The Royal British Legion appoints new National President

The Royal British Legion has appointed Air Marshal David Walker CB CBE AFC MA RAF (Retd) as its new National President.

Air Marshal Walker enjoyed a 34 year career in the Royal Air Force, ending his service as Deputy Commander of NATO Joint Forces Command.

As National President of the nation’s largest Armed Forces charity, Air Marshal Walker will represent the charity at key ceremonial events including the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph and The Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance.

Air Marshal Walker’s three-year term of Office begins on Sunday 22 May as The Royal British Legion’s Annual Conference draws to a close in Eastbourne, East Sussex. He will take over from the incumbent National President, Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson CB CVO, who was appointed in October 2012. In 2019, it is expected that Air Marshal Walker will be succeeded by a senior Army officer, thus continuing the Legion tradition of rotating the role among the three Services of the British Armed Forces.

Air Marshal Walker said: “I am honoured to take up the position of National President and to join the Legion at a time of modernisation and change. I greatly admire the charity’s commitment to the Armed Forces community. During my three decades in the RAF, I’ve seen the Legion’s work have an impact on people of all ages, from fresh-faced recruits setting out on their careers to Second World War veterans. The Legion’s role remains as relevant today as ever, and I look forward to playing my part in the organisation’s vital work over the next three years.”

Air Marshal Walker was educated at the University of Bristol and King’s College London. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1978, and flew Harriers completing tours in Germany, the UK and the United States, where he carried out an exchange tour with the US Navy flying the F-18 Hornet.

During his service, he commanded No 1 (Fighter) Squadron, flying operational missions over Iraq and Bosnia before being appointed Military Assistant to the UK Minister for Armed Forces in the Ministry of Defence. He later took command of RAF Cottesmore in Rutland and the UK Harrier Force. In 2005, he took command of No 1 Group of the RAF’s frontline, with responsibility for fast jet forces, their training and operational performance. He completed his service as the Deputy Commander of NATO’s Air Command and then its Joint Forces Command.
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