British Army, 77th Brigade, Lt Col (now Brig) Alastair Aitken (Crown Copyright)

CBE for Former 77th Brigade Commander

Brigadier Alastair Aitken Recognised in New Year Honours

The former commanding officer of the British Army’s 77th Brigade, Brigadier Alaister Aitken OBE was promoted to Commander in the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).

Brigadier Aitken was named in the New Year Honours List for 2018, along with over a hundred other Armed Forces personnel.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

Our Armed Forces are the best in the world, and the men and women receiving honours today have gone above and beyond the call of duty in order to keep this country safe. Their diligence and dedication in the line of service has been unwavering and ensured that Britain remains ready as we face intensifying threats at home and abroad.

Aitken was commissioned into the 1st Battalion, The Black Watch, in 1988 and served in a series of posts with his regiment in Northern Ireland, Germany, Scotland, Hong Kong and Bosnia. He later served in Iraq, commanded The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland and was awarded the OBE for his work in Afghanistan.

Brig. Aitken was responsible for creating the new Brigade, a specialist information activities and stabilisation unit, out of the Security Assistance Group in 2015. The high-profile reformation was extensively covered in the media, with headlines talking of ‘Facebook Warriors’ and ‘Twitter Troops’.

According to the British Army website, the 77th Brigade is a combined Regular Army and Army Reserve unit designed to meet the challenges of modern warfare using non-lethal engagement and legitimate non-military methods to influence the behaviour of opposing forces and adversaries.

In 2017, Brig. Aitken left the British Army, handing over command of the 77th Brigade to Brig. Christopher Bell.

Sources: MOD; British Army

Image: then Lt Col. (now Brig.) Alastair Aitken (Crown Copyright).