Major General Roddy Porter was educated at Sherborne School, the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (where he read for a BA (Honours) degree in German and Medieval History). After 31 years in the British Army, he assumed the appointment of Director-General, The Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL), in October 2011.
ROSL was founded in 1910 and is a non-profit Commonwealth private members organisation, committed to supporting international understanding and friendship through social, music, arts and welfare activities.
ROSL offers its members a variety of benefits including: centrally-located private clubhouses with luxury accommodation overlooking Green Park in London, and on Princes Street in Edinburgh; reciprocal arrangements with over 80 clubs worldwide; a vibrant music, art and events calendar; and much more. The Director-General is responsible for the efficient management, leadership and marketing of all aspects of ROSL. He is also responsible for relations with national, Commonwealth and international bodies.
Major General Porter was commissioned into The Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1980, with whom he saw active service as a platoon commander, Adjutant, Company Commander and Commanding Officer on several tours of Northern Ireland and with the UN in Bosnia. On the staff of 4th Armoured Brigade, he served in the Gulf War of 1991 (Operation GRANBY/DESERT STORM) and in Bosnia in 1993-94; for service during the latter tour he was appointed MBE. He held three appointments in the Ministry of Defence and commanded an Infantry Brigade in Northern Ireland. Promoted to Major General in 2008, he worked for a year in the Multi National Force Headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, responsible to the Commanding General and American Ambassador for reconciliation initiatives with the Shia and Sunni militias. His final military appointment was Chief of Staff (Joint Warfare Development) in the Permanent Joint Headquarters, Northwood, responsible for tri-service operational training and readiness and GOC of UK military bases overseas (the Falklands, Gibraltar, Cyprus and Diego Garcia). He was Colonel of the Regiment, The Royal Welsh for six years.
General Porter is married to Marianne, a languages and music teacher; they have three sons. He enjoys most sports, especially golf, cricket, dinghy sailing and rugby. He is a Deputy President of the Army Rugby Union and a Vice Chairman of the Army Rugby Union Referees' Society and the Combined Services Rugby Referees' Federation. He is interested in ancient, medieval and military history, reading and music; he sings and plays the guitar and has learned the violin and saxophone in the past. He is President of the Armed Forces Christian Union, a Council Member of the Soldiers' and Airmen's Scripture Readers Association, a Vice President of SANDES Soldiers' and Airmen's Centres and a Patron of MPCT.