General Sir Patrick Sanders named as new Chief of General Staff

Sir Patrick, who is set to take over from June, said he is ‘deeply honoured’ by the appointment.

24 February 2022

General Sir Patrick Sanders has been appointed the new head of the British Army.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who described him as “an exceptional military leader”, confirmed that the Queen has approved his new appointment as the Chief of the General Staff.

Sir Patrick, 55, said he is “deeply honoured” by the appointment – which will see him take over from General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith from June 2022.

Sir Patrick noted his posting comes “at such a pivotal time for the future of the British Army”.

He said: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a stark reminder that the world is becoming increasingly dangerous and uncertain with war on land coming to Europe for the first time in decades.

“The British Army will play its part in defending the UK and our allies as we have for centuries.”

Ben Wallace
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (James Manning/PA)

He was commissioned into The Royal Green Jackets in 1986 and spent his early career at Regimental Duty in Germany, Norway and the UK.

He has commanded at company, battalion, brigade, and divisional level, including on operations in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

His staff appointments have all been in operational and strategic roles.

Agnes Wanjiru death
Outgoing Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith (SAC Connor Tierney/MOD/Crown copyright)

These have included Brigade Chief of Staff, Directing Staff at the Joint Staff College and working as policy/military adviser for the Commander of Coalition Forces in Iraq in 2003 to 2004.

Other roles have included time as the Chief of Defence Staff’s Liaison Officer to the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as the  Head Operations (Military) and Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Operations) in the Ministry of Defence.

He was promoted to General in May 2019 and went on to take over the Commander Joint Forces Command, where he managed the organisation’s move to Strategic Command.

Mr Wallace said: “General Sanders takes up his new role at a critically important time for the British Army and at a pivotal time for the organisation and management of our land forces as we witness the unprovoked attack by Russian forces across sovereign Ukraine.

“I have every confidence in his leadership and I wish him well in this endeavour.”

He pointed out that as the current Commander of UK Strategic Command, Sir Patrick has played a key role in the developing and shaping of the UK Government’s Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper “by reflecting the new and emerging threats posed by cyber and ‘greyzone’ warfare”.

He added that his leadership has reinforced how the UK Armed Forces must work across all sectors “to ensure we meet the challenges of future conflicts in these regions”.

More from Perspective

Get a free copy of our print edition


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Your email address will not be published. The views expressed in the comments below are not those of Perspective. We encourage healthy debate, but racist, misogynistic, homophobic and other types of hateful comments will not be published.