John Lorimer (British Army officer)

Lieutenant General Sir John Gordon Lorimer, KCB, DSO, MBE is a retired senior British Army officer, who served as the Chief of Joint Operations and the Defence Senior Adviser to the Middle East and North Africa. He was appointed Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man on 29 September 2021.

Sir John Lorimer
Lorimer in 2017
31st Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man
Assumed office
29 September 2021
MonarchsElizabeth II
Charles III
PremierHoward Quayle
Alfred Cannan
Preceded bySir Richard Gozney
Personal details
Born1962 (age 6061)
Alma materPembroke College, Cambridge
Military service
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Branch/serviceBritish Army
Years of service1981–2021
RankLieutenant General
CommandsChief of Joint Operations (2014–17)
Deputy Commander International Security Assistance Force (2013–14)
3rd (United Kingdom) Division (2011–13)
Task Force Helmand (2007)
12th Mechanized Brigade (2005–07)
3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment (2000–03)
Battles/warsThe Troubles
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Member of the Order of the British Empire

Early life

The son of Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Lorimer, John Gordon Lorimer was born in 1962.[1] He was educated at Marlborough College, an independent school in Marlborough, Wiltshire, from 1976 to 1981.[2] He studied Arabic and Islamic Studies at Pembroke College, Cambridge.[1][2]

Military career

Lorimer enlisted as a private soldier in 1981.[3] He was commissioned into The Parachute Regiment on 11 December 1982.[4] He was promoted to lieutenant on 11 December 1984, to captain on 11 December 1988 and to major on 30 September 1994.[5][6][7] After serving on operations in Northern Ireland,[8] he was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 30 June 1999 and commanded the 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment from 2000 to 2003, including operational deployments in Northern Ireland and Iraq.[9][10]

Lorimer was promoted to colonel on 30 June 2003.[11][12] He was then appointed Commander of 12th Mechanized Brigade in June 2005 and joined his brigade in Iraq later that year.[13] In September 2005, Lorimer commanded the operation that freed two Special Forces soldiers, who were being held hostage in a Basra police station.[14] Promoted to brigadier on 31 December 2005,[15] he was deployed to Afghanistan as commander of Task Force Helmand in April 2007.[16]

Promoted to major general on 23 November 2010, Lorimer was appointed as the Chief of the Defence Staff's Strategic Communications Officer[17] and the Ministry of Defence's Operational Spokesman.[18] He was appointed General Officer Commanding 3rd (UK) Mechanised Division on 6 June 2011.[19] Promoted to lieutenant general on 9 July 2013, he was appointed Deputy Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF),[20][21][22] taking over from Lieutenant General Nick Carter.[23]

Lorimer handed over his responsibilities of Deputy ISAF Commander to Lieutenant General Carsten Jacobson (Germany) in June 2014[24][25] and became Chief of Joint Operations in October 2014.[26] In January 2016, The Times newspaper listed Lorimer amongst Britain's 500 most influential role models.[27]

Lorimer took over as the Defence Senior Adviser to the Middle East in January 2018,[28][29] before handing over the role in February 2021.[30] Lorimer is a former Colonel Commandant of the Parachute Regiment[31] and President of the Army Rugby Union.[9][10] He retired from the British Army on 18 August 2021.[32]

Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man

In July 2021, it was announced that Lorimer would be the next Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man, succeeding Sir Richard Gozney.[33] He was sworn in as the 31st lieutenant governor during a ceremony held at Castle Rushen in Castletown, Isle of Man, on 29 September 2021.[34][35]


Lorimer was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1997 Birthday Honours.[36] He was appointed Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) on 7 March 2008 for service in Afghanistan the previous year.[37] He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2016 Birthday Honours.[38] He was granted permission to wear the United States' Legion of Merit in the Degree of Officer, awarded to him "in recognition of meritorious, gallant and distinguished services during coalition operations in Afghanistan", in April 2017.[39][40]


  1. "Afghanistan lecture". News. King's College London. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  2. "Politics Society: General Lorimer (OM)". Marlborough College. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  3. "From Private to Lt General, Para, British Army". British Army (Social Media). 30 June 2019. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  4. "No. 49265". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 February 1983. p. 2218.
  5. "No. 49987". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 January 1985. p. 199.
  6. "No. 51609". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 January 1989. p. 331.
  7. "No. 53807". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 October 1994. p. 13867.
  8. Campaigning and Generalship Seminars Archived 10 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine Oxford University, February 2011
  9. "John Lorimer | ParaData". Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  10. "Lieutenant General Sir John Lorimer KCB DSO MBE". ARU. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  11. "No. 55543". The London Gazette (Supplement). 6 July 1999. p. 7303.
  12. "No. 56986". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 July 2003. p. 8126.
  13. "Basra statement from Brigadier John Lorimer". The Guardian. 20 September 2005. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  14. Online, By Philippe Naughton, Times. "Letter shows that 'al Qaeda want to widen Iraq conflict'". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  15. "No. 57862". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 January 2006. p. 5.
  16. "Shura held in Sangin District Centre yesterday". NATO. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  17. "No. 59611". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 November 2010. p. 22517.
  18. Alford, Simon. "RAF used precision Brimstone missiles in Libya attacks". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  19. Service Appointments The Times, 8 April 2011
  20. Army Commands Archived 5 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  21. "NATO welcomes Lieutenant General John Lorimer as Deputy Commander ISAF". ISAF. July 2013. Archived from the original on 13 July 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  22. "No. 60563". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 July 2013. p. 13500.
  23. Haynes, Deborah (3 January 2014). "Britain is losing influence in Nato after troop cuts in Afghanistan, says general". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  24. ISAF welcomes new deputy commander
  25. "Service appointments: Army". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  26. "British Paras form elite force with US". Daily Express. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  27. Times, The Sunday. "Britain's 500 most influential". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  28. "General Sir John Lorimer in Lebanon, supporting LAF". British Embassy Beirut. 28 November 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  29. "General Sir John Lorimer in Dubai, supporting weapons sales". DSAME_DEfence. 20 November 2019. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  30. "Defence Senior Advisor and his successor conclude visit to Egypt". GOV.UK. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  31. "Court Circular: January 20, 2021". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  32. "No. 63453". The London Gazette (Supplement). 24 August 2021. p. 14969.
  33. "Sir John Lorimer named as Isle of Man's new Lieutenant Governor". BBC News. 4 July 2021. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  34. "Isle of Man's new Lieutenant Governor begins role next month". BBC News. 18 August 2021. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  35. "Isle of Man's new lieutenant governor sworn in". BBC News. 29 September 2021. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  36. "No. 54794". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 June 1997. p. 6.
  37. "No. 58633". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 March 2008. p. 3612.
  38. "No. 61608". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2016. p. B3.
  39. "No. 61908". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 April 2017. p. 8516.
  40. "General Orders No. 2018–33" (PDF). Washington, DC: Headquarters Department of the Army. 29 November 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
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