Major General (Retd) Jerry Thomas

Jerry Thomas joined the Royal Marines in September 1975 and passed out of the Commando Training Centre a year later.  He served as a troop commander in 40 Commando, including his first tour in Northern Ireland, and then spent 4 years as an intelligence officer serving in Northern Ireland and the Fleet Protection Group.  Over the next 30 years, his career included a further emergency tour in Northern Ireland and the first of eight winters in Norway, during which time he earned his arctic warfare qualification.

After attending the Army Staff College in 1989, he was posted on a tour of North Iraq with 3 Commando in 1991.  Following a stint as a staff officer with the MOD,
in  November 1995 he went back to 3 Commando Brigade as Chief of Staff during which appointment the Brigade took part in the maritime security operation covering the handover of Hong Kong.

In September 1997 he took command of 45 Commando Group and spent 17 of the next 23 months deployed, including humanitarian ops in the wake of Hurricane Mitch before being appointed as Chief of Staff of the Joint Force HQ and serving as chief UK advisor to the Sierra Leone Armed Forces on Op PALLISER in 2000.  Six days after 9/11 he deployed to US Central Command to assist in operational planning for coalition operations in Afghanistan and then in January 2002 he was appointed as Assistant Commander Ops at FLEET HQ, where he coordinated 3 Commando Brigade’s deployment on Op JACANA in Afghanistan.  In March 2003 he became the Director of Ops for Defence Intelligence, providing intelligence support to operations, coordination of collection management, strategic warning and 24/7 global intelligence watch.

He took command of Task Force Helmand from October 2006 to April 2007.  He handed over 3 Commando Brigade in June and in July 2007 was awarded the DSO for services in Afghanistan.  On 1 August he became Senior British Military Advisor at CENTCOM until March 2009 when he returned to Defence Intelligence to become Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Intelligence Capability).  He was appointed CB in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List, handed over his job in the MOD in March 2012 and retired from the Armed Forces the following May.

Jerry is now a Non-Executive Director with two private security companies specialising in counter-threat activities.  He is also Representative Colonel Commandant of the Royal Marines, a qualified civil mediator, and an enthusiastic trainer of Ten Tors teams.  He is currently writing his dissertation for a Masters in Terrorism Studies through the University of St Andrews.