A resident of Overijse near Brussels, Brigadier (Ret.) Robbie Boyd commissioned from Sandhurst into the Royal Irish Rangers in 1987. He holds three Masters degrees from Cranfield University, the University of Cambridge and the United States Army War College. He is a graduate of the United Nations Senior Mission Leaders Course. His last military role was as the principal military, political, strategic adviser and assistant to the Chair of the NATO Military Committee.
His operational and combat experience includes many tours in Northern Ireland, United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia, Iraq, Cyprus and Afghanistan, where led a multi-national Combined Force in Helmand Province. He commanded the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, ‘Lions of England’, through the longest operational tour by a British regiment in recent history; deploying with them as the Theatre Reserve Battalion continuously into Afghanistan for 16 months. During 2017, he held the post of Chief of Staff for the 17,000 strong United Nations Mission in South Sudan as a Brigadier General, leading soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen and women from 63 different nations. His overseas service also included Cold-War Germany and two tours in Cyprus.
Robbie started his strategic journey as Aide de Camp to General Sir Roger Wheeler in Northern Ireland in the 1990’s, and he continued his broad education in the UK Armed Forces as Military Assistant to Commander Joint Helicopter Command. As the military lead for NATO and Europe Policy in the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, he negotiated and built the United Kingdom’s Joint Expeditionary Force and held strategic responsibilities for UK/France cooperation before being selected by Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach to be his Military Assistant as the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, from whom he found it hard to escape from! Along with Stu Peach, Robbie remains one of only two contemporary Brits to have thought and fought at every strategic level, including the grand-strategic in NATO Headquarters.
Robbie was awarded the Estonian Meritorious Service Cross for command of Estonian soldiers in combat and was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his leadership during operations in Cyprus and Afghanistan. He holds several United Nations Commendations and was awarded NATO’s Meritorious Service Medal by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in 2021.
Robbie regularly lectures at the United Kingdom Defence Academy and contributes to the Royal United Services Institute and International Institute for Strategic Studies as a NATO expert. He currently leads the major American digital company Gartner’s consulting activities across the NATO enterprise as a Managing Partner.