Air Vice-Marshal Ross Paterson


Air Officer Scotland supports the Air Force Board Executive Committee, through the Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, in order to enhance the public image and positive awareness of the RAF across Scotland in line with the Defence Mission, the RAF Command Plan and the RAF Engagement Strategy by establishing and maintaining close liaison and working relationship with:

  • Leaders and Officials of the Scottish Government, Local Authorities and Community Councils
  • Lord Lieutenants
  • Regional senior Royal Navy and Army representatives
  • Academia
  • Industry
  • Charities (esp Service Charities)
  • Veterans


Paterson was commissioned in 1983 and spent his initial years in a variety of engineering training and then financial/change appointments across the Service, including RAF CosfordRAF College Cranwell and RAF Marham.

Subsequently responsible for RAF ground training policy, he secured significant in-house training efficiencies and created a marketing partnership for RAF training that continues to realise major benefits.  Paterson also served as a full member of RAF Leuchars Mountain Rescue Team, involved in numerous operational callouts. 

As Station Commander RAF Brampton/Wyton/Henlo, Patterson was responsible for the support of some 6000 military and civilian personnel at 4 separate sites, with 2 active airfields and a round trip of 150 miles between them all.  He then returned to Whitehall and, following promotion to air rank, provided the Defence lead for all personnel remuneration policy, including the introduction of a new Pension Scheme across the 3 Services. 

Patterson joined the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in the Cabinet Office advising on strategic leadership, before moving to HQ Air Command as Assistant Chief of Staff Personnel Policy (RAF).  Inter alia, this post provided key RAF policy input to the 2010 Strategic Defence Review, focusing on creating modern flexible employment models, work that has since been adopted defence-wide as core personnel policy.

As Chief Executive of the Service Personnel & Veterans Agency, Patterson was responsible for the handling of £15 billion of personnel costs and compensation via 5 UK sites and a worldwide self-service HR system (the largest of its type in Europe).  The ultimate ‘back office’ role, he also led UK Veterans welfare, the award of 150,000 medals each year, a 95 bed MOD care home for Polish veterans, and all compassionate handling for the UK forces worldwide, including all operational casualties.  

Air Vice-Marshal Paterson is married to Helen (a civilian Doctor) and has 2 sons, both now working as junior doctors.  Away from work, he enjoys restoring their 1750s family home near the Fife coast, and lists climbing the Matterhorn, recently retiling his roof and training his 2 working gun dogs amongst his greatest pleasures to date.

Career history

1998 - Moved to RAF Leuchars as Officer Commanding Administrative Wing

2003 - Promoted to serve in the Ministry of Defence Central Staffs,

2003 - Appointed Station Commander RAF Brampton/Wyton/Henlow

2009 - Joined Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit

2009 - Appointed HQ Air Command Assistant Chief of Staff Personnel Policy

2011 - Promoted to Air Vice-Marshal, Chief Executive of the Service Personnel & Veterans Agency

2015 - Retired and became Air Officer Scotland Part-Time Reservist


2001 - Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in

2014 - Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath

2016 - ADC to Her Majesty the Queen

2016 - Deputy Lieutenant for Fife

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