Michael Wigston

Air Chief Marshal Michael Wigston, CBE (born 25 February 1968) is a senior Royal Air Force officer, serving as Chief of the Air Staff since 26 July 2019. He previously served as Assistant Chief of the Air Staff from 2017 to 2018, and Deputy Commander (Personnel) and Air Member for Personnel and Capability from 2018 to 2019.

Michael Wigston
Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston
Born (1968-02-25) 25 February 1968
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Air Force
Years of service1986–present
RankAir Chief Marshal
Commands heldChief of the Air Staff (2019–)
British Forces Cyprus (2015–17)
No. 903 Expeditionary Air Wing (2008)
No. 12 Squadron (2005–07)
Battles/warsWar in Afghanistan
Iraq War
AwardsCommander of the Order of the British Empire

Early life and education

Wigston was born on 25 February 1968.[1] He was educated at Friars School, a comprehensive school in Bangor, Wales.[2] He studied engineering science at Oriel College, Oxford, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1992: as per tradition, his BA was promoted to a Master of Arts (MA Oxon) degree.[2][3] He later attended King's College London, graduating with an MA degree in defence studies in 2004.[2]

RAF career

Wigston was commissioned into the Royal Air Force on 23 October 1986.[4][5] He was promoted to pilot officer on 15 July 1989,[6] to flying officer on 15 January 1990,[7] and to flight lieutenant on 15 January 1992.[8]

Promoted to squadron leader on 1 January 2000,[9] he was given command of No. 12 Squadron and, having been promoted to wing commander on 1 July 2003,[10] he became commander of No. 903 Expeditionary Air Wing in Afghanistan in 2008.[11] He went on to be director of air operations at the International Security Assistance Force Headquarters in Afghanistan in 2011 and principal staff officer to the Chief of the Defence Staff in 2012. Wigston was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services in Afghanistan on 22 March 2013.[12]

Wigston was promoted to air vice-marshal on 20 January 2015,[13] and appointed Commander British Forces Cyprus and Sovereign Base Areas Administrator (SBAA).[14] As SBAA, he conducted a same-sex marriage ceremony in October 2016.[15] He became Assistant Chief of the Air Staff in March 2017[16] and, having been promoted to air marshal on 20 August 2018,[17] he took up the post of Deputy Commander (Personnel) and Air Member for Personnel and Capability.[18] Wigston handed over this appointment in May 2019.[19]

Wigston was promoted to air chief marshal and become Chief of the Air Staff, the professional head of the RAF, in succession to Sir Stephen Hillier on 26 July 2019.[20][21]


  1. 'Wigston, Air Vice-Marshal Michael', Who's Who 2016, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2016
  2. "Wigston, Air Marshal Michael". Who's Who 2019. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2018. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  3. "New military chiefs appointed". GOV.UK. Ministry of Defence. 3 December 2018. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  4. "New Bases Administrator". In Cyprus. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  5. "No. 50806". The London Gazette (Supplement). 19 January 1987. p. 770.
  6. "No. 51903". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 October 1989. p. 11889.
  7. "No. 52045". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 February 1990. p. 1978.
  8. "No. 52838". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 February 1992. p. 2794.
  9. "No. 55722". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 January 2000. p. 13841.
  10. "No. 56992". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 July 2003. p. 8469.
  11. "Airman killed in Iraq rocket attack was larger-than-life Sergeant, with two daughters". Daily Mail. 2 March 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  12. "No. 60456". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 March 2013. p. 5737.
  13. "No. 61123". The London Gazette (Supplement). 27 January 2015. p. 1283.
  14. "Ministry of Defence and Senior Tri-Service Appointments" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  15. "Same-sex marriage first for Army sergeant on Cyprus". York Press. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  16. "Senior appointments". Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  17. "No. 62406". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 September 2018. p. 16199.
  18. "Senior appointments". 15 March 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  19. "Senior appointments". 20 February 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  20. "A 'generation of innovators' has been appointed to run the military in a shake-up of the top ranks of the Army, Navy and RAF". The Daily Telegraph. 3 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  21. "Senior Appointments – 17th January 2019". Royal Air Force. 17 January 2019. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
Military offices
Preceded by
Richard Cripwell
Commander British Forces Cyprus
Succeeded by
James Illingworth
Preceded by
Richard Knighton
Assistant Chief of the Air Staff
Succeeded by
Gerry Mayhew
Preceded by
Sean Reynolds
Deputy Commander-in-Chief Personnel Air Command
Air Member for Personnel

Succeeded by
Andrew Turner
Preceded by
Sir Stephen Hillier
Chief of the Air Staff
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