The 2003 Alumnus of the Year was former head of the British Army, General Sir Mike Jackson (BSocSc Russian Studies,1967; LLD 2000), awarded in recognition of his illustrious military career.
Always a force to be reckoned with Sir Mike has never been afraid to speak his mind.
Born into a military family, he was commissioned into the Army at the age of 19 before undertaking his degree course at Birmingham. After a few years with the Intelligence Corps he rose to command the First Battalion of the Parachute Regiment between 1984 and 1986. He also commanded the 3rd (UK) Division, spent two years at the Ministry of Defence and served in Berlin and Northern Ireland.
Sir Mike commanded a NATO division in Bosnia, before he commanded the Alliance’s Rapid Reaction Corps. He won a Distinguished Service Order for his leadership of the Kosovo Force in the successful operation to end ethnic cleansing of Albanians in the former Yugoslav republic. He ended his military career as Chief of the General Staff - the professional head of the Army.
He now has a number of charitable and business interests.