Robert Kershaw was commissioned into the Parachute Regiment and joined 2 PARA in South Armagh in 1972.
Following a tour at Depot PARA in 1976 he moved to 3 PARA with the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) as an anti-tank platoon commander and completed a further Northern Ireland tour in Belfast prior to his appointment as Adjutant to 15 PARA (SV) in Glasgow.
After language training in 1981 he completed the Joint Service German General Staff Course at the FÃ¼hrungsakademie at Hamburg. Returning to regimental duty in 1983, he commanded a rifle company in 1 PARA, then in the Ace Mobile Force Land (AMF (L)) role, completing two winters in Norway.
In 1986 he was selected to set up the British Liaison officer post at the German Infantry School in Hammelburg for which he was appointed Local Lt Col.
Returning to England in 1988 Kershaw was appointed second in command 1 PARA then the Leading Parachute Battalion Group (LPBG) and served another tour in South Armagh. In 1990 he moved to RHQ PARA as the SO2 COS of the Parachute Regiment Group (PRG); appearing on the Pink list the same year.
During Op GRANBY (the first Iraq War) he was appointed Local Lt Col again and sent as the SO1 G3 Operations to VII (US) Corps. Acting as the Liaison Officer between the Corps Commander and GOC 1 (UK) Armoured Division he participated in the invasion of Iraq with the Forward Tactical Corps Headquarters. He was subsequently awarded the US Bronze Star.
The Joint Service Defence College course at Greenwich followed and a training team study in the United Arab Emirates, before assuming command of 10 PARA in July 1992.
After command he served as SO1 Military Assistant (MA) to COMLANDCENT in 1995 and MA to the CINCENT in the following year. In 1997 he was promoted to Colonel completing a tour as Chief G3 Information Operations with the NATO HQ Stabilisation Force (SFOR) at Sarajevo.
This was followed by Commander Army Training Estates (ATE), which oversees all the training areas and ranges in the UK under Training Support Command (Land) based at Warminster.
In 2001 he was appointed Deputy Commander of the British Military Advisory Training team (BMATT) in South Africa and then Commander of the British Peace Support Team (BPST) that replaced it. His final posting was Executive Officer to the Intelligence Division for the Military Committee at HQ NATO in Brussels, retiring in 2006.