General John McColl was commissioned into the 1st Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment in 1973.  His early career included the usual Regimental appointments before attending the Army Staff Course in 1984.

On completing the staff course he served as a staff officer in Germany.  He joined the 2nd Battalion as a rifle company commander in 1987, serving in Colchester and Celle.  In 1989 he was posted to the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment to command a Challenger squadron, followed by a tour at the Staff College as a member of the Directing Staff.

In 1992 he assumed command of the 2nd Battalion, based in Celle.  His command included operational deployments to East Tyrone and with the UN in Bosnia, as well as BATUS.  On leaving command in 1995 he was appointed Chief of Staff 1st (UK) Armoured Division, returning to Bosnia as part of NATO's Peace Implementation Force (IFOR) in 1996.

From 1997 to 1999, he commanded the 1st Mechanized Brigade based in Tidworth, followed by a posting to HQ Land Command as ACOS Commitments until 2000, a period which included the Kosovo and Sierra Leone deployments.  Promoted to Major General, he was appointed to command 3rd (UK) Division in 2000.

As GOC of 3rd (UK) Division, he commanded the British-led deployment to Kabul in 2002 which established the International Security Assistance Force.  In 2003, Lieutenant General McColl was appointed Commandant of the Joint Services Command and Staff College in Watchfield.  After a year in post he was sent to Baghdad as the Deputy Commander of the Multi National Force Iraq.  He assumed his current post as Commander Regional Forces within Headquarters Land Command in Wilton in 2004.  In early 2005 he took on the additional appointment of The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan, which ended with the deployment of HQ ARRC in April 2006.  He has been selected to be DSACEUR in Oct 2007.

Lieutenant General McColl is the Colonel Commandant of the Queen’s Division and Colonel of the Royal Anglian Regiment.  He is a Trustee of Dean Close School Cheltenham.  His interests include reading, golf and running very slowly.  He is married to Gene, a primary school teacher, and has three children.