Air Marshal SM Ziaur Rahman, ndc, fawc, psc was born in 1955 in an aristocrat Muslim family of Gopalgonj. He is a valiant Freedom Fighter. He fought as Guerilla Fighter at Dhaka area in Sector - 2 during the Liberation War of 1971.
Air Marshal Zia joined Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) on 10th March 1975 as a flight cadet and was commissioned in General Duties (Pilot) branch on 29th December 1976. During his long career, he has successfully completed various courses at home and abroad. He graduated from Defence Services Command and Staff College, Mirpur in 1991 and from Air War College, Pakistan in 1992. He also earned his M Sc degree in “Defence and Strategic Studies” from National Defence College, Pakistan in 2001. Later, he attended the “Executive Course” at Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Hawaii in 2003 and the “Military and Peace Keeping Operation in Accordance with Rule of Law Course” in Rhode Island, USA in 2006.
The Air Marshal is an acclaimed fighter pilot of BAF and logged nearly 2400 flying hours to his credit. Progressing through his career, he gained operational status in almost all types of fighter aircraft in BAF including MiG-21MF, A-5IIIA, F-6 and F-7MB. Being a “Qualified Flying Instructor”, he served both at home and abroad and carried out extensive instructional flying in various jet trainer and fighter aircraft, such as Fouga Magister, L-39ZA, FT-5, FT-6 and FT-7B.
Air Marshal Zia is well reputed in the Air Force as an honest, humble person and a responsible commander. In his long career, he has served in all the fighter squadrons of BAF in various appointments and assignments. He commanded 25 Squadron, BAF and 35 Squadron, BAF. Later in 1999, he commanded the Flying Wing of BAF Base Bashar at Dhaka. He served as Directing Staff and Senior Instructor in Defence Services Command and Staff College, Mirpur from 1994 to 1998. Besides, he also served as the Deputy Commandant of BAF Academy in 2000. He commanded almost all the Bases of BAF as Air Officer Commanding from 2001 to 2005. Before taking over as the Chief of Air Staff, he has been serving as Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Operations and Training) since 2005.
Air Marshal Zia is an avid golfer and takes keen interest in sports and games. Persuasion of knowledge through reading is his passion. He is happily married to Mrs Shameema Parveen and blessed with a daughter and a son.