Army’s first ever female deputy head and highest-ever ranked female takes up her post

Married mother-of-two becomes deputy head of the army as the highest-ranked female officer in British military history

  • Lieutenant General Sharon Nesmith is the first female deputy head of the Army
  • This means she is the highest-ever ranking woman in the Army’s history
  • She took up the role yesterday after being approved by The Queen in April 
  • Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said she brings ‘extensive experience’ to the role

A top general has made history as the first ever woman to serve as deputy head of the Army, making her the highest-ranking female in British military history.

Lieutenant General Sharon Nesmith, 51, who was raised in Northumberland, took of the role of Deputy Chief of the General Staff (DCGS) yesterday.

This comes after her appointment was approved by Her Majesty The Queen in April.

Top general Lt Gen Sharon Nesmith has made history as the first ever woman to serve as deputy head of the army, making her the highest-ranking female in its history

Top general Lt Gen Sharon Nesmith has made history as the first ever woman to serve as deputy head of the army, making her the highest-ranking female in its history

The 51-year-old, who was raised in Northumberland, took of the role of Deputy Chief of the General Staff (DCGS) yesterday after Her Majesty The Queen approved her appointment in April

The 51-year-old, who was raised in Northumberland, took of the role of Deputy Chief of the General Staff (DCGS) yesterday after Her Majesty The Queen approved her appointment in April

Lt Gen Nesmith, who is married to a tree surgeon and has two sons, is the first British Army officer to occupy this prestigious role.

She said: ‘I am deeply honoured to be appointed as the Deputy Chief of the General Staff at such a pivotal time for the British Army. 

‘I am excited to be playing my part in leading the Army’s mobilisation to meet today’s threats, and the delivery of our Future Soldier’s bold modernisation agenda.’

Lt Gen Nesmith said she was 'deeply honoured to be appointed as the Deputy Chief of the General Staff at such a pivotal time for the British Army' and 'excited to be playing my part in leading the Army’s mobilisation to meet today’s threats'

Lt Gen Nesmith said she was ‘deeply honoured to be appointed as the Deputy Chief of the General Staff at such a pivotal time for the British Army’ and ‘excited to be playing my part in leading the Army’s mobilisation to meet today’s threats’

Commissioning into the Royal Corps of Signals in 1992, Lt Gen Nesmith spent most of her early years serving in the Balkans, Iraq and Germany.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: ‘I am delighted that Sharon Nesmith has taken up her role as Deputy Chief of the General Staff. 

‘She brings extensive experience and new ideas to drive the Army’s transformation and deal with emerging threats across the world.’

Commissioning into the Royal Corps of Signals in 1992, Lt Gen Nesmith, who is married to a tree surgeon and has two sons, spent most of her early years serving in the Balkans, Iraq and Germany

Commissioning into the Royal Corps of Signals in 1992, Lt Gen Nesmith, who is married to a tree surgeon and has two sons, spent most of her early years serving in the Balkans, Iraq and Germany

Lt Gen Nesmith, who is a Vice President for Army Football and Army Rugby, was also the first female brigade commander and has been the Senior Responsible Officer for the Armed Forces Recruiting programme. 

Following her appointment in April, she said: ‘I look forward to playing my part in leading our future soldier transformation to become a more lethal, agile, digitised and expeditionary force.’

She will serve as deputy to General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, the professional head of the army, who said: ‘She is the right person at the right time to drive the Army’s transformation.’

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