Brigadier General Jean Laurentin will replace Major General Charlie Collins to lead the British Army’s 1st Division. The French soldier already held the position of deputy commander of the division and will now be in charge until September.
The position will only be temporary until a new general is found.
The division has been described by the Ministry of Defense as “the UK’s most versatile force – light, agile, lethal and expeditionary”.
It is the second time in history that a French soldier has led a British Army division under the 2010 Lancaster House deal.
David Cameron and then French President Nicolas Sarkozy signed the agreement committing the two countries to a stronger military relationship.
A number of exchange agents now operate on both sides of the Channel.
In 2016, Brigadier General Hervé Bizeul became France’s first temporary military commander of British troops.
Brigadier General Laurentin will advise and train troops in the UK and overseas.
However, he is not expected to lead the division in an overseas combat situation.
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He added: “As a French General serving in the British Army, it is a real honor to temporarily take command of the 1st (British) Division from General Charlie Collins.
“It is a symbol of the lasting and strong friendship between the United Kingdom and France and in particular between our two armies.
“It is also a proof of confidence on the part of General Charlie, I am particularly honored.”
According to the Ministry of Defence, the 1st (British) Division is the “first entry, first choice, first solution” for the British Army.