Baron Richards of Herstmonceux served in the Far East, Germany and Northern Ireland before commanding deployments in East Timor and Sierra Leone, where his intervention in the civil war, without official sanction from London, proved decisive in ending years of factional fighting. He later served with NATO and led ISAF forces in Afghanistan.
David Richards became Commander-in-Chief Land Forces of the British Army in 2008 and held that role until 2009, when he was appointed Chief of the General Staff. In 2010 he was appointed as Chief of the Defence Staff, the professional head of the British Armed Forces, and served in that position until 2013. He was made a Life Peer in February 2014.