Michael Harwood retired from the Royal Air Force in July 2012 after thirty-four years' service. As an RAF pilot (principally on Harriers), he flew, instructed, and also tested innovative tactics and new equipment at the Strike Attack Operational Evaluation Unit at Boscombe Down. His extensive time in the Gulf was complemented by staff tours at the Permanent Joint Headquarters at Northwood and the RAF HQ at High Wycombe.
At the Joint Services Command and Staff College Shrivenham, he was responsible for three aspects of education: primarily as director, higher command and staff course; but also air power teaching in the round (for all courses), and a short defence module designed for warrant officers from all three services.
In his final tour, probably his favourite of his entire career, he headed the British Defence Staff in the United States (based in Washington DC but with responsibilities across the whole country) and represented the UK in the United Nations' Military Staff Committee.
Out of uniform now, with his own company, Matrix Blue Ltd, he has the basis from which to write, teach and engage with educational establishments and organizations across the world.
As a reservist, he flies Royal Air Force Air Cadets in the Grob Tutor light aircraft and does all he can to encourage good citizenship and a spirit of adventure through aviation, both civil and military.
He has also joined the Board of Directors of The Military Mutual, alongside trusted 'old' colleagues from the Royal Navy and British Army, a new financial services company designed for 'the Military Family'.