Navy Chief Admiral Sir Tony Radakin Announced as Next Head of Armed Forces

October 8, 2021 Updated: October 8, 2021

The First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff has been appointed as the new armed forces chief.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, 55, will take over as Chief of the Defence Staff from General Sir Nick Carter on November 30.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was delighted to confirm Radakin’s new position, having proved himself as an “outstanding military leader” credited with deploying more Royal Navy troops on the front line and more ships at sea.

As Chief of Defence Staff his responsibilities will include leading and setting strategy for defense, as well as conducting operations and maintaining relationships with other military leaders.

General Sir Nick Carter
Then Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter outside the MOD headquarters in Westminster, London, following the release of the defence spending review, on Nov. 19, 2020. (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Johnson said: “This government has made a clear commitment to create the armed forces of the future, establishing the biggest defense investment programme since the Cold War.

“Admiral Tony will lead the armed forces at a time of incredible change while upholding the values and standards that they are respected for around the world. I know he will bring drive and dedication to the job and I look forward to working with him.

“We owe General Sir Nick Carter our deepest thanks for his decades of steadfast duty spent keeping the UK, its citizens, and our allies safe.

“During his time as CDS, I have valued his wisdom and support through moments of national crisis, including the COVID pandemic.

“He leaves his post at the end of November with the armed forces in excellent health, ready to face whatever challenges tomorrow brings. I wish him every success in his next endeavor.”

Radakin was appointed First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff in June 2019.

Commissioned in 1990, his operational service has involved the Iran/Iraq Tanker War, security duties in the Falklands, countering smuggling in Hong Kong and the Caribbean, and three command tours in Iraq.

Radakin said: “I am humbled to have been selected as the next Chief of the Defence Staff. It will be an immense privilege to lead our outstanding people who defend and protect the United Kingdom.

“I would like to thank General Sir Nick Carter for his leadership and wise stewardship of the UK’s armed forces over the last three years.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Admiral Tony has been an outstanding First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff overseeing a period of transformation in the Royal Navy that has seen more ships deployed, for longer, all over the world.

“That includes the inaugural voyage of HMS Queen Elizabeth at the head of our new Carrier Strike Group which set sail in May.”

By Ted Hennessey