Lt. Gen. Sir Nick Carter (UK Ministry of Defence)
LONDON — The new head of the British Army is to be Lt. Gen. Sir Nick Carter, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.
Carter will take up the post of chief of the General Staff in September when Gen. Sir Peter Wall steps down after nearly four years in office.
With three tours of Afghanistan and one in Iraq under his belt, Carter, who will be promoted to general when he assumes his new post, is well known to US and other allied forces.
His last Afghan posting was as deputy commander of ISAF, the international security force. He is currently the British Army’s commander of Land Forces.
Carter takes up his post just ahead of a new strategic defense and security review next year that could bring new pressures on an Army already in the throes of a wholesale restructuring.
The Army 2020 program will see the British cut regular troop numbers to 82,000 from 102,000 by 2017 with reserve numbers being increased to 30,000 to fill the gap.
Recruiting for the new force has gotten off to a slow start with leading critics of the restructuring calling for a rethink of the plan.
The withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year could also make the Army vulnerable to any further defense budget cuts required by an incoming government following next year’s general election.