Stephen Dalton

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Gary George Dalton, GCB, ADC, FRAeS (born 23 April 1954)[1] is a retired Royal Air Force commander and current Lieutenant Governor of Jersey.

Sir Stephen Dalton

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton in Afghanistan, January 2010
Lieutenant Governor of Jersey
Assumed office
13 March 2017
PremierIan Gorst
Preceded bySir John McColl
Personal details
Born (1954-04-23) 23 April 1954
Leicester, England
Alma materUniversity of Bath
Military service
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Branch/serviceRoyal Air Force
Years of service1976–2013
RankAir Chief Marshal
CommandsChief of the Air Staff
Air Member for Personnel
Controller Aircraft
RAF Coltishall
XIII Squadron
Battles/warsOperation Jural
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air

As commanding officer of XIII Squadron, he deployed on Operation Jural, the United Kingdom's contribution to Operation Southern Watch enforcing the No-Fly Zone over Southern Iraq. He then moved on to high command, serving as Head of Air Operations at the Ministry of Defence during the preparations for and conduct of Operation Telic in Iraq. Most recently he was appointed Chief of the Air Staff, the professional head of the Royal Air Force, in which role he advised the British Government on the deployment of air power during the Libyan conflict. In that capacity he implemented 2,700 redundancies, as determined by the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Early life

Dalton was educated at Clarendon Park Junior School and Lancaster School in Leicester,[2] and then the University of Bath, where he studied Aeronautical Engineering.[3]

Military career

Dalton was commissioned as a University Cadet on 16 September 1973,[4] before being regraded as a pilot officer following graduation on 15 July 1976.[5] Dalton was promoted to flying officer on 15 January 1977,[6] and then flight lieutenant on 15 October 1977.[7] He flew the SEPECAT Jaguar on three tours, operating from the UK and Germany in both ground attack and tactical reconnaissance roles.[3] Dalton was promoted to squadron leader on 1 July 1984,[8] and awarded a Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air in the 1987 New Year Honours.[9]

Following the Advanced Staff Course, training to fly the Panavia Tornado,[3] and promotion to wing commander on 1 July 1990,[10] Dalton commanded XIII Squadron.[3] He deployed on Operation Jural, the United Kingdom's contribution to Operation Southern Watch enforcing the No-Fly Zone over Southern Iraq.[3]

Dalton was promoted to group captain on 1 July 1994,[11] and in 1997 took command of RAF Coltishall and the RAF's Jaguar force.[3] On promotion to air commodore on 1 January 2000,[12] he was appointed Head of the Eurofighter Typhoon Programme Assurance Group at the Ministry of Defence.[3] Following the Higher Command and Staff Course in 2002, Dalton was appointed Head of Air Operations, also at the Ministry of Defence.[3] His tenure in this role was dominated by the preparations for and conduct of Operation Telic in Iraq.[3]

On promotion to air vice marshal on 14 May 2003,[13] Dalton was appointed Director Information Superiority.[3] He was also appointed Controller Aircraft in 2004, retaining this post upon his appointment as Director Typhoon on 2 May 2006.[14] He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the 2006 New Year Honours.[15]

On 1 May 2007, Dalton was promoted to air marshal,[16] and appointed Deputy Commander-in-Chief Personnel at Air Command and Air Member for Personnel.[17] In the 2009 Birthday Honours he was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.[18] He was promoted to air chief marshal and appointed Chief of the Air Staff, and Air Aide-de-Camp to Queen Elizabeth II, on 31 July 2009.[19] Dalton was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the 2012 Birthday Honours.[20]

In light of the Libyan conflict, Dalton warned that there "was a heck of a lot to be doing" and that the military was nearing the point of "exhaustion". The RAF became the first part of the military to bring in the cuts when it spelled out its plans for 2,700 lay-offs in April 2011, following the Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010, and Dalton admitted that some were likely to be compulsory.[21] On 24 June 2011 The Daily Telegraph confirmed that Dalton, in common with the First Sea Lord and the Chief of the General Staff, would lose his position on the Defence Board, the highest non-ministerial Ministry of Defence committee, which makes decisions on all aspect of military policy.[22] He retired in July 2013.[23]

Dalton was appointed as Honorary Air Commodore to the RAF Regiment on 21 September 2013, in succession to Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns.[24] He became Vice President of the Yorkshire Air Museum in 2009 before taking up the post of President in 2015.[25]

Lieutenant Governor of Jersey

It was announced on 20 December 2016 that Dalton would be appointed Lieutenant Governor of Jersey.[26] He was sworn into office on 13 March 2017.[27]

Personal life

Dalton is married to Anne:[28] the couple has two grown-up children.[3]

Dalton's interests include sports, theatre and history.[3] He was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Leicester in 2011[2] and an honorary Doctorate of Science by the University of Bath in 2013.[29]


  1. Who's Who 2010, A & C Black, 2010, ISBN 978-1-4081-1414-8
  2. "Sir Stephen Dalton – LLD (Doctor of Laws)". University of Leicester. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  3. "Chief of the Air Staff Biography". Royal Air Force. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  4. "No. 46138". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 November 1973. p. 14087.
  5. "No. 46984". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 August 1976. p. 10917.
  6. "No. 47123". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 January 1977. p. 710.
  7. "No. 47352". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 October 1977. p. 13103.
  8. "No. 49800". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 July 1984. p. 9435.
  9. "No. 50764". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1986. p. 25.
  10. "No. 52200". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 July 1990. p. 11368.
  11. "No. 53724". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 July 1994. p. 9611.
  12. "No. 55722". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 January 2000. p. 13840.
  13. "No. 56939". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 May 2003. p. 6213.
  14. "Air Rank Appointments List 04/06 dated 10 April 2006". Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  15. "No. 57855". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2005. p. 2.
  16. "No. 58326". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 May 2007. p. 6985.
  17. "Air Rank Appointments List 01/07 dated 16 January 2007". Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  18. "No. 59090". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 June 2009. p. 2.
  19. "Air Rank Appointments List 07/08 dated 16 October 2008". Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  20. "No. 60173". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 2012. p. 2.
  21. "Overstretched RAF will be in Libya 'at least six months' warns forces chief as Government announces £5bn military cuts". Daily Mail. 4 April 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  22. "Top military chiefs "sidelined" after Afghanistan row". The Daily Telegraph. 24 June 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  23. "Helicopter Pilot becomes CAS". Royal Air Force. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  24. "Honorary Air Commodore". RAF Association. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  25. "Welcome to the Yorkshire Air Museum". Yorkshire Air Museum. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  26. "The Lieutenant-Governor Designate". 20 December 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  27. "New Lieutenant Governor of Jersey sworn in". 13 March 2017.
  28. "Jersey's next Lieutenant Governor appointed".
  29. "Sir Stephen Dalton". University of Bath. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
Military offices
Preceded by
A. P. Waldron
Head Air Operations, Ministry of Defence
Post subsumed
Preceded by
Director Information Superiority, Ministry of Defence
Succeeded by
S. D. Butler
Preceded by
D. N. Williams
Controller Aircraft
Preceded by
Barry Thornton
as Commander-in-Chief,
Personnel and Training Command
Deputy Commander-in-Chief Personnel, Air Command
Succeeded by
Simon Bryant
Preceded by
B. M. Thornton
Air Member for Personnel
Preceded by
Sir Glenn Torpy
Chief of the Air Staff
Succeeded by
Sir Andrew Pulford
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir John McColl
Lieutenant Governor of Jersey
2017 –
Heraldic offices
Preceded by
Lord Boyce
King of Arms of the Order of the Bath
2018 – present
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