Charity No: 1075109

Brigadier (Ret’d) Allan Thomson MSc MBA FIET CEng


Brigadier (Ret'd) Allan Thomson is Chief Executive of Aspire Defence Limited, which runs the Army’s estate in Aldershot, Tidworth, Bulford, Larkhill and Warminster.

After his 30 years in the Army and having benefited from services entertainment on operations, most recently in Afghanistan in 2011/12, Allan was keen to join BFF in order to ensure the Services continue to receive morale boosting entertainment

Although born in Edinburgh he spent his early childhood in Zambia before completing his schooling at Portobello High back in Edinburgh. Rugby was the main theme in his teenage years and he captained Royal High to victory in the Scottish equivalent of the Daily Mail cup.

Allan moved on to Edinburgh University to study Electrical Engineering. Between playing rugby and canoeing he joined the Royal Artillery Reserves. He ultimately served five years and reached the rank of Bombardier.

After University Allan entered the world of oil exploration and saw various extreme parts of the world. However, the pull of the Army was too strong and he resigned from the oil business, took a massive pay cut, and entered Sandhurst in 1989.

Allan volunteered for service with the Royal Marines and completed the first of three tours with 3 Commando Brigade RM, becoming Commando and Artic Warfare trained in the process. He then moved to Germany to gain armoured experience, which culminated in serving as the engineering officer for 4RTR and then the Queens Royal Lancers.

He then moved to HQ Land Command and became the SO2 J4 Ops for the Balkans between 1995-97. Attendance on ACSC 1 and a couple of masters degrees followed. After commanding a Royal Marine squadron, which included service at sea and in Sierre Leone and Kosovo, Allan took up his first acquisition staff job.

On promotion to Lt Col he became SO1 Programme in Army Resources and Plans. This involved running the Army’s three major budgets. This led to command and then promotion back into London as Colonel Army Equipment Plans. Allan then moved to the DE&S as COML/QMG’s financial programmer. He was selected as Commander Equipment Capability for Herrick 13/14, before venturing into the infrastructure world with the DIO where he produced the Army Basing Plan during an intense six month spell in 2012. On promotion to Brigadier in November 2012, Allan became Chief of Staff to QMG/COML in the DE&S. He left in June 2014 to join Aspire Defence as CEO.

Allan’s main interests are rugby where he was Chair of Army Coaching for six years and he is now back refereeing around Tidworth. Allan has picked up three masters degrees during his Army service (MSc in Engineering, MA in Defence Studies and a MBA) and is a Fellow of the IET. He is an amateur triathlete.

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