General Sir Mike Jackson was born in 1944, and was educated at Stamford School, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Birmingham University. Commissioned from Sandhurst into the Intelligence Corps in December 1963, he studied for an in-service degree in Russian Studies from 1964 to 1967. After graduating, he spent 2 years on secondment to the Parachute Regiment and subsequently transferred from the Intelligence Corps in 1970. During the early 70s he served in Northern Ireland, and with the TA in Scotland. He attended the Staff College in 1976, after which he spent 2 years as the Brigade Major of the Berlin Infantry Brigade. He then commanded a parachute company for 2 years, once more in Northern Ireland.
After a 6 month course at the National Defence College at Latimer in 1981, he joined the Directing Staff at the Staff College. His two and a half year tour at Camberley included a 10 week attachment to the Ministry of Defence during the Falklands conflict. He commanded 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment from March 1984 to September 1986. Throughout his period of command, the Battalion was part of the NATO’s Allied Command Europe Mobile Force, a role which included 3 winters spent in Norway on arctic training. For just over 2 years, until the end of 1988, he was the Senior Directing Staff (Army) at the Joint Service Defence College, Greenwich. Following the Higher Command and Staff Course at Camberley in early 1989, he then spent 6 months on a Service Fellowship at Cambridge writing a paper on the future of the British Army.
He moved back to Northern Ireland in late 1989 to command 39 Infantry Brigade for two and a half years. 1992 and 1993 were spent in the Ministry of Defence as Director General Personnel Services (Army). He commanded the 3rd (United Kingdom) Division from March 1994 to July 1996; the last 6 months of his period were spent in Bosnia commanding IFOR’s Multinational Division South West. He assumed the appointment of Commander ACE Rapid Reaction Corps in the rank of Lieutenant General in February 1997, following a brief assignment as Director General Development and Doctrine.
He deployed with ARRC HQ as Commander Kosavo Force to Macedonia in March 1999 and subsequently commanded Kosovo Force in Pristina from June to October 1999. He then became Commander in Chief Land Command on 1 March 2000. He assumed the appointment of Chief of the General Staff on 31 January 2003.
General Sir Mike Jackson 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 2004. He is married to Sarah, and has 2 sons and a daughter and four grandchildren. His interests include music, reading, travel, skiing and tennis.