North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Vice Admiral Bennett joined the Royal Navy in September 1985 and has enjoyed an extensive sea going career. He has commanded at every rank: HMS BITER, the patrol vessel of the Manchester Universities Royal Naval Unit (1991-1992); the Minehunter, HMS ATHERSTONE (1998-1999); and the destroyer HMS EXETER, (1999 – 2000) which included a return to the Gulf. As a Captain, he was the first Commanding Officer of HMS DARING, the first T45 Destroyer (2008-2009), and following promotion to Commodore, he commanded the Amphibious Task Group operating in the Indian Ocean, Norwegian Arctic and on the West Coast of the USA (2009-2011). Finally as a Rear Admiral, he commanded the UK Maritime Battlestaff and NATO High Readiness Force (Maritime) (2017-2018).
Interspersed between sea going appointments, he has served ashore as the Fleet Operations Officer; the Maritime Desk Officer to the Director of Operational Capability in the MOD; as capability manager in Navy Command for Above Water Capability and Maritime Security, for which he was honoured as an OBE; and for 6 months in Baghdad, as the Advisor to the senior Iraqi hierarchy in their Joint Headquarters. From 2011-2013, he was the Commodore Naval Personnel Strategy, responsible for reshaping the Naval Service in the aftermath of SDSR 10.
Promoted to Rear Admiral in February 2013, he was appointed as Director of the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre; Chief of Staff, Joint Forces Command, ACNS(Cap) and Chief of Staff Navy Command HQ; and, most recently, Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces and Rear Admiral Surface Ships. Her Majesty The Queen appointed him as a Companion in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath in the Birthday Honours 2016. He became Chief of Staff Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk Virginia in July 2018.
Vice Admiral Bennett is an alumnus of Higher Command and Staff Course (2007) and the Windsor Leadership Trust. He is a Younger Brother of Trinity House and a Liveryman of the Carpenters’ Company. He lives in the US with his wife Kay, occasionally joined by their two grown-up daughters Chelsie and Grace. He maintains ‘enthusiastic amateur status’ in his sporting interests of road and mountain-biking, sailing and rowing.