Speaking in our latest podcast for General Talk, hosted by Harry Bucknall, Army Sergeant Major, WO1 Paul Carney, talks about his pivotal role at British Army Headquarters.

Sgt Major Carney tells Harry how he was inspired to join the Army when he was eight years old after his ex-Royal Navy grandfather took him to Royal Tournaments.

He discusses the role of Regimental Sergeant Majors and how the Army Sergeant Major’s more direct access to the Chief of General Staff gives him the ability to “speak truth to power” and “bring a diversity of thought to Army HQ”.

He also talks about the Centre for Army Leadership’s programme and welcomes improvements in Army officer training at Sandhurst, including plans for more senior NCOs from other cap badges to be instructors. On the British Army’s regimental system, he says that its “ability to breed competition is what makes us great at fighting.”

Sgt Major Carney praises the “fantastic and well run” Cateran Yomp, organised by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity every year in the Cairngorms, and how he wants to increase Army participation and use it as a competitive physical endurance test for soldiers.

Finally, he speaks with pride about the Army as an organisation that gives a lot: “We are a family, we care and look after each other and want to get the best…if you join and volunteer, you will get the best experience you can.”

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is grateful to Sgt Major Carney for giving us his time and for supporting the Cateran Yomp so enthusiastically too. Read more here about how to take part next year.

Background: WO1 Carney was born in November 1979 in Gosport, joining the Army in 1997 as a combat engineer and electrician in the Royal Engineers. In July 2021, he was appointed the 3rd British Army Sergeant Major and joined the ABF The Soldiers’ Charity Board of Trustees in August 2021. Read more here.

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