[Daily article] December 23: Richard Dannatt

Richard Dannatt (born 23 December 1950) is a retired senior British Army
officer who served as the Constable of the Tower of London from August
2009 to July 2016. He was commissioned into the Green Howards in 1971,
and his first tour of duty was in Belfast as a platoon commander. During
his second tour of duty, Dannatt was awarded the Military Cross. He
commanded 4th Armoured Brigade in 1994 during its peace operations in
Bosnia. In 1999 he simultaneously commanded 3rd Mechanised Division and
the British forces in Kosovo. After a brief tour in Bosnia, he was
appointed Assistant Chief of the General Staff. Following the attacks of
11 September 2001, Dannatt became involved in planning for subsequent
operations in the Middle East. As Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction
Corps from 2003, he led the planning for their deployments to Iraq and
Afghanistan. He was appointed Chief of the General Staff in 2006,
succeeding Sir Mike Jackson. Calling for improved pay and conditions for
soldiers, less military focus on Iraq, and more on Afghanistan, Dannatt
faced controversy over his outspokenness.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


Yohl Ik’nal acceded to the throne of the Maya city-state of


French Revolution: The Royalist counterrevolutionary army was
decisively defeated in the Battle of Savenay, although fighting
continued in the War in the Vendée for years afterward.


First World War: Allied forces gained a strategic victory in
the Battle of Magdhaba, located in the Sinai Peninsula.


A South African fisher discovered the first living specimen of
a coelacanth, long believed to be extinct.


Piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, the Rutan Voyager
became the first aircraft to fly around the world without stopping or
refueling, landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California after a nine-
day trip.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. Without fear; fearless, unafraid.
2. Wanting reverence; void of respectful fear; irreverent.
3. (obsolete) Inspiring no awe.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Unless we are willing to escape into sentimentality or fantasy,
often the best we can do with catastrophes, even our own, is to find out
exactly what happened and restore some of the missing parts —
hopefully, even the arch to the sky.  
–Norman Maclean

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