Born in North London in 1957, Group Captain Richard Castle was commissioned into the RAF in 1979 as a graduate from the University of East Anglia. Following tours at RAF Upavon, HQ Southern Maritime Air Region, TTTE Cottesmore and RAF Oakhanger he was promoted to squadron leader rank and, following a posting to RAF Uxbridge, was appointed to the MOD Protocol Office in 1990. In 1993 he attended the Master of Defence Administration course at RMCS Shrivenham where he was awarded the Stephen Humble Memorial Prize and the Chief of Defence Procurement Prize for his thesis on “Stress Management in the Royal Air Force”.
Following a tour within the RAF Personnel Management Agency Richard Castle attended the Joint Services Defence College at Greenwich in 1995 and, on promotion, was subsequently posted to be OC Administrative Wing at the C-130 Hercules base, RAF Lyneham. In 1998 he moved to the Service Personnel Policy Directorate in the Ministry of Defence before, in 2001, returning to the RAF Personnel Management Agency. He was promoted to group captain rank in January 2003 and took up post as the Senior Personnel Staff Officer, HQ Personnel and Training Command. He took up his current appointment as DACOS Personnel & Resilience Policy (RAF) at HQ Air Command in January 2006.
On 5 October 1999 Richard Castle was seriously injured in the Paddington Rail Disaster in West London. Following this episode, and his treatment for severe burn injuries, he undertook a part-time PhD research project at Cranfield University into the “Psychological Aspects of Burns Trauma”; this longitudinal study was based primarily on the experiences of other survivors of the Paddington Rail Disaster and was completed in 2006. Additionally, he was seconded to the Director General of Medical Services (RAF) staff for 9 months in 2005 to develop the concept of psycho-social rehabilitation within a holistic NHS Standard for Burn Care. A Chartered Psychologist, Richard Castle has also contributed to TV and radio programmes, conferences, training courses and the international media on the theory and practicality of the psychological effects of trauma. He remains a member of the NHS National Burn Care Review Psycho-social Rehabilitation Working Group and sits on the Advisory Council of Changing Faces, a national charity relating to disfigurement, and on the NHS South East Area Burns Panel.
Group Captain Castle lives in Stroud, Gloucestershire, with his wife (Olya), 2 year old son (Alex) and twin daughters (Laura and Eliane) born in January 2009. He is an avid supporter of the Arsenal Football Club; other hobbies include Nordic Walking, Petanque, Wildlife and Gardening.