One of the UK’s most high profile army generals in history, General Sir Mike Jackson served as Chief of General Staff and Head of the Army, leading British forces in Iraq, UN forces in Kosovo as well as on peacekeeping missions in Bosnia. He is an expert on leadership and control under extreme and stressful situations.
At the start of his long and illustrious career, Sir Mike rose the Army ranks, and in the 90s he served as deputy to NATO Supreme Allied Commander, General Wesley Clark. In a well-documented display of independent thinking, he refused his boss’ order to block a runway at Pristina airport, exclaiming “I won’t start World War III for you.”
When the Daily Mirror released pictures of the alleged torture of Iraqi prisoners by British soldiers, Sir Mike ordered an inquiry, and has continued to defend his troops whilst not accepting the validity of the original post-conflict strategy. He is staunchly proud of his soldiers’ records, and challenged the MOD on their understanding of the ethos of the armed forces, and reminds them publically of the debt they owe their soldiers.
Sir Mike argues vehemently that a leader has to be relentless but not unyielding about costs and the allocation of resources, particularly those with a stretched budget.
He strongly infers that people do not work efficiently unless they have effective leadership with strong communication, determination and resolve.
His motivational roles in charge of the British troops included the task of ending ethnic cleansing in Kosovo; assembling the British ground component of the coalition that toppled the Taliban and planning the army dispatch to Iraq.
Even as a general his first priority was always his soldiers – his leadership traits are lauded the world over. Honest, professional, frank and charming.
Sir Mike was awarded the MBE in 1979, the CBE in 1992, the CB in 1996, the KCB in 1998, the DSO in 1999, the ADC Gen in 2001, and the GCB in 2004.
His autobiography received excellent reviews and the highest literary accolades.