First Female Army Officer To Command At Two-Star Level Appointed

Major General Sharon Nesmith will take charge of recruitment and training.

A female officer will lead a division-level command for the first time in British Army history.

Major General Sharon Nesmith, who joined the service in 1992, has become General Officer Commanding (GOC) the Army Recruiting and Initial Training Command (ARITC) and will manage the Army's intake process.

With an annual budget of more than £200m, Maj Gen Nesmith will oversee the make-up of the Regular and Reserve officers and soldiers, including recruitment and subsequent training.

More than 35,000 students are trained on more than 280 Army courses each year, and the newly appointed GOC will be in charge of 6,000-plus people working in the UK and abroad to ensure that happens.

Anonymous Army recruits
Maj Gen Nesmith will oversee the recruitment and training of more than 35,000 students each year (Picture: British Army).

Maj Gen Nesmith, who is also the Army’s second-ever female Major General, said: “I am delighted to be taking command of the Army’s recruitment and training.

“I am proud to be leading the Command responsible for developing excellence in our soldiers and officers.” 

Having commissioned into the Royal Corps of Signals in 1992, Maj Gen Nesmith went on to serve across multiple units in Germany and the Balkans.

She commanded 1st Mechanised Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (215) during its deployment on Operation Telic.

She later commanded 22nd Signal Regiment – supporting the NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps – and 1st (United Kingdom) Signal Brigade, among many other appointments during her Ministry of Defence career.

Before becoming GOC to ARITC, Maj Gen Nesmith’s most recent roles were Head of Manning (Army), before being appointed Director Personnel in March 2019.

Cover image: Major General Sharon Nesmith (Picture: British Army).