Serving to Lead charts the career of one of the most senior officers in modern British Army history. It is a must-read for anyone interested in gaining a considered but accessible ‘insider view’ of the military and our Parliamentary traditions. Lt Gen Sir Freddie Viggers KCB CMG MBE DL completed 36 years’ military service before joining Parliament as Black Rod in 2009.
Exploring themes of ‘lessons learned’ through Service and leadership, this memoir covers important moments in our country’s defence history and in which Sir Freddie played key roles, including the Northern Ireland Troubles, the civil war and rebuild of Bosnia, and the aftermath of the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, where he was the most senior British Army officer on the ground. The book also explores the Army’s 21st century ‘people’ challenges encountered in the role of Adjutant General, fighting to improve the lot of soldiers and their families. It includes his evidence to the Iraq Inquiry.
The author’s experiences in Westminster give fascinating insight to the House of Lords and the role of Black Rod, a job from which he was forced to retire in 2010 following a devastating stroke. As with all anecdotes in this book, Sir Freddie’s long road back to recovery is recounted with humour and candour, alongside his approach to living a fulfilling retirement - despite his significant health limitations - through enduring regimental connections and recent charitable work.