Rear Admiral James Macleod

Rear Admiral James Macleod BEng(Hons) MSc MA CENG MIET, Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Personnel Capability), Ministry of Defence

Admiral James Macleod joined the Navy in 1989.  After completing a Naval Engineering degree he served in a number of sea and shore appointments as a Weapon Engineer Officer.  He read for an MSc in Systems Engineering at Cranfield University, before attending the Advanced Command and Staff Course in 2000, where he read for an MA in Defence Studies under King’s College London. On completion he served as the Weapon Engineer Officer onboard HMS WESTMINSTER.  

Promoted to Commander in 2003, he led the Warships in Harbour project at Abbey Wood and then worked in Force Development in the Defence policy area of the MoD. In 2007 he undertook a 6 month operational tour in Baghdad working as advisor on strategic infrastructure reconstruction to the Senior British Officer in Iraq. On return he served as Head of the Weapon Engineering Department in HMS ILLUSTRIOUS. Promoted to Captain in 2009, he worked as the Assistant Director Policy in the Naval Staff and was involved with the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), the subsequent Defence Reform Review and in developing the Future Navy Strategy.

Following a short tour in Abbey Wood delivering a workforce change programme he returned to the MoD in 2011 where he was responsible for Defence policy and Defence engagement activities across the Middle East and North Africa. This included developing the MoD strategy to support and advise wider Government policies in response to the Arab Spring. In March 2014 he took up the post of Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff in the Integrated Change Programme within Navy Command Headquarters, charged with delivering Defence Reform changes within the Headquarters. He was promoted in post to Commodore in November 2014. 

He is an alumni of the 2015 Royal College of Defence Studies course, graduating in July 2016.   Subsequent employment took him back into the MoD in charge of Service Personnel Pay, Allowance and Pension policy as Head of the Armed Forces Remuneration Team. Promoted to Rear Admiral in March 2019 he was appointed Defence Service Secretary and Assistant Chief of Defence Staff Personnel Capability in April 2019.

He is married to Charlotte and lives in southern England with their young family (son and daughter) and interests include gardening and turning old junk into new junk in his workshop.

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