Tri-Service

Who Is General Sir Nick Carter?

General Sir Nick Carter is the current head of the UK Armed Forces and previously served as the Chief of the General Staff.

General Sir Nick Carter will continue as Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) until the end of November this year, it has been announced. 

The 62-year-old has been the UK's military chief since 2018 and had been expected to retire in June.

Gen Sir Nick joined the British Army in 1977 as an 18-year-old and commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst into The Royal Green Jackets, an infantry regiment.

He spent his early career in Germany during the Cold War, in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, in Cyprus with the UN and in command of a battalion on operations in Bosnia and Kosovo.

He later toured Iraq as a brigade commander in 2003 and 2004 and did repeated tours of Afghanistan between 2002 and 2013.

While there, Gen Sir Nick was in command of 55,000 NATO troops in Regional Command South during the Afghan 'surge', and in his last tour, led the transition process with the now President Ashraf Ghani as the Deputy Commander of the NATO mission.

Between those deployments he had appointments in personnel policy and training, running the Army's Resources and Programme in the Ministry of Defence (MOD) as Director of Land Warfare.

General Sir Nick Carter helped out with the Royal British Legion's London Poppy Day last year (Picture: MOD).

He also led the team that reorganised the Army following the 2010 Security and Defence Review.

In 2014, Gen Sir Nick was appointed Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army.

Four years later, in June 2018, he took over from Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach as CDS - the professional head of the UK Armed Forces.

He is the principal military adviser to the Defence Secretary and Government, reporting to the Secretary of State and Prime Minister.

Responsibilities include leading defence with the MOD's Permanent Secretary, setting strategy and the development of the Armed Forces, the conduct of operations and leading relationships with other countries' militaries. 

Last November, he warned the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic made the prospect of World War Three "a risk".

Gen Sir Nick Carter argued that, with the world being "a very uncertain and anxious place" during the pandemic, there was the possibility in the increased regional conflicts "you could see escalation lead to miscalculation".