Lieutenant General Mark Carleton-Smith CBE moves up from the post of Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Military Strategy and Operations), to which he was appointed on 18 April 2016. He will be promoted to General and will succeed General Sir Nicholas Patrick Carter KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen in June 2018 as Chief of the General Staff. General Carter is taking up the post of Chief of the Defence Staff, succeeding Air Chief Marshall Sir Stuart Peach who is leaving to become Chairman of the Military Committee at NATO.
Former SAS Commander to Head British Army
Mark Alexander Popham Carleton-Smith CBE (born 9 February 1964) was educated at Eton College and commissioned into the Irish Guards in 1982. He then studied for a sponsored degree in Politics and Modern History at Durham University, joining Hatfield College, and graduating in 1985.
Recommencing military service, he served as a Brigade Chief-of-Staff during the Kosovo War. In 2002 he became Commanding Officer of 22 Special Air Service Regiment (22 SAS) and saw service in that role in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2007, he became Commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade and was deployed to Afghanistan as Commander of Task Force Helmand and Commander of British Forces there in April 2008. In August 2008, he led Operation Eagle’s Summit which involved a daring mission into Taliban-held territory.
He became Director of Army Plans and Resources at the Ministry of Defence in January 2009, Director Special Forces in February 2012 and Director of Strategy at the Ministry of Defence in March 2015. He became Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Military Strategy and Operations) with effect from 18 April 2016 and was promoted to lieutenant-general that same date.
“Lt Gen. Carleton-Smith will be an Outstanding Leader of the Army”
In making the announcement, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
I’m delighted to offer my congratulations to Lieutenant General Carleton-Smith on his appointment of Chief of the General Staff. Lt Gen Carleton-Smith has played a leading role in many of our recent operations at home and abroad, including our campaign to defeat Daesh in Iraq and Syria, our support to British Overseas Territories affected by Hurricane Irma and the military’s support to areas badly affected by the snow earlier this year.
I have no doubt that Lt Gen Carleton-Smith will be an outstanding leader of the Army at this crucial period, as we look to strengthen and further modernise the Army to deal with intensifying threats.