|Born||1969 Truro, Cornwall|
|Father||Rear-Adm Sir Robert Nathaniel WOODARD KCVO DL (1939 – ?)|
|Mother||Rosamund Lucia GIBBS (1941 – ?)|
Jolyon took over as Captain of Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in September 2016.
We show below his official biography taken from the BRNC website, and add our congratulations on his appointment.
Jolyon Woodard was born in Truro in 1969. He was educated at Lancing College, Sussex (1982-87), and studied Economics and Geography at Exeter University (1988-91). He joined BRNC through the Bursary scheme in September 1991 as a short career pilot.
Jol was awarded his Pilot’s ‘Wings’ in November 1993, picking up the Bell Davies trophy in the
process as the best aviator qualifying for Wings that year. During a subsequent holdover (prior to
operational flying training), he served as the Royal Barge Officer in HMY BRITANNIA (1994) during
which time he gained his Bridge Watch-keeping ticket. He went on to join the ‘Jungly’ Commando
Helicopter Force (CHF) as a Sea King pilot in 1995.
Woodard remained with the Junglies as a line pilot and Flight Commander without a break until
2001. He served a further 3 tours in the CHF between 2003-2012, which included tenures as Senior Pilot 846 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) and Commanding Officer (CO) 845 NAS. Extensive operational service (afloat and ashore) during that 17-year period included the Balkans, Northern Ireland, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Libya.
Jol has been fortunate enough to have held a number of command appointments, many of
which have been operational. As a Flight Commander he headed up two aviation detachments to Bosnia. As Senior Pilot 846 NAS he led the first Jungly Sea King deployment into Afghanistan (2007). His tenure as CO 845 NAS (2010-12) was defined by continued operations in Afghanistan and command of HMS OCEAN’s Air Group for Op ELLAMY (Libya) in 2011, comprising over 300 personnel, 5 UK helicopter types from the 3 Services, plus a US detachment.
Although his sea time has been somewhat curtailed by over a decade of Land Campaigns, Jol has
served in and on a variety of HM ships including: BRITANNIA, FEARLESS, ILLUSTRIOUS, INVINCIBLE, OCEAN, BULWARK, ALBION and RFA FORT ROSALIE. He also served on detached operations aboard HNLMS ROTTERDAM.
Jol has held a number of staff appointments, some of them operational. His first was as an SO3 in the Joint Helicopter Command HQ (2002). As an SO2 he served both as Ops Officer Joint Helicopter Force (Northern Ireland) (2003-5) and Ops Officer CHF HQ (2005-7). It was during this period that he transferred to a Full Term Commission. He was next assigned as Military Advisor to the Head of the Fleet Air Arm (2008), after which he attended Advanced Command and Staff Course 12 (2008-9). He served in the MoD’s Operations Directorate (2012-13), in the Afghanistan policy and strategy team. Promoted Captain in 2013, he spent 3 years in Army HQ as Assistant Head Air Manoeuvre Capability Development before becoming the luckiest man alive and taking up his current assignment, Captain BRNC, in September 2016.
Jol is a keen fly fisherman, amateur golfer, and novice triathlete. He is married to Tilda, a Personal Trainer, qualified helicopter instructor and member of the Royal Naval Reserves. They have two daughters, Anastasia (2004) and Josephine (2006).