First UK Female to Lead at Two-Star Level


A senior Servicewoman has made Army history by becoming the first female to lead at two-star level (OF-7).


Major General Sharon Nesmith has taken over as general officer commanding the Army Recruiting and Initial Training Command (ARITC) replacing Major General Chris Bell.

The role will see her manage a workforce of some 6,000 troops and civilians, with an annual budget of more than £200 million.

Every year the organisation delivers training to 35,000 Regular and Reserve personnel across 280 courses.

Major General Nesmith, who joined the Army in 1992, said she was delighted to be appointed to the position.

“I am proud to be leading the command responsible for developing excellence in our soldiers and officers,” she added.

The second ever female major general – and the only one still serving – Major General Nesmith worked her way up through the Royal Corps of Signals before becoming director personnel in March 2019.


Soldier. (2021) A Female Two-Star First. Soldier: Magazine of the British Army. February 2021, pp.17.


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