22 SAS Handley, David

Beyond the Chindwin
By Bernard Fergusson
War Paint
By Bill Goshen

Craig Robertson

Staff member
  • UNIT
22 SAS
  • RANK
Warrant Officer Class 1
Member of the Order of the British Empire
London Gazette 48837, 30th December 1981, Page 6


Member of the Order of the British Empire :

W01 HANDLEY is currently serving as the Regimental Sergeant Major of 22 Special Air Service Regiment. He will shortly complete 22 years of unbroken service in the Army, 12 of which have been on continuous service with 22 SAS.

W01 HANDLEY has been an outstanding RSM in ever respect, and has through out his career set the highest professional standards as a soldier. He has displayed a devotion to duty and a loyalty that has been an inspiration to soldiers and officers alike over the years. He has served with distinction in the forefront of many operations, including numerous tours of duty in BORNEO, NORTHERN IRELAND and OMAN, where he played an important part in the historic battle of Mirbat in 1972 in DHOFAR. During the many operations in which he has taken part, he has consistently acted without regard to his own personal safety or interests and has always led from the front. In the many years that he spent with a Sabre Squadron he has never missed an overseas tour with his men. This has meant considerable sacrifice and hardship for his family which he has never allowed to affect his commitment to the Regiment. His leadership by example, and ability to pass on the benefits of his experience to younger men, have left a clear and lasting impression on his Squadron and more recently on the Regiment. For example, whilst he has been RSM the Regiment will have achieved an unequalled record of success in the field of counter-terrorism, with a record number of terrorists being killed or captured in GREAT BRITAIN and NORTHERN IRELAND, and as RSM he must take a substantial share of the credit for this.

He has played a key role in the selection and training of new officers and men for the Regiment. His firm manner and wise guidance have proved to be of invaluable help and encouragement to numerous people who have attempted to join the Regiment. Subsequently he has made it his personal concern to ensure that every man maintains the high standards of excellence once they become fully qualified members of the Regiment.

Additionally his management of the Sergeants' Mess 22 SAS has been particularly outstanding both on the professional and social level. He has generated an unparalleled sense of purpose and spirit of enthusiasm and enjoyment amongst the senior non-commissioned officers which has permeated throughout the Regiment.

W01 HANDLEY has given consistently outstanding service to his country over many years, and has been a key figure in influencing many nationally important areas of work carried out by this Regiment. The high reputation that the Regiment enjoys throughout the world today owes much to his personal efforts and standards. It is therefore strongly recommended that his contribution be recognised by the appropriate award.

Place : Hereford
Date of Action : January 1979 to date (1982)
How Employed : SAS TPR, NCO, TP SGT, RQMS and RSM 22 SAS