First woman appointed to lead British Army recruitment and training

The first female officer to lead a division-level command in the British Army has been appointed to lead the organisation responsible for the recruitment and subsequent training of soldiers and officers throughout the Army.

Major General Sharon Nesmith is the second-ever female major general and the only currently serving regular Army female major general.

Her appointment to take leadership of recruitment and initial training was announced by the Army this week. Nesmith takes on the role from today.

In her role, she will oversee a mixed military, civilian and contractor workforce of more than 6,000 people spread over 130 locations in the UK and overseas, the Army statement said. Each year she will manage a budget of over £200m and the training of over 35,000 students over 280 courses. She must ensure “the right quantity, quality and composition of Regular and Reserve officers and soldiers to the British Army”, the statement said.

She said: “I am delighted to be taking command of the Army’s recruitment and training. I am proud to be leading the Command responsible for developing excellence in our soldiers and officers.” 

Following promotion to major general in March 2019, she was appointed Director Personnel (Army), where she oversaw the personnel strategy and policy required to support the workforce, including support to mental and physical health and wellbeing, enabling inclusive culture across the Army, and improving behaviours across the whole force.

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