It has just been announced that the next Chief of the General Staff, succeeding General Sir Patrick Sanders when he stands down in 2024, will be Lieutenant General Sir Roland Walker KCB, DSO. As professional head of the British Army, General Roly will be the third Grenadier to have held this appointment in the last century (after the Earl of Cavan and Lord Gort).

In 1993 and after Sandhurst, where he was awarded the Sword of Honour as the best Officer Cadet on the course, General Roly was commissioned into the Irish Guards. In 1997 he passed SAS Selection and for the next decade completed numerous SF affiliated posts. Picked for promotion, as a Grenadier he was selected to take command of our 1st Battalion from January 2009 and he led it to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 11 from Sep 09-Apr 10, operating as a Battlegroup in 11 Light Brigade. Its area of responsibility was heavily contested by insurgents; the Battalion made its name but success came at a high cost with the loss of five men along with 28 others seriously wounded.

More recently General Roly has been Director of Special Forces and he is currently the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, responsible to CDS for directing all UK military operations. Until last June he was Regimental Lieutenant Colonel and he is still an active member of the Regimental Council. We are very fortunate to have another Guardsman in this vital job and all will wish him well.