After being commissioned from Sandhurst in 1969 Bob Stewart was an infantry officer for the next 26 years with the Cheshire Regiment. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1971, and 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 International Politics. He was promoted to captain in 1975.
During his early military career Bob guarded Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess in Spandau Prison, Berlin. At various times he was an intelligence officer and company commander in Northern Ireland (3 years of operational tours), a Sandhurst instructor, staff officer in Military Operations within the MOD and Military Assistant (Lieutenant Colonel) to the Chairman of NATO's Military Committee in Brussels.
In 1991, Bob Stewart assumed command of 1st Battalion the Cheshire Regiment. As Commanding Officer he was the first British Commander under United Nations command in Bosnia during 1992-93. On returning from Bosnia he was awarded the DSO (Distinguished Service Order). Promoted to Colonel, he then took up the appointment of Chief of Policy at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe.
Col Bob Stewart left the British Army in 1995 to become Senior Consultant in the Public Affairs and Corporate Policy Division of Hill & Knowlton. His specialisation there were Government Relations and Marketing as well as Security, Crisis Management and Negotiation. His clients included the Government of Egypt, the Government of Canada, AMEX, and the Paper Federation of Great Britain.
In 1998 he was appointed Managing Director of WorldSpace UK Ltd, a digital radio satellite broadcasting company that operates across the World. On the WorldSpace broadcasting system he set-up and ran the transmission of 21 radio stations internationally from London including CNN and BBC World Service. In 2001 he left WorldSpace to be a freelance consultant - specialising in Leadership, Security, Intelligence, Motivation, Crisis Management, and Hostage Negotiation.
Bob Stewart's book 'Broken Lives', about command during the Balkan War, sold well. He often appears on TV and radio and was an ITV Channel anchor during the Gulf War. In 2004 he wrote and presented a 60 minute BBC film on 'Military Principles in Business'.
Bob Stewart writes occasionally for national newspapers; including The Guardian, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and The Herald. He has been a Chairman of the Independent Defence Media Association, representing freelance British Defence and Security journalists. He is also an Industrial Fellow of Kingston University Business and Law School.
In 2010, a new chapter in Bob's career opened when he was elected as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Beckenham, Kent. Bob Stewart had been involved in politics, in one way or another, for many years, having met and or briefed every prime minister since Ted Heath in the early 1970's.
In the British 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. Col. Bob was also a 'Talking Head' for the Ministry of Defence for seven years.