Lieutenant Colonel Rachel Grimes is the military officer leading on the integration of Women, Peace and Security in UK Defence; her role is to ensure that strategic, and operational staff work considers the participation of women and the protection of civilians from human rights violations – particularly conflict related sexual violence. She is responsible for training and overseeing an architecture of trained officers who are familiar with UNSCRs on women, peace and security, human trafficking and children in armed conflict.
Rachel has served in the British Army for twenty-four years and deployed on eight missions. She served in Northern Ireland in the 90’s, experiencing counterinsurgency from a Platoon Commander’s perspective. As a Captain she served in Bosnia working as a media operations officer and continued to work in this area in Iraq 2003. She has twice served in Afghanistan in Kandahar and Helmand Provinces – applying her understanding of counterinsurgency to Information Operations in 2007 and as a liaison officer to Afghan, US and British troops in 2011. Rachel spent 2014 in the Democratic Republic of Congo initially employed as the MONUSCO military Intelligence Analyst but then extending to become the first Military Child Protection and Gender Adviser in the military component. In 2015 Rachel deployed to northern Iraq and was part of a training team attached to the Peshmerga forces. Her time was spent training the Peshmerga to liaise with UN and NGO agencies working on women’s rights, to consider protection of civilians strategies and to respond to survivors of conflict related sexual violence appropriately. The last three years were spent in the UN HQ working at the Department for Peacekeeping Operations as the military Gender and Protection Adviser.
Rachel has served on the NATO Committee for Gender Perspectives, has a Masters of Science in International Relations and wrote her dissertation on the principles of counterinsurgency and military masculinity.