Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has been officially enrolled into the Royal Air Force as an Honorary Group Captain.
Qualified commercial pilot and fencing aficionado Bruce was attested as an Hon. Group Captain by the RAF on Monday (6th January) and he’ll now be known as Hon. Group Captain Paul Bruce Dickinson.
A post on the Royal Air Force Fencing Facebook page yesterday morning confirmed that Bruce will attend the RAF Fencing Open, which takes place in late June just two weeks after Iron Maiden headline Download Festival.
It reads: “Royal Air Force Fencing is delighted to announce that Bruce Dickinson will be attending the RAF OPEN in June this year.
“Alongside being well known for being classic rock band Iron Maiden’s lead singer, Bruce is a keen and avid fencer and pilot with many affiliations with the Royal Air Force after being attested as an Hon. Group Captain yesterday!
“Bruce started fencing at 13 at Oundle School after being convinced by a metalwork teacher. When he got into fencing he realised that it was more about physical training, but gave the brain exercise as well "because it seemed like a romantic, melodramatic form of combat"... we hear you Bruce!!!
Bruce Dickinson the pilot © PA Images
“He is just one of the many inspirational and high profile fencers we are reaching out to to attend the event.
“On April 26 2013 Bruce fenced Olympic winner Bartosz Piasecki in Oslo prior to the start of the Norwegian fencing championship. Bruce did well during the warm-up sessions but was defeated as soon as the match kicked off.
“Piasecki had this to say about his opponent: ‘He's kick-ass. He is short but incredibly fast, that's his weapon. He looked like Rocky when he arrived in a brown robe with his fencing kit in a shoulder bag.’”
Forces Network claims that Bruce could also compete at the Royal Air Force Fencing Open and also the RAF Championships.
The Royal Air Force Fencing Open takes place from 27th to 28th June. It’s highly unlikely Bruce will appear at the opening day as it clashes with Iron Maiden’s gig at Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Together with being an Iron Maiden legend, commercial pilot, fencer and RAF member, the multi-talented Bruce is also a successful beer brewer, broadcaster and author, amongst other things. He's also an honorary citizen of Sarajevo, in recognition of his famed 1994 show in the war-ravaged city.
All hail Hon. Group Captain Paul Bruce Dickinson!