Brigade Commander - Brigadier Oliver Stokes MBE (Late PWRR)
Brigadier Oliver Stokes was commissioned into The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (PWRR) in 1996. He has deployed on six operational tours, including to Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq. He has served as a staff officer in the Permanent Joint Headquarters and in the Organisation Branch in Army Plans Directorate, as an instructor on the Intermediate Staff Course and as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Strategy Branch, during the development of Army 2020.
He commanded A Company 1 PWRR in Iraq on Operation TELIC 8 and had the privilege of commanding 2nd Battalion, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, preparing it for operations and their role to train the Peshmerga in northern Iraq.
On relinquishing command, he supported the Chief of the General Staff’s Initiative Group for 6 months before being posted on promotion to the MOD as the current commitments team leader for military operations in Iraq and Syria. He is a graduate of both the Advanced and Higher Command and Staff Courses.
Brigadier Stokes is married to Kirsty and they have three children and he enjoys supporting his family.
Deputy Brigade Commander - Colonel Andy Hadfield (Late MERCIAN)
Colonel Andy Hadfield was born, bred and educated in Staffordshire. Joining the Army in 1986 he attended Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) in 1988-89 and commissioned into the Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales’s), then serving in Germany with their newly received Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles. He was fortunate to command his Platoon on Operation GRANBY (Kuwait) as part of the 1 STAFFORDS Battlegroup (BG).
Returning to UK shortly after Op GRANBY he deployed on the first of three tours of Northern Ireland throughout the 1990s. At Regimental Duty he commanded 181 Army Youth Team in Lichfield, was a Company 2IC, Regimental Signal Officer and Adjutant. After almost 10 years with the Battalion he moved to become Staff Officer (Training) Organisation & Deployments and Plans in HQ 19 Mechanized Brigade and deployed with them to Kosovo on Operation AGRICOLA 2.
Staff College followed Grade 3 staff and on completion Lieutenant Colonel Hadfield was appointed to Chief of Staff 52 Infantry Brigade in Edinburgh. After a most enjoyable two-year stint in Scotland he returned to 1 STAFFORDS in Tidworth, once again in the armoured role, and deployed to Iraq on Operation TELIC 6 with the Coldstream Guards BG in Basra, while the remainder of his Battalion were in Maysaan. From sub-unit command he moved to the Land Warfare Collective Training Group in Germany where after a year he was selected for promotion and command of the newly formed 1 MERCIAN.
In between success on the command list and command itself Lieutenant Colonel Hadfield deployed to Afghanistan with the US Army as a Staff Officer in the Combined Security Transition Command (Afghanistan), where he worked in the CJ35 Directorate as Chief Future Operations. He assumed command of 1 MERCIAN in 2008 and deployed with them for his second tour of Afghanistan in 2010. Post command he spent two years in MOD Main Building, working in Directorate of Communications, and then moved to become the Staff Officer Direct Entrant Infantry Officers at Army Personnel Centre Glasgow for a year before being selected for promotion and assuming the appointment of Colonel Career Management Combat.
He was Mentioned in Dispatches in 2005, was awarded the Bronze Star by the United States of America in 2008 and received a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in 2011.
Colonel Hadfield is married to Rachel, and they have two children. His hobbies include sailing, military history, and DIY.
Deputy Brigade Commander (Reserve) - Colonel David Middleton MBE TD (Late RA)
Colonel David Middleton commissioned into the Royal Artillery Reserves in 1985 gaining experience at Regimental duty of Field Artillery, Surveillance, Targeting and Acquisition (STA) and Targeting Systems.
Regimental appointments from Troop to Battery Commander were interspersed with a variety of staff appointments including Staff Officer Artillery at 15 (North East) Brigade during which he deployed to Australia to prepare for and participate in a multi-national conceptual exercise as part of the America-Britain-Canada-Australia (ABCA) agreement. Following Battery Command he deployed on Operation TELIC 7 (Iraq) for an extended tour as Staff Officer (Personnel) in the National Support Element.
On promotion to Lieutenant Colonel he supported 4th Mechanized Brigade prepares for their own deployment to Iraq before assuming Command of 101 Regiment RA. His command tour was characterised by the continuous preparation, deployment and support of soldiers to both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Promoted to Colonel his first appointment was in HQ Army Capability Directorate Combat Support working on Army 2020 before moving to become Deputy Commander 43 (Wessex) Brigade.
Col Middleton has two sons, Peter an environmental engineer with British Steel and Simon currently attending the regular commissioning course at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS).
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