Royal Navy: Who is the first Sea Lord? What is the role and when was it started

THE First Sea Lord is the professional head of the entire Royal Navy.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 5:00 pm
First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin pictured on HMS Prince of Wales. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The full title of the role is actually First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff.

Here is all you need to know about the role and the man that currently holds it.

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Who is the First Sea Lord?

Admiral Sir Antony David Radakin, KCB, ADC – known as Tony Radakin – is the current First Sea Lord.

When did he become the First Sea Lord?

He took over as the First Sea Lord in June 2019.

Who was the previous First Sea Lord?

Taking over as the First Sea Lord in 2019, Tony Radakin replaced Admiral Sir Philip Jones.

Adm Jones had served in the role for three years, and spent 41 serving his country in the navy in total.

What does the First Sea Lord do?

The First Sea Lord is the professional head of the entire Royal Navy. He is responsible to the Secretary of State for the fighting effectiveness, efficiency and morale of the Naval Service, and for supporting the management and direction of the Armed Forces.

He is also a member of the Defence Council and of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. He supports the Secretary of State in the management and direction of the Armed Forces, and advises on maritime strategy and policy.

When was the role of the First Sea Lord created?

According to The Admiralty. Offices of State by N.A.M Rodger the role was first created in 1689 but was called Senior Naval Lord to the Board of Admiralty at the time.

It became known as the First Sea Lord in 1904, when the name was changed by Sir John Fisher.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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