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David Chase

Highest ever ranked Black Commando, in charge of over 500 people in the RAF

Group Captain David Chase is the highest ranking black officer in the Royal Air Force, and one of the most senior black serving officers in the entire British military establishment. He is also the director of the Department of Specialist Ground Training at the RAF College in Cranwell, the equivalent of Sandhurst.

Captain Chase came to the UK from Guyana when he was five, and dreamed of being a pilot. However, when it was discovered that he was long-sighted, this put an end to his dream. Despite his disappointment, he went to study aeronautical engineering at Queens University, Belfast in order to work with aircrafts. He received his commission in 1975, and was awarded the distinguished Sword of Honour, which is bestowed upon the top cadet officer of the year.

Besides training future generations of RAF officers, David's career has taken him to most of the RAF's UK bases and overseas. Asked about the issue of being black in the UK armed forces, his response was: - "I certainly encountered no barriers to joining. And I have reflected back over the period I have been in the service on whether I have encountered discrimination and can honestly say I cannot identify any occasion when I thought this might have been a case in point. I try to educate people by simply being who I am".

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