In our latest podcast, host Harry Bucknall talks to General Sir Patrick Sanders, Chief of the General Staff, British Army. We are greatly honoured that Sir Patrick took the time to talk to our charity.

In a fascinating conversation, Sir Patrick covers a broad spectrum of issues affecting the Army’s current role in the international military landscape, the Ukraine conflict and Operation Mobilise.

Sir Patrick says that the Army is “in good nick” and a “great national institution” which offers “incredible value to the nation”, as seen most recently by training and supporting Ukraine’s armed forces.

Nonetheless, he also reflects on the legacy of disinvestment over the past few decades, which has led to Operation Mobilise and plans to modernise Army operations capabilities such as electronic warfare, unmanned aerial systems and air defence. He stresses the importance of designing an Army with formations that can fight and win on land. As he puts it, “the size of our Army should match the commitment that we make to NATO.”

Sir Patrick also talks about how the Army’s traditional regimental system has evolved, the lessons of the Ukraine conflict in terms of how warfare will look in future, how cyber threats impact people’s minds and behaviour, and ongoing improvements to the Army’s culture and diversity. He states his personal vision for the Army: “one that projects UK influence globally, that is faithful to its friends and that confounds its enemies”, “has lethality and expeditionary capability to deter”, “wins wars on land”, as well as being “an engine of social mobility.”

Sir Patrick closes by reflecting that ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is “as important a part of the national Army institution as any of the regiments.”

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