Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) celebrate their ninetieth anniversary with the publication of ‘Ninety Years of Preparing Strategic Leaders’ by Andrew Stewart, Director of Academic Studies (KCL).
Foreword by the Chief of the Defence Staff
Marshal Sir Stuart Peach GBE KCB ADC DL
It is a real pleasure to introduce this book marking the
ninetieth anniversary of the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS).
Building on what can only be described as a remarkably
distinguished past, RCDS continues to provide a unique and invaluable experience
to its Members who are drawn from many nations, a wide range of government
departments and the private sector, as well as some much-valued Parliamentary
For many years RCDS has indeed been, and continues to be, the
course of choice for future strategic leaders across the Defence and Security
sectors. There are a few key points which underpin the College’s uniqueness and
Firstly, as the senior College in the Defence Academy of the
United Kingdom it focuses exclusively on national strategy and strategic
leadership. By definition this drives an across-government, international and
multi-disciplinary – or full-spectrum – approach which is essential when dealing
with the complex defence and security challenges that we face today.
Secondly, the Course is international by design. This is
reflected in the composition of the anniversary year attendees with seventy
international participants drawn from fifty-six nations – a diversity and
strength simply not matched in any contemporary defence college
Finally, the fact that those attending RCDS are termed as
Members and not students reflects their considerable experience and key roles in
contributing to each other’s learning and the running of their course.
Membership does not end when individuals complete their year spent at Seaford
House: RCDS has a truly remarkable and vibrant body of alumni. Indeed, during my
international travels I am constantly encountering RCDS Members in the highest
levels of strategic leadership around the world.
With such attributes and credentials I am not therefore
surprised that RCDS continues to go from strength to strength. Moreover, with
its unique focus on national strategy and the full spectrum approach, being
international by design and, above all else, its focus on the personal and
professional development its Members, I see the education and contacts it
provides as increasingly relevant in today’s increasingly fragmented, demanding
– and at times – dangerous world.
The full publication of ‘Ninety Years of Preparing Strategic Leaders’ by Andrew Stewart can be read here.