David Julian Richards, General The Lord Richards of Herstmonceux GCB, CBE, DSO, DL (born 4 March 1952), is a retired senior British Army officer who was formerly the Chief of the Defence Staff, the professional head of the British Armed Forces and military strategic adviser to the British government as well as a member of the National Security Council. Richards served with NATO as a major general, and he commanded the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan as a lieutenant general in 2006/7. Richards became Commander-in-Chief Land Forces of the British Army in 2008 and held this role until 2009 when he was appointed Chief of the General Staff, the head of the British Army. He was appointed Chief of the Defence Staff the following year, retiring finally in July 2013. In 2014, Richards was created a Life Peer taking the title Baron Richards of Herstmonceux. He sits in the House of Lords as a crossbencher. His memoir 'Taking Command' was published to considerable acclaim in October 2014.