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Jeremy Mackenzie Biography
Born on the 11th of February in 1941, General Sir Jeremy John George Mackenzie, GCB, OBE, DL is a senior commander who retired from the British Army and served as the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander for Europe from 1994 until 1998.
Mackenzie was born in Nairobi, Kenya, on February 11, 1941. His father, Lieutenant Colonel John W.E. Mackenzie of the Seaforth Highlanders, was his father’s military title. Both the Duke of York School in Nairobi and the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst were his educational institutions of choice.
Mackenzie received his commission in the Queen’s Own Highlanders in July of 1961, and he was assigned to the 1st Battalion in Singapore at that time. After taking part in the operation to put down the Brunei Rebellion in 1962, he later served in the SAS in a post that involved training. In the year 1980, he was given the position of Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion. After completing his education at the Staff College in Camberley, he was promoted to the rank of Company Commander with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in Northern Ireland and promoted to the rank of Brigade Major with the 24th Airportable Brigade. When the commanding officer of the Queen’s Own Highlanders in South Armagh was killed in the Warrenpoint ambush of 1979, he was forced to take charge of the unit. At the time, he was serving as the second-in-command of the Queen’s Own Highlanders.
In 1980–1981, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire while serving as the Commanding Officer of the First Battalion of the Queen’s Own Highlanders in Hong Kong. After that, he worked as a professor at the Army Staff College at Camberley for a period of time, and he also held the rank of colonel while serving on the staff of the Ministry of Defense. In 1984, he was given the rank of brigadier and given the position of commander of the 12th Armoured Brigade. Beginning in March 1989, he was also given the position of commandant of the Staff College in Camberley. After that, in December 1989, he was promoted to the rank of major general and given the position of general officer commanding the 4th Armoured Division. On December 2, 1991, he was appointed the last commander of the 1st (British) Corps and given the acting rank of lieutenant general. In December of 1991, he was given the honor of being knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.
It was under his leadership that the Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps was established in 1992, and he served as its first Commander.
In 1994, he was promoted to the rank of full general and given the post of Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe. In this role, he was responsible for the Partnership for Peace Program as well as the expansion of NATO. Additionally, he was in charge of coordinating the deployment of 52,000 troops from 34 different countries into Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In addition to that, the Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons, and Camerons) were under his command as colonel from the years 1994 to 2001.
After having previously been honored with the United States Legion of Merit on two separate occasions (1997 and 1999), the Cross of Merit First Class of the Czech Republic, and the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary in 1998, he was elevated to the rank of Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the year 1999. In addition to that, he served as an Aide de Camp General to the Queen from 1992 to 1996, a Governor of the Royal Hospital Chelsea from August 1999 to September 2006, and a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London. All of these positions were held simultaneously. In 1999, he took his retirement from the service.
After retiring, Mackenzie assumed the role of chairman of both the footwear manufacturer UK Gear and the automobile company AC Cars (a car manufacturer). Additionally, he became a director for the film Blue Hackle (a security business).
He wed Elizabeth Lyon, whose maiden name was Wertenbaker, and the couple now has a son and a daughter.