Raised on the Wirral and educated at Birkenhead School, Paul Stroude joined the Royal Navy in 1991. Following basic sea training he read Naval Architecture and Shipbuilding at the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, graduating with Honours in 1995.
During a varied seagoing career as a surface Warfare Officer he has served in all of the world's oceans, in cooperation with numerous allies and partners, and accumulated operational experience in theatres ranging from Hong Kong, to the coast of the former Yugoslavia (Op GRAPPLE 1993), Northern Ireland (Op SEALION 2002-03), Iraq (Op TELIC 2007 and 2008) and the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean (Op KIPION 2011-12 and 2016). He commanded the Northern Ireland patrol vessel HMS BREGON (2002-03), the Type 23 frigate HMS ARGYLL (2010-12) and, as Captain Anti-Submarine Warfare, the Type 23 frigate HMS PORTLAND (2015-17).
Broadening roles have included the UK Maritime Battle Staff (2007-09), Directing Staff on the UK Advanced Command and Staff Course (2012-14), and in the MOD's Operational Capability auditing team (2014-15). He completed the Higher Command and Staff Course in 2019.
Since 2017 he has specialised in capability and the management of Defence, first as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff to the Maritime Capability division of Navy Command Headquarters (2017-18) and then as Captain Navy Plans within MOD's Finance and Military Capability team (2019-21). He was appointed Head of Joint Plans on promotion to Commodore in February 2021.
Married, with two young daughters who dominate his free time, he now lives in Hampshire and, when able, enjoys sailing, DIY, reading and skiing.