Mark Carleton-Smith

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Mark Carleton-Smith
Born 9 February 1964
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1982–
Rank Lieutenant-General
Commands held 22 Special Air Service Regiment
16 Air Assault Brigade
Battles/wars Kosovo War
Iraq War
Afghanistan War
Awards Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Lieutenant-General Mark Alexander Popham Carleton-Smith CBE (born 9 February 1964) is a senior British Army officer who has previously served as Director Special Forces. He became Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Military Strategy and Operations) with effect from 18 April 2016.

Military career

Carleton-Smith was educated at Eton College and commissioned into the Irish Guards in 1982.[1] After serving as a Brigade Chief-of-Staff during the Kosovo War, he became Commanding Officer of 22 Special Air Service Regiment in 2002 and saw service in that role in Iraq and Afghanistan.[2] He became Commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade in 2007 and was deployed to Afghanistan as Commander of Task Force Helmand and Commander of British Forces there.[3] In August 2008 he led Operation Eagle's Summit which involved a daring foray into Taliban territory.[4]

He became Director of Army Plans and Resources at the Ministry of Defence in January 2009, Director Special Forces in February 2012[5] and Director of Strategy at the Ministry of Defence in March 2015.[6] He became Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Military Strategy and Operations) with effect from 18 April 2016 and was promoted to lieutenant-general that same date.[7]


  1. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 49156. p. 14267. 1 November 1982. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  2. Kiley, Sam (2010). "Desperate Glory". Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1408801239.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Bruce Anderson: We are literally adding insult to injury". The Independent. 23 October 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Army Commands
  6. "The end of the Gurkhas? Britain's famous brigade faces Ministry of Defence axe". Daily Express. 15 March 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 61557. p. 9194. 18 April 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
Military offices
Preceded by
Jacko Page
Director Special Forces
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Gordon Messenger
Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Military Strategy and Operations)
Succeeded by