The head of the British military has said he believes the Army's new Ranger Regiment will be "open to anybody in the Armed Forces".
The unit, which could be deployable as early as 2022, will feature four battalions and become a major part of the new Special Operations Brigade, taking on roles usually carried out by Special Forces personnel.
In an exclusive interview with Forces News and the BFBS Sitrep podcast, General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, spoke about how the regiment will be formed and why it is needed.
He said: "I think the roles, ultimately, will be open to anybody in the Armed Forces and certainly within the Army and their function will be very similar to US Green Berets who have over years provided that sort of capability."
Gen Sir Nick said during his time as head of the Army, the creation of specialised infantry battalions offered a training presence to benefit foreign forces around the world, becoming experts in "relevant culture and locality" wherever they were sent.
He continued: "What we've now decided is that that's an important function that will continue to be performed, but on top of that what we need are similar organisations which will be 'special' forces which will be able to go beyond training advice and assistance to actually accompany these local forces on operations.
"That means they will be very well equipped, they will be very well trained and of course will have been selected for their roles."
Changes in the Army's force structure are in line with the publication of the Integrated Review, outlining future threats and the military's response, and the Defence Command Paper, which offers more strategic detail on how goals can be met.
Gen Sir Nick was keen to distinguish the status of the incoming Ranger Regiment from other known quantities within the British military, such as the Parachute Regiment and Royal Marines.
He said they are regarded as "high-end conventional forces" and "not special forces", adding both are set to continue to provide their traditional roles.
Set to be established in August, the Ranger Regiment will receive £120m in defence investment over the next four years.
You can listen to the full interview with General Sir Nick Carter on the latest BFBS Sitrep podcast. Click below.