Rear Admiral Simon Charlier was educated at Dover College and joined the Royal Navy in 1978 at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. His appointments as a Midshipman were spent in Her Majesty’s Ships SIRIUS, BRINTON and BRISTOL.
In 1979 he joined HMS STUBBINGTON followed by a further sea appointment in HMS APOLLO during the Falklands Campaign in 1982. Awarded his pilot’s wings in 1983 he subsequently joined 829 Naval Air Squadron to fly the WASP and LYNX helicopters. His flying posts included serving as Flight Commander in HMS AJAX, HMS ROTHESAY, HMS GALATEA and finally, in 1986, HMS NEWCASTLE.
In 1989 he took his first command in HMS SHERATON deploying to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe during which time he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. In 1991 he moved to the Ministry of Defence to work for the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral Sir Benjamin Bathurst.
Rear Admiral Charlier returned to flying the Lynx helicopter in 1992, as Senior Pilot of 815 Squadron, at Royal Naval Air Station Portland. After completing the Royal Naval Staff course at Greenwich in 1995, he took command of the Frigate HMS NORTHUMBERLAND, deploying to the South Atlantic, followed by 7 months in NATO’s Standing Naval Force Mediterranean.
After a short spell on the Staff of Flag Officer Naval Aviation running the aviation programme, Rear Admiral Charlier returned to the Ministry of Defence when he joined the Directorate of Naval Plans and Programme in October 1998. This was followed by a post as Assistant Director in the NATO and European Policy Group in May 2000, on promotion to Captain. In 2002 Rear Admiral Charlier took command of HMS CORNWALL as Flag ship to NATO’s Standing Naval Force Atlantic with deployments to the Mediterranean, Baltic, Russia and the USA. Following this period of ship Command he returned to his flying roots in the post of Commodore Fleet Air Arm and Assistant Chief of Staff (Aviation) in 2004. In 2006 he was appointed as Aide de Camp to Her Majesty The Queen and became Fleet ACOS(Resources & Plans) managing the £3.2 Bn RN budget. Promoted to Rear Admiral in 2008 as CINC Fleet’s Chief of Staff (Aviation) he once again commanded the Fleet Air Arm and was responsible for generating the RN aviation and UK Aircraft Carrier capability, delivering the centenary Celebrations marking 100 years since formation of the Fleet Air Arm. His final post in the Royal Navy was Director Operations in the Military Aviation authority establishing the first regulatory body for all Military Aviation where he was subsequently awarded the CBE. He joined MBDA as the Senior Defence and Political Adviser (UK) in 2013.
Simon is a Freeman of the City of London, Fellow of the RAeS, Upper Freeman of GAPAN and chairman of the FAA OA. He is married to Anna with three children, Nicholas 24, Alexandra 22 and Harry 20. He is President of the Combined Services and Royal Navy Equestrian Associations and a keen competitor himself riding for the Royal Navy team. When not on a horse his recreations are spectator rugby, golf, sailing, and tinkering with a Clarinet.