David Neild was born in Portsmouth in 1938, the second son of a Royal Naval Officer. In 1959 he joined the little-known Trucial Oman Scouts, a military force composed of British and Arab soldiers serving in the Trucial States – the states which would later become the UAE. At the age of 20 he was the youngest officer ever to serve in the TOS and it marked the beginning of a remarkable Arabian journey.
In the years between 1966 and 1972 he rose from Captain to Lt Colonel. He commanded the first Trucial Oman Scouts rifle squadron to be based in Ras Al Khaimah, where he formed a lasting friendship with the Ruler, His Highness Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi. Towards the end of 1968 HH Sheikh Saqr took the decision to establish his own independent Mobile Force and invited Neild to form and command it, provided he left the British Army. This was an offer he found impossible to refuse and he spent the next three years establishing a fully trained, effective force.
In 1972, Neild was asked to form and command the Sharjah National Guard. In 2013 he returned with his wife, Eileen, to the United Arab Emirates, where they reside today.
He is married with one daughter and two granddaughters and still enjoys a game of golf, despite an ever increasing handicap.