On his own account, Koca Sekbanbaşı (Çelebi Efendi) must have been born ca. 1718/9 (he claims to be eighty-seven years old when composing his treatise). He was participating in campaigns since 1733 and served continuously since 1768. In his career he had been held prisoner of the Russians (W. Wilkinson, An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, London 1820 (New York 1971), trans. as appendix, 239).
Based mainly on “Sekbanbaşı”’s claiming the authorship of the Maçin petition in 1791 (W261), Kemal Beydilli recently identified him with Ahmed Vâsıf Efendi (d. 1806), the well-known diplomat and historiographer (K. Beydilli, “Sekbanbaşı risalesinin müellifi hakkında”, Türk kültürü incelemeleri dergisi 12 (2005): 221-24; cf. Ethan Menchinger, “A reformist philosophy of history: the case of Ahmed Vâsıf Efendi”, Osmanlı Araştırmaları/The Journal of Ottoman Studies 44 (2014), 141-168).