Field Marshal Richard Frederick Vincent, Baron Vincent of Coleshill GBE, KCB, DSO, (born 23rd August 1931), was Chair of the Military Committee of NATO, a post he had held since stepping down as Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) in 1992.
He was one of the select band of CDSs not to have been the professional head of their service, having instead been Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff from 1987 to 1991, when he was appointed to the top job in the British Military.
Richard Vincent joined the Royal Artillery in 1951, initially as a National Service Officer. He served several times in Germany in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as at the Radar Research Establishment in Malvern (1960 - 1961).
He attended the Army Staff College in Camberley in 1965, following which he served with the Commonwealth Brigade in Malaysia (1966 - 1968). Following a staff appointment at the Ministry of Defence from 1968 -1970, he commanded the 12th Light Air Defence Regiment in Germany and Northern Ireland (1970 - 1972), following which he returned to Camberley as an Instructor at the Staff College (1972 - 1973).
He obviously found his niche in the academic area of military life, as he became Military Director of Studies at the Royal Military College of Science in Shrivenham from 1974-75. After commanding 19th Airportable Brigade 1975-77, he then attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in Belgrave Square, London, in 1978, following which he undertook the senior staff level appointment as Deputy Military Secretary 1979-80. He then returned to Shrivenham as Commandant of the Royal Military College of Science from 1980 - 1983, following which he was appointed as Master General of the Ordnance at the Ministry of Defence, a post in which he served until appointed as Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff in 1987.
In addition to his full-time roles, he was Colonel Commandant of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) from 1981-87, and Honorary Colonel of 100 (Yeomanry) Field Regiment RA(V) from 1982 - 1991. Following his retirement and ennoblement as life peer with the title Baron Vincent of Coleshill, of Shrivenham in the County of Oxfordshire, he was appointed to the ceremonial role of Master Gunner of St James' Park, a post he held until 2000.