retired British Army officer he met there to convert. After converting, he considered leaving the Army, but has said in interviews that he reconciled his beliefs with his military service, contending that "the British Army as a community [...] recognises the issue of spirituality and goodness and righteousness and justice and evil and wrong probably far more than most". He is a licensed lay reader in the Church of England and has involvement with a number of Christian organisations, including as a trustee of the British and Foreign Bible Society and a former president of the Armed Forces Christian Union. In an interview for the Christian Broadcasting Network in 2009, he said "The moral component of fighting power is about leadership, it's about ethics, it's about culture, it's about how do you get people to fight and embedded within that is an element of justice and righteousness. [I]f you lose the moral component, you lose everything. I think we – collectively in the West – have gone through 30–40 years really of pretending that this moral component is not important, and that I don't need to have a biblical foundation in my life. And I challenge that." He has written on the subject in the British Army Review, an in house publication aimed at generating professional debate, where he described ideas of a secular Army as 'tripe' and 'dangerously wrong' and the rewrite of the motto of the Girl Guides, removing reference to God, as 'vapid and anodyne'.
He married Christine in 1972.The couple live in Surrey and have two sons—one of whom served in the Royal Navy—one daughter and five grandchildren. Cross lists his interests as golf, sailing, walking, reading and writing—having written chapters and introductions for several books and papers.
General Sir Michael David Jackson, is a retired British Army officer and one of its most high-profile generals since the Second World War. Originally commissioned into the Intelligence Corps in 1963, he transferred to the Parachute Regiment in 1970, with which he served two of his three tours of duty in Northern Ireland. On his first, he was present as an adjutant at the events of the Ballymurphy massacre (1971), where eleven unarmed civilians were shot dead by British troops, and then at Bloody Sunday in 1972, when British soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters, killing fourteen. On his second, he was a company commander in the aftermath of the Warrenpoint ambush (1979), the British Army's heaviest single loss of life during the Troubles. He was assigned to a staff post at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 1982 before assuming command of the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment, in 1984. Jackson was posted to Northern Ireland for the third time, as a brigade commander, in the early 1990s.
Admiral of the Fleet Michael Cecil Boyce, Baron Boyce, was a British Royal Navy officer who also sat as a crossbench member of the House of Lords until his death in November 2022.
Field Marshal Peter Anthony Inge, Baron Inge, was a senior British Army officer. He was the Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army, from 1992 to 1994 and then served as Chief of the Defence Staff before retiring in 1997. Early in his military career he saw action during the Malayan Emergency and Operation Banner in Northern Ireland, and later in his career he provided advice to the British Government during the Bosnian War.
General Sir Roger Neil Wheeler, is a retired British Army officer who served as Chief of the General Staff from 1997 to 2000. During his career he was involved in the Cyprus Emergency, directed military operations in Northern Ireland and led the UK's forces deployed on NATO operations in Bosnia. He is now a non-executive director of several businesses operating on an international basis.
Field Marshal Michael John Dawson Walker, Baron Walker of Aldringham, is a retired British Army officer. Commissioned in 1966, he served in Cyprus, Northern Ireland, and in a variety of staff posts in the United Kingdom until 1984. After being given command of a battalion, he was mentioned in despatches for his service during a second tour of duty in Northern Ireland, this time in Derry, and subsequently served a tour on Gibraltar. He was promoted to brigadier, unusually having never held the rank of colonel, and took command of 20th Armoured Brigade in Germany before becoming I Corps chief of staff.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Kevin Burridge, is a retired Royal Air Force officer. A former Nimrod pilot, Burridge was in overall command of British forces under Operation Telic during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Graham Eric Stirrup, Baron Stirrup,, informally known as Jock Stirrup, is a former senior Royal Air Force commander who was the Chief of the Defence Staff from 2006 until his retirement in late 2010. He is now a Crossbench member of the House of Lords. In April 2013, he was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Garter by Queen Elizabeth II.
General David Julian Richards, Baron Richards of Herstmonceux, is a retired senior British Army officer who was formerly the Chief of the Defence Staff, the professional head of the British Armed Forces. He succeeded Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup in this role on 29 October 2010.
General Francis Richard Dannatt, Baron Dannatt,, is a retired senior British Army officer and member of the House of Lords. He was Chief of the General Staff from 2006 to 2009.
Lieutenant General Sir John Panton Kiszely, is a retired senior British Army officer who was director general of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom from 2005 to 2008. He is a former national president of The Royal British Legion.
General Sir William Godfrey Fothergill Jackson, was a British Army officer, military historian, author and Governor of Gibraltar.
Sir Frederick Richard Viggers, is a former senior British Army officer who served as Adjutant-General to the Forces immediately prior to his retirement in 2008. He was Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod from 30 April 2009 to 28 October 2010. He also served in Bosnia in the aftermath of the breakup of Yugoslavia, and in the Iraq War.
General Sir Peter Anthony Wall, is a retired British Army officer who served as the Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army, until September 2014. Wall had previously been the Commander-in-Chief, Land Forces from August 2009 to September 2010. He succeeded General Sir David Richards as Chief of the General Staff in September 2010, the latter going on a month later to be Chief of the Defence Staff.
Major General Graham John Binns, is a retired British Army officer. Binns served as General Officer Commanding 1st (UK) Armoured Division and then Commandant Joint Services Command and Staff College. He had previously commanded the 7th Armoured Brigade during Operation Telic 1 when the brigade took Basra in southern Iraq. He is the Honorary Colonel of The Yorkshire Regiment.
General Sir James Rupert Everard, is a retired senior British Army officer who served as NATO's Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
General Sir Alexander Richard David Shirreff, is a retired senior British Army officer and author. From March 2011 to March 2014 he served as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
Lieutenant General Richard Arthur David Applegate CB OBE is a former Quartermaster-General and Master-General of the Ordnance to the Army. He left the British Army in October 2010.
Lieutenant General Sir James Benjamin "Jim" Dutton, is a retired Royal Marines officer and former Governor of Gibraltar. He held various staff positions in his early career, before commanding 40 Commando. As a brigadier, he held two high-level staff posts—the first at the Ministry of Defence in London, as Director of NATO policy, and the second as a British liaison to The Pentagon shortly after the September 11 attacks, where he was involved in the planning for the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan.
General Sir Mark Alexander Popham Carleton-Smith,, is a senior British Army officer who served as Chief of the General Staff from June 2018 to June 2022. He previously served as Director Special Forces and commanded 22 Special Air Service Regiment.