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Army chief to become UK’s top military commander

General Sir Nick Carter will take over as Chief of the Defence Staff in June.

The head of the Army, General Sir Nick Carter, is to be the new Chief of the Defence Staff, the Government has announced.

Gen Carter will succeed Air Marshal Sir Stuart Peach when he stands down as Britain’s most senior military officer in June to become chairman of Nato’s military committee.

The announcement of Gen Carter’s appointment comes just two month after he publicly entered the debate over defence spending, warning the UK was in danger of being left behind by adversaries like Russia.

First commissioned as an officer in The Royal Green Jackets in 1978, he served in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Germany, Bosnia and Kosovo.

He subsequently commanded the 20th Armoured Brigade in Iraq in 2004 and the 6th Division in Afghanistan in 2009/10.

Appointed Director General Land Warfare in 2011, he was the chief architect of the Army 2020 restructuring plan published the following year.

He served as deputy commander of the US-led coalition in Afghanistan from October 2012 to August 2013, before becoming Chief of the General Staff in September 2014.

Announcing his appointment as Chief of the Defence Staff, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Gen Carter has been an exceptional Chief of the General Staff, leading the Army at a time of rapid change, with troops deployed to deter Russian aggression and protect our Nato allies in the east.”

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “I have been impressed not only by the reforms he has carried out with the British Army, but by the care he has demonstrated for the men and women under his command.

“It is also a testament to him that over his period of leadership the Army has become more reflective of the society it serves.”

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