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'...Close protection is defined as the provision of armed or unarmed specialists to protect a nominated principal from harm' Excerpt from a Standing Committee on Army Organisation by the Director of Military Operations, dated 30 November 1979.
Richard Keightley was born in Reading, Berkshire and after education followed his grandfather and father into the British Army, enlisting in 1986 at Oxford. Following a year at the Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Armoured Corps in Bovington, Richard finished training with the Royal Military Police at Roussillon Barracks, Chichester in June 1987. He saw postings both at home and abroad and in 1992 he attended Close Protection Course Number 61 at Longmoor before joining the staff at the Operations Wing in Kimberley House. Although Richard has revisited General Police Duties on a regular basis, his Close Protection career has seen him deploy to Northern Ireland as the Brigade Commander's bodyguard as well as Algeria, Lebanon, Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, Iraq and Sudan in support of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Later in his career he saw a further tour of Iraq as Close Protection Team Leader to the Deputy Commanding General in Baghdad as well as a tour in Afghanistan as Team Leader for the NATO Ambassador, a four star appointment. Richard spent six years at the Close Protection Unit before being appointed Warrant Officer 1st Class (Regimental Sergeant Major) at 158 Pro Coy RMP in Bulford in January 2012. He left the army in 2014.