Mark Carleton-Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sir

Mark Carleton-Smith
Carleton-Smith in 2018
Born (1964-02-09) 9 February 1964 (age 60)
Bielefeld, West Germany
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1982–2022
RankGeneral
Service number515762
UnitIrish Guards
Commands held
Battles/wars
Awards
Spouse(s)
Catherine Nalder
(m. 1991)
Children2

General Sir Mark Alexander Popham Carleton-Smith, GCB, CBE, DL (born 9 February 1964) is a senior British Army officer who served as Chief of the General Staff from June 2018 to June 2022.[1] He previously served as Director Special Forces and commanded 22 Special Air Service Regiment.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Born on 9 February 1964 at Bielefeld, West Germany,[3] to Major General Sir Michael Carleton-Smith,[4] he began his education at Cheltenham College Junior School,[5] before attending Eton College, an all-boys public school.[6] In 1982, he went to Hatfield College, Durham, to pursue an Army-sponsored degree in Politics and Modern History.[4][7] He graduated from Durham University with a lower second class Bachelor of Arts degree in 1985.[7]

Military career[edit]

Carleton-Smith was commissioned into the Irish Guards on 3 September 1982,[8] before going up to Durham, graduating as BA. He was promoted to lieutenant on 6 September 1985 (with seniority from 9 April),[9] then to captain on 9 April 1989,[10] and then to major on 30 September 1995.[11] After operational service in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, he was deployed to the Gulf War in 1991,[12] and then saw active service as an SAS squadron commander in Bosnia later in the 1990s.[13]

Carleton-Smith became Chief of Staff of 19 Mechanized Brigade in 1999 and served as Chief of Staff HQ Multi-National Brigade Centre during the Kosovo War later that year.[12] In recognition of his military service in Kosovo, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2000 New Year Honours,[14] and then awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service on 3 November 2000.[15]

Promoted to lieutenant colonel on 30 June 2001,[16] Carleton-Smith became Military Assistant to the Commander-in-Chief, Land Forces,[12] becoming Commanding Officer of 22 Special Air Service Regiment in 2002. After serving during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and also during operations in Afghanistan,[13] he was advanced Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) on 23 April 2004.[17] Promoted colonel on 30 June 2005,[18] he became Deputy Director Policy Planning at the Ministry of Defence at that time.[12]

Promoted to brigadier on 31 December 2006 with seniority from 30 June 2006,[19] Carleton-Smith became commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade that year and was deployed to Afghanistan as commander of Task Force Helmand and commander of British Forces there in April 2008.[20] In August 2008 he led Operation Eagle's Summit, which involved a daring foray into Taliban territory.[21] He was promoted Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services in Afghanistan on 6 March 2009.[22]

Carleton-Smith became Director of Army Plans and Resources at the Ministry of Defence in January 2009 and, following promotion to major general on 20 February 2012,[23] he became Director Special Forces.[24] In July 2022, the BBC published a report alleging evidence that "SAS operatives in Afghanistan repeatedly killed detainees and unarmed men in suspicious circumstances," while Carleton-Smith, then Director Special Forces, "failed to pass on evidence to [the] murder inquiry"[25] which was being conducted by the Royal Military Police.[26]

Appointed Director of Strategy at the Army Headquarters in March 2015,[27] he became Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Military Strategy and Operations) on 18 April 2016 being promoted to lieutenant general with effect from the same date.[28] On 11 June 2018 he was further promoted to the rank of general, succeeding General Sir Nick Carter as Chief of the General Staff,[29][30] being appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2019 New Year Honours.[31] Succeeded as Chief of the General Staff by General Sir Patrick Sanders in June 2022,[1] Carleton-Smith was promoted Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) in the 2023 Birthday Honours.[32]

Carleton-Smith served as Regimental Lieutenant Colonel of the Irish Guards from 18 March 2012[33] for ten years,[34] and as Honorary Colonel of Oxford University Officers Training Corps between February 2017 and June 2022.[35] [36]

Personal life[edit]

In 1991, Carleton-Smith married Catherine Nalder. They have a son and a daughter.[4] He is a member of Pratt's, the Pilgrims Society and the Chelsea Arts Clubs.[4]

Carleton-Smith was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Herefordshire on 27 September 2023.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Defence secretary names new chief of general staff". Civil Service World. 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  2. ^ www.militarystrategymagazine.com
  3. ^ www.burkespeerage.com
  4. ^ a b c d Carleton-Smith, Lt Gen. Mark Alexander Popham. Who's Who 2018. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U256076. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  5. ^ Archives department at Cheltenham College
  6. ^ Anderson, Bruce (20 November 2006). "Bruce Anderson: You should never underestimate an Old Etonian". The Independent.
  7. ^ a b "Durham University gazette, 1984/85". reed.dur.ac.uk. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  8. ^ "No. 49156". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 November 1982. p. 14267.
  9. ^ "No. 50663". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 September 1986. p. 10233.
  10. ^ "No. 51732". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 May 1989. p. 5806.
  11. ^ "No. 54173". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 October 1995. p. 13317.
  12. ^ a b c d "New Chief of the General Staff appointed". British Army. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  13. ^ a b Kiley, Sam (2010). Desperate Glory. Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1408801239.
  14. ^ "No. 55711". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1999. p. 42.
  15. ^ "No. 56017". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 November 2000. p. 12363.
  16. ^ "No. 56261". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 July 2001. p. 7808.
  17. ^ "No. 57269". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 April 2004. p. 5135.
  18. ^ "No. 57693". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 July 2005. p. 8689.
  19. ^ "No. 58206". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 January 2007. p. 18040.
  20. ^ "Bruce Anderson: We are literally adding insult to injury". The Independent. 23 October 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  21. ^ Judd, Terri (3 September 2008). "Operation Eagle's Summit: the inside story of a daring foray into Taliban territory". The Independent. Retrieved 4 September 2008.
  22. ^ "No. 58999". The London Gazette (Supplement). 6 March 2009. p. 4081.
  23. ^ "No. 60065". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 February 2012. p. 3406.
  24. ^ "Army Commands" (PDF). 26 July 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016.
  25. ^ O'Grady, Hannah; Gunter, Joel (12 July 2022). "SAS unit repeatedly killed Afghan detainees, BBC finds". BBC. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  26. ^ "SAS reports reveal troubling pattern of suspicious deaths in Afghanistan". BBC. 12 July 2022. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  27. ^ "The end of the Gurkhas? Britain's famous brigade faces Ministry of Defence axe". Daily Express. 15 March 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  28. ^ "No. 61557". The London Gazette (Supplement). 18 April 2016. p. 9194.
  29. ^ "Lieutenant General Mark Carleton-Smith appointed new Chief of the General Staff". gov.uk. 5 May 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  30. ^ "No. 62336". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 June 2018. p. 11298.
  31. ^ "No. 62507". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2018. p. N2.
  32. ^ "No. 64082". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 June 2023. p. B2.
  33. ^ "No. 60099". The London Gazette (Supplement). 27 March 2012. p. 6080.
  34. ^ "No. 63895". The London Gazette (Supplement). 6 December 2022. p. 23363.
  35. ^ "No. 61853". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 February 2017. p. 3751.
  36. ^ "No. 63760". The London Gazette (Supplement). 19 July 2022. p. 13598.
  37. ^ "No. 64193". The London Gazette. 9 October 2023. p. 20130.
Military offices
Preceded by Director Special Forces
2012–2015
Succeeded by
Preceded by Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Military Strategy and Operations)
2016–2018
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief of the General Staff
2018–2022
Succeeded by