Bob comes from a Service background. His mother was a Special Operations Executive operative and his father was a signaller in RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War. Thereafter they met and married in Germany and his father became a regular RAF officer in peacetime. He spent his early childhood with them at RAF stations in the UK and Middle East before being sent away to boarding school. Red/green colour blind he was not able to follow his father into the RAF's Flying Branch so joined the Army.
After RMA Sandhurst he became an infantry officer and joined the Cheshire Regiment. In 1974 the Army selected him to go to university as an in-service degree officer at the University of Wales where he took a First. In total he completed over 3 years on operational tours in Northern Ireland. From 1992 to 1993 he was British United Nations Commander in Bosnia. After Bosnia he was awarded the DSO. His last international appointment was as Chief of Policy at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Belgium. He left the Army in 1996. For 3 years he was Senior Consultant for Public Affairs at Hill & Knowlton (UK) Ltd. In 1998 he became Managing Director of WorldSpace (UK) Ltd with responsibility for establishing satellite broadcasting worldwide. For the last 8 years he has been a freelance writer, broadcaster and lecturer.
Bob has been involved in politics, in one way or another, for a long time, having met and/or briefed every prime minister since Ted Heath in the early 1970s. In the Army all his staff jobs were either in the Ministry of Defence or at NATO headquarters where day-to-day life was highly political. After the Army he was a political consultant dealing with Westminster for three years. He has spoken five times at various Conservative Party conferences - including opening the main Defence debate. In 2005 he spent some time helping his friend, Adam Holloway MP, in his successful bid to take Gravesham constituency from the Labour Party. Bob was also a 'Talking Head' for the Ministry of Defence for seven years.