Commander South West
Colonel Gary McDade commissioned in 1993 as one of the last officers to join The Glosters. Shortly after this the regiment amalgamated into The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment which subsequently became The Rifles. Taking over as Commander South West therefore sees him back in his regimental heartland.
In the early part of his career, he undertook a range of posts at Regimental Duty in UK, Cyprus and Germany with deployments to Bosnia, Northern Ireland and Iraq. An operational planner, he has also deployed to Afghanistan twice, once embedded with the US Marine Corps, and to Mali with the European Union. A graduate of the Advanced Command and Staff Course, his Masters degree dissertation focussed on lessening mental health stigma in the Army.
Training has been a constant throughout Colonel McDade’s career; he has been an instructor at the Army Training Regiment Lichfield, Britannia Royal Naval College, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the UK Defence Academy. His command saw him responsible for the rehabilitation of Service offenders as Commandant of the Military Corrective Training Centre - a memorable and truly rewarding role.
Colonel McDade assumed command of the South West Region in February 2022, representing the Army in Wessex. He will also be the Joint Military Commander for UK operations across the South West and Channel Islands during moments of crisis, responsible for provision of tri-service military support across the region.