Patrick Cordingley commanded the 7th Armoured Brigade (the Desert Rats), comprising 5,000 men and equipped with tanks, armoured infantry, artillery, engineers and support services. In September 1990 Patrick took the Brigade, now increased to 12,000 men, to Saudi Arabia as Britain's initial ground contribution to the Gulf War. Patrick led the British and American attack which breached Iraq lines in February 1991.
Since the Gulf War, Patrick Cordingley has been much in demand as a lecturer around the world, talking on such subjects as leadership, control, team-building and decision-making. In 1997 he was voted by a major international computer company as one of the two best public speakers they had ever employed. He provided major international commentary including to Australia's ABC during Gulf War II.
After the war he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership and bravery and promoted shortly after this to General. His immediate superior was General Sir Peter de la Billiere, who commanded all British forces during the campaign. Afterwards he returned to England to set up the Combined Arms Training Centre at Warminster. He held the appointment for only ten months before being promoted to Major General to command the newly formed Eastern District with its Headquarters in York. From there Patrick was responsible for the training, operational readiness and logistic support for some 55,000 regular and TA soldiers and cadets.
In July 1996 he was appointed Military Advisor to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos and the Armed Forces of Oman. Apart from professional advice, including devising a procurement plan for all the three services, this appointment requires considerable political acumen, sensitivity to domestic and international pressures and diplomacy. Patrick's appointments include being Honorary Colonel at both The Royal Dragoon Guards and Bristol University Training Corps, and President of The Normandy Veterans' Association.
He is also undertaking a PhD, in his own time, titled "Decision Making in the Gulf Region During Times of Crisis".
In August 1996 he published In The Eye Of The Storm, his own account of leading Britain's biggest armoured deployment since D-day in 1944, which was a critical success and immediately became a best seller. It spans every aspect of his responsibilities from covering the tiniest detail through to the importance of being positive and inspiring confidence.
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