Mark Abrahams

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Wing Commander Mark Abrahams


Great Britain

Birth - Death



Notable Achievements



A Brigadier in the Royal Air Force, Mark Abrahams has been serving as International Military Trade Relations and Air Capabilities Advisor since 2022. Prior to this, he was Chief of Staff to 260 individuals that manages regional and civilian staff in ten regional headquarters and across the country and international headquarters in Asia. As the most senior LGBTQ officer in the Royal Air Force, he has become a role model for many in the armed forces around the world.

A graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1982, Mark joined the Royal Air Force in 1990 as a loadmaster on Chinook helicopters. He subsequently served tours of duty and commanded Chinook detachments in Germany, the Falkland Islands, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Northern Ireland, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

One of Abraham’s most courageous efforts came in 1998 when he led a helicopter rescue of fellow armed forces officers being held hostage by rebel forces in Sierre Leone. This manoeuvre was reported around the world for its successs and reflected Mark’s commitment to his fellow soldiers.

In 2006, Mark was second-in-command of 27 Squadron for the disaster relief efforts after the Pakistan-Afghanistan earthquake. His meritorious and distinguished service in this effort led to him being admitted as a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2008.

Mark Abrahams has always been an openly gay member of the armed services. As such, he took a leading role in the organization, recognition, and development of the LGBTQ contingent in the military. In 2000, Abrahams co-founded the Royal Air Force’s LGBT Forum which acts as the conduit between the Employment and Diversity staff and the group of members who proudly self-identify within the RAF. He has chaired the group since 2006.

These efforts have paid off for both Abrahams and the Royal Air Force. One of the first actions he took when he became chair of the RAF LGBT Forum was to convince the Service to allow its members to march openly in Pride Parades. At first, they were allowed to do so without uniform, but this policy also changed in 2008.

Abrahams became head of Employment, Equality and Diversity within the British Army in 2007. For the subsequent four years he was responsible for all equitable and inclusive conditions of employment and all aspects of employment including the practical application of employment law. In this role, Abrahams developed and delivered the Army's mediation capability as well as conceiving and introducing the Army's bullying and harassment & discrimination response ability. These were real and practical changes that greatly enhanced the working environment of his fellow service members and led to remarkable declines in harassment and bullying behaviour in the Army. As such, they have been repeated in other departments of the British armed services.

The accumulation of these particular efforts paid off when the Royal Air Force was recognized in 2011 entered Stonewall’s prestigious list of the UK’s Top 100 LGBTQ-friendly employers. Listing comes only after rigorous evaluation of an organization’s LGBTQ policies and actions, personnel support work, and engagement with members.

Mark Abrahams himself has appeared in the newspaper Independent on Sunday’s ‘Pink List’ every year since 2008. Strong leadership is a defining characteristic of an LGBTQ supportive employment policy, and having LGBTQ members at the highest level of seniority is imperative to understanding the needs and abilities of the LGBTQ employment group.

In 2011, Abrahams was recognized by the European Diversity Awards as their ‘Campaigner of the Year’ in recognition of his decade of work in bringing about positive change for armed services members who identify as LGBTQ. The organization particularly commented on the high esteem Abrahams has earned around the world, including the Pentagon in the United States who asked him to advise on the dismemberment of the restrictive ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy of discrimination against its own LGBTQ members.

Individuals such as Brigadier Mark Abrahams are living proof that sexual identity places no limitations whatsoever on an individual’s ability to serve its country in the most difficult of circumstances with courage, bravery, and consideration for the welfare of fellow citizens. Abrahams has taken this role further has become a role model and leader for service members around the globe.

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Further Reading/Research

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