Born in 1950, Jonathon Band spent much of his early childhood abroad before returning to England for schooling at Brambletye and Haileybury. He joined the RN in 1967 and, having trained at BRNC Dartmouth, underwent Fleet training in ships in the Far East. This was followed by three years at Exeter University as an undergraduate.
After graduation he served in junior officer appointments in Her Majesty’s Ships LEWISTON and ROTHESAY and on exchange with the United States Navy in USS BELKNAP. This period saw service throughout the world. Following junior officer staff and warfare training in 1976-1977 he served for two years as Principal Warfare Officer and Operations Officer in the Frigate HMS ESKIMO. This appointment included deployments to the West Indies and South Atlantic.
Subsequently he commanded the minesweeper HMS SOBERTON for nearly two years in the Fishery Protection Squadron around the UK coast. Between 1981 and 1983 Jonathon Band served as Flag Lieutenant to Commander-in-Chief Fleet, a period which included the Falklands Campaign. Promoted Commander in 1983, he assumed command of the frigate HMS PHOEBE, operating in the NATO area. This was followed at the end of 1985 by attendance at the Joint Services Defence College and a subsequent appointment to the Defence Staff in the Ministry of Defence in the Directorate of Defence Policy.
Promoted Captain in 1988, he commanded HMS NORFOLK and established the first Type 23 Frigate Squadron. Thereafter, in 1991, he became the Assistant Director Navy Plans and Programmes in the Ministry of Defence, a period that saw the implementation of the “Options for Change” Review. In 1994 he was a member of the Defence Costs Study (Front Line First) Secretariat and, prior to returning to command at sea, attended the Higher Command and Staff Course. His last Sea Command was of HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, the aircraft carrier, between 1995 and 1997. The period included two operational deployments to the Adriatic in support of United Nations, and then NATO, operations in Bosnia.
Promoted Rear Admiral in May 1997, he returned to the Ministry of Defence as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff. This appointment included the period of the Strategic Defence Review and the Kosovo Campaign. He assumed the position of Team Leader of the Defence Education and Training Study in January 2000 on promotion to Vice Admiral. He became the Deputy Commander-in-Chief Fleet in May 2001 and was appointed a Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath in the 2002 New Year’s Honours List. He was promoted Admiral on 2 August 2002 on becoming Commander-in-Chief Fleet and Commander Allied Maritime Component Command Northwood. He was appointed First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff in February 2006. In the 2008 Birthday Honours List he was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath.
His hobbies and interests are family dominated and include travel, tennis, boating, and the odd game of golf. President of the Royal Naval and Royal Albert Yacht Club, he is Patron of the MTB 102 Trust. A Younger Brother of Trinity House and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, he is a Companion of the ILM and a fellow of the RSA and holds honorary doctorates from Exeter and Portsmouth Universities.