Major General Mark Strudwick CBE, former Aide-de-Camp to the Queen
Was, in his last post in the Army. General Officer Commanding the Army in Scotland and Her Majesty’s Governor of Edinburgh Castle. He is a Better Together Supporter. In retirement he became head of the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust. (Classic case of a company man).
In the 1990s, Strudwick was Director of Infantry, and responsible for 12,000 officers at the time of the Army’s “options for change”. “We had to make 2850 officers redundant, that was a very difficult time.” Then in 2004 as a member of the council of Scottish colonels, Strudwick was handed the job of approving and publicly defending the politically-explosive creation of a single Scottish regiment, which also involved the merger of his own Royal Scots with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers.
“We had to come up with a solution, we couldn’t just go back to Whitehall (MoD) without one, they would have just imposed it. Inevitably it was enormously painful, because this is the ultimate change.”
He reflects: “What people find hard to accept is that the commitment and determination of our soldiers is not reflected in the way the Treasury is constantly driving down the costs, and the balance between having the right manpower and procurement – which always costs too much and takes too long.”