Imperial College London. Royal Air Force College Cranwell.
He was a fast jet pilot in the late 1970s and 1980s, saw active service during the Gulf War and then went on to higher command. He was the air component commander on Operation Telic (British operations in Iraq) and served as chief of the air staff, the professional head of the Royal Air Force, from 2006 to 2009. In that role Torpy hosted the Royal Air Force"s biggest air display in two decades, and argued for consolidation of all British air power in the hands of the Royal Air Force.
Torpy joined the Royal Air Force as a pilot officer on 8 September, 1974, and spent his early career, after he left the Royal Air Force College Cranwell, undertaking flying duties in Jaguar aircraft before qualifying as a weapons instructor on Hawk aircraft.
He was promoted to flying officer on 8 March, 1975, with seniority backdated to 8 June, 1973, flight lieutenant on 8 December, 1975, and squadron leader on 1 July, 1983.
Torpy"s early commands included a tour as a squadron leader in Tornado aircraft before being appointed Officer Commanding Number. 13 Squadron in 1989. Having been promoted to wing commander on 1 July, 1989, Torpy saw active service during the Gulf War with Number.
He was made personal staff officer to the Air Officer Commanding Royal Air Force Strike Command in 1992. Promoted to group captain on 1 July, 1993, Torpy was appointed station commander at Royal Air Force Bruggen, Germany, in 1995.
After promotion to air commodore on 1 January, 1997, he attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1997.
Torpy was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2000 New Year Honours and became Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Operations) at the Ministry of Defence in 2000. From 2001 to 2003 Torpy was Air Officer Commanding Number. 1 Group, and also served as the air component commander for Operation Telic (British operations in Iraq).
He was awarded the Legion of Merit (Degree of Officer) from the United States in "recognition of gallant and distinguished services during coalition operations in Iraq" in 2003.
He was promoted to air vice marshal on 1 January, 2001, and to air marshal on 18 July, 2003. From 2003 to 2004 Torpy was deputy commander-in-chief at Royal Air Force Strike Command.
On 26 July, 2004, he was appointed chief of joint operations at the Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 2005 New Year Honours.
With promotion to air chief marshal on 13 April, 2006, Torpy became Chief of the Air Staff and an air aide-de-camp to Her Majesty the Queen on 13 April, 2006.
In July, 2008, Torpy hosted the Royal Air Force"s biggest air display in two decades, as a 35-mile long procession of aircraft flew past the queen to commemorate the service"s 90th anniversary. Controversially, in June, 2009, he argued for consolidation of all British air power in the hands of the Royal Air Force, effectively questioning the future of the Royal Navy"s jet aircraft. Torpy retired from the Royal Air Force in July, 2009, and became senior military advisor to British Aerospace Systems.
He is also Chairman of the Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum and a governor of Haberdashers" Aske"s Boys" School.