Admiral Sir Tony Radakin officially begins role of Chief of the Defence Staff

He is the first naval officer to be appointed Chief of the Defence Staff since Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, in 2001.

The former head of the Royal Navy, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, has officially begun his new role as the Chief of the Defence Staff.

Announced in October, the incoming Chief of the Defence Staff replaces General Sir Nick Carter – who had been expected to retire in June but was asked by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to stay in post until late 2021.

Adm Radakin was selected from a reported five-man shortlist, which is also thought to have included the heads of the British Army, RAF, Strategic Command and Admiral Sir Ben Key – who recently led the UK's evacuation from Afghanistan.

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In a tweet Adm Radakin said it was "a privilege to take up the reins today as Chief of the Defence Staff", saying his task was to "lead the Armed Forces to deliver the Integrated Review and pursue our national interests".

In another post on Twitter earlier this month, Admiral Sir Tony said: "A real privilege to have led the Royal Navy.

"I am so grateful to all the amazing women and men who serve and support us and what we have achieved together despite the pandemic.

"Good luck and very best wishes to Admiral Ben Key for his success leading the service. Thank you all!"

Adm Key has replaced Adm Radakin as First Sea Lord, with the new Chief of the Defence Staff saying he "will bring a wealth of operational experience to the role".