First Sea Lord

Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC

The First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, is the Royal Navy's professional head and Chairman of the Navy Board. He is responsible to Secretary of State for the fighting effectiveness, efficiency and morale of the Naval Service, and supports the Secretary of State in the management and direction of the Armed Forces.

Appointed First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff in April 2016, Admiral Sir Philip Jones is the Royal Navy's professional head and Chairman of the Navy Board.

Born in Bebington, Cheshire and educated at Birkenhead School, he joined the Royal Navy in 1978 and, after training at BRNC Dartmouth, he read for a degree in Geography at Mansfield College, Oxford.

His Fleet training, following graduation, took him to the South Atlantic in 1982, where he saw active service in the Amphibious Assault Ship HMS Fearless. His early complement appointments, as a bridge watchkeeper, navigator and Principal Warfare Officer in a number of Type 21 and Type 22 frigates, and in HM Yacht Britannia, took him on deployment to the South Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf and Far East.

He then served on the Maritime Battle Staff, embarked in the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible for the ORIENT ‘92 deployment to the Far East, and then her sister ship HMS Ark Royal for Operation GRAPPLE in the Adriatic in 1993. Promoted to Commander, he then commanded the Type 22 frigate HMS Beaver from 1994-6, including a Mediterranean deployment with the NATO Standing Naval Forces conducting Operation SHARP GUARD. He then served in the Directorate of Navy Plans in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) during the 1997-8 Strategic Defence Review, and on the staff of the Flag Officer Surface Flotilla (FOSF).

In 1999, as a Captain, he returned to sea for two years in command of the Type 22 frigate HMS Coventry, which included her final deployment to the Caribbean to conduct Counter Drug Operations in 2001. He then returned to MoD to serve as Military Assistant to the 4* Chief of Defence Logistics, before a tour on the staff of Flag Officer Sea Training, directing  the planning and execution of Ex JOINT WARRIORS. He is a graduate of both the Joint Service Defence College and the Higher Command and Staff Course.

In 2004, as a Commodore, he led the C4ISTAR Division of the Fleet Headquarters as an Assistant Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief and then, in 2006, as the Commander Amphibious Task Group (COMATG), he led the ATG on the VELA deployment to West Africa and then through training and validation for a period in the NATO Response Force while on deployment to the Baltic.

Promoted to Rear Admiral in 2008, he completed two short tours, first as the Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland (FOSNNI) and Flag Officer Reserves, and then as Commander UK Maritime Forces (COMUKMARFOR), which included activation as the Op Commander for EUNAVFOR Op ATALANTA, conducting counter-piracy operations off Somalia.  Appointed as the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy) in 2009, his thirty months in MoD included the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review and 2011 Defence Reform Review, and culminated with him being made a Companion of the most honourable Order of the Bath in the 2012 New Year’s Honours.

On promotion to Vice Admiral in December 2011 he became Deputy Fleet Commander, Chief of Staff Navy Command Headquarters and Chief Naval Warfare Officer. Then in November 2012 he became the Fleet Commander and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff.  He was promoted to be a Knight Commander in the Order of the Bath in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

He is a Younger Brother of Trinity House, a Freeman of the City of Glasgow, an alumnus of the Windsor Leadership Trust and President of both RN Rugby Union and RN Polo.

I know that you will continue to fulfil your duties with supreme skill and professionalism, whatever the world may throw at us.

Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC

Preventing Conflict

The Royal Navy’s presence on the world stage sends a powerful message that the UK is committed to global affairs and provides a stabilising influence. In this way we prevent conflict on the high seas and protect the flow of international trade on which our nation depends.  

International partnerships

As the fifth largest economy in the world, the UK has responsibilities towards its allies and partners. But Britain also has global ambitions – namely to protect the seaways underpinning the country’s prosperity. The Royal Navy plays a crucial role in fostering these enduring and lasting alliances with other nations.

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Career History

Joined Up1978

Philip Jones joined the Royal Navy in 1978 and, after training at BRNC Dartmouth, he read for a degree in Geography at Mansfield College, Oxford.

Fleet Training1982

His Fleet training, following graduation, included a period of active service in the South Atlantic in 1982 in the Amphibious Assault Ship HMS Fearless

Early Service1983

Early service as a bridge watchkeeper, navigator and Principal Warfare Officer in a number of Type 21 and 22 frigates, and in HM Yacht Britannia.

Battle Staff1992

Appointed to Commander UK Task Group included the Orient ‘92 deployment to the Far East on HMS Invincible and Operation Grapple in the Adriatic in 1993 on HMS Ark Royal.

Command1994

As a Commander he commanded the frigate HMS Beaver from 1994-6, including a Mediterranean deployment with the NATO Standing Naval Forces conducting Operation Sharp Guard

Staff Officer1997

Served in the Directorate of Navy Plans in the Ministry of Defence during the 1997-8 Strategic Defence Review, and then on the staff of the Flag Officer Surface Flotilla (FOSF).

Captain1999

In 1999, as a Captain, he returned to sea for two years in command of the frigate HMS Coventry, deploying to the Caribbean to conduct Counter Drug Operations in 2001

Staff Roles2001

Served as Military Assistant to Chief of Defence Logistics, before joining Flag Officer Sea Training as Director of Joint Maritime Operational Training Staff (JMOTS)

Amphibious Task Group2006

As the Commander Amphibious Task Group (COMATG), he led the task group on the Vela deployment to West Africa

Higher Command Course2007

In 2007 he completed the Higher Command and Staff Course at the Joint Services Command and Staff College at Shrivenham

Rear Admiral2008

As a Rear Admiral, as Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland (FOSNNI) and Flag Officer Reserves, and as Commander UK Maritime Forces (COMUKMARFOR)

Assistant Chief of Naval Staff2009

Appointed as the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff, which includes membership of the Navy Board. Made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the 2012 New Year’s Honours.

Vice Admiral2011

On promotion to Vice Admiral in December 2011 he became Deputy Commander-in-Chief Fleet, Chief of Staff Navy Command Headquarters and Chief Naval Warfare Officer.

Fleet Commander2012

In April 2012 the title of Deputy Commander-in-Chief Fleet changed to Deputy Fleet Commander and on 30 November 2012 he became Fleet Commander.

Admiralty Board

Command over officers, ratings and marines

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Navy Board

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