Royal College of Defence Studies celebrate their ninetieth anniversary

01 March 2017 / Categories: DA News and Events, RCDS


Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) celebrate their ninetieth anniversary with the publication of ‘Ninety Years of Preparing Strategic Leaders’ by Andrew Stewart, Director of Academic Studies (KCL).

Foreword by the Chief of the Defence Staff

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach GBE KCB ADC DL

It is a real pleasure to introduce this book marking the ninetieth anniversary of the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS).

Building on what can only be described as a remarkably distinguished past, RCDS continues to provide a unique and invaluable experience to its Members who are drawn from many nations, a wide range of government departments and the private sector, as well as some much-valued Parliamentary participation.

For many years RCDS has indeed been, and continues to be, the course of choice for future strategic leaders across the Defence and Security sectors. There are a few key points which underpin the College’s uniqueness and worth.

Firstly, as the senior College in the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom it focuses exclusively on national strategy and strategic leadership. By definition this drives an across-government, international and multi-disciplinary – or full-spectrum – approach which is essential when dealing with the complex defence and security challenges that we face today.

Secondly, the Course is international by design. This is reflected in the composition of the anniversary year attendees with seventy international participants drawn from fifty-six nations – a diversity and strength simply not matched in any contemporary defence college elsewhere.

Finally, the fact that those attending RCDS are termed as Members and not students reflects their considerable experience and key roles in contributing to each other’s learning and the running of their course. Membership does not end when individuals complete their year spent at Seaford House: RCDS has a truly remarkable and vibrant body of alumni. Indeed, during my international travels I am constantly encountering RCDS Members in the highest levels of strategic leadership around the world.

With such attributes and credentials I am not therefore surprised that RCDS continues to go from strength to strength. Moreover, with its unique focus on national strategy and the full spectrum approach, being international by design and, above all else, its focus on the personal and professional development its Members, I see the education and contacts it provides as increasingly relevant in today’s increasingly fragmented, demanding – and at times – dangerous world.

Read the full publication of ‘Ninety Years of Preparing Strategic Leaders’ by Andrew Stewart.

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