Tim Collins was born in Belfast and educated in The Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Queen’s University Belfast where he read Economics. He was commissioned into the Army in 1981 and joined the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rangers in Berlin.
After completing several operational tours (including Northern Ireland and the Falklands) he became aide to the Chief of Staff in the UN in Cyprus. He served as a staff officer for a short period in 1992 before attending the Army Command and Staff Course where he gained an MA. He served in a variety of staff roles before returning to the Royal Irish Regiment as a company commander.
He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel at thirty-eight and was posted to London in December 1998. He assumed command of 1 R IRISH in January 2001, and led the Battalion in East Tyrone (where he was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service), on the Fireman’s strike and in Iraq during the Second Gulf War.
He was awarded the OBE in 2003. Promoted to Colonel, he was Project Director for the Peace Support Training Centre in Sarajevo and then took charge of training at HQ Land Command in December 2003.
He left the Army in August 2004. Tim’s autobiography Rules of Engagement was published by Headline in May 2005 and went straight onto the Sunday Times Bestseller
List at No. 3 where it stayed for several weeks.
Tim has been the subject of the BBC’s Real Story and has contributed as a talking head to a wide range of television programmes.
He has recently been engaged by, amongst others, the House of Commons,
The CIPS, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, the British North American Group, Avanta Management Services and Oxford and Cambridge Unions.