Many in the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces found his level of ambition to be intimidating. For others, his leadership style was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale department. Nevertheless it was this ambition, and his leadership abilities, that brought him to the very top of his profession.
With the closure of the Ministry of Defence desk specifically dealing with claimed alien encounters in the UK, we now have no formal department to analyse - or respond to - any potentially legitimate claim. In other words, if E.T. phones home, all he'll get is 'number unobtainable.' But how likely is a call from E.T. in the first place? Well, let me put it this way: I'm not a conspiracy theorist but I do believe in aliens. I also believe in interstellar spaceships and life on other planets. Is this rational? Far from being outlandish, this is the only logical conclusion to draw about the universe and our place in it.
It's all doom and gloom for the UK's Ministry of Defence! Unlike the conservative and relatively optimistic reports published by the government, a rec...
Confusion and ill-will towards Service personnel who claim payouts when they are injured has led to allegations that the so-called "compensation culture" has reached the Armed Services.
These papers offer a valuable lesson for any student of leadership. Perhaps the biggest lesson one can learn is that making the right decision is not necessarily the same as making the most popular decision. Leadership is not a popularity contest. Leadership is about selflessly acting in the best interests of those that you lead.
About 18 years ago I remember listening to a talk by Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut in space. She convinced me that the only limits imposed upon you are the ones you impose on yourself. Now, in 2013, I'm delighted to be speaking at the same event as this inspirational woman.
A UK taxpayer earning £30,000 per year will pay £7,065 in tax. Of that, £67 will go to the aid budget and £403 towards defence. That leaves £6,595 for everything else. A proper debate about government spending should surely recognise that pitching defence spending against aid is like robbing a pretty hard-up Peter to pay an even more impoverished Paul.
Ashdown appears unbridled by, or wilfully ignorant of, the fundamental issues which make a mockery of his analysis. While he is right to point out that some of the issues which concern people about the growing use of drone warfare are reflected in extant military practices, his conclusions are baffling and misplaced.
It is not sufficient to say 'I would die for a country', for it is never a country that sends people into battle. It is politicians - people - who are often immoral and frequently incorrect.
Many people from across the political spectrum are opening their minds to a reconsideration of Britain's strategic and security needs.
I hope I may be excused feeling a little smug today - the chickens are coming home to roost in precisely the way I hoped they would. Two successive reports from the government's financial watchdog, the NAO, have effectively endorsed the very difficult decisions we took while I was at MoD.
To keep on producing weapons-grade uranium Aldermaston is clearly going to need some major investment. At a time of austerity, when families are relying on foodbanks and benefits are being cut, can we really justify adding to the already astronomical nuclear weapons bill?
In my line of work, I'm rarely surprised about anything and listening to the news this week was no different. A new report by MPs states that UK forc...
With yet more allegations of bullying and abuse in the armed forces, the time has come for the government to act on its promise to ensure that serving personnel are treated fairly and get access to the support they need when they leave active service.
MoD is flouting the law and perpetuating the myth that shooting animals helps save human lives on the battlefield. The truth is that having military personnel try to repair the wounds of pigs who have been violently injured on a firing range does not help humans.
I finally retired last year after 36 years on the show to write my memoirs, but here's hoping Blue Peter and its brilliant presenters celebrate many more amazing adventures showing just how good the best children's TV can be.