Major General Sharon Nesmith – Director Army Personnel
Major General Sharon Nesmith was the first woman to command an operational brigade and recently the Army’s first female Personnel Director, so not only is she an incredible inspiration, she’s also a very busy woman too. I was lucky enough to bag some time with her to get her take on how far the Army has come with regards to inclusion and diversity, and how she can keep driving progress forwards across defence.
Major General Sharon Nesmith was commissioned into the Royal Corps of Signals in 1992. She spent much of her early years at Regimental Duty in Germany, serving in the Electronic Warfare Regiment and 1st (United Kingdom) Armoured Division Headquarters and Signal Regiment, during which time she completed 3 tours in the Balkans.
Major General Nesmith commanded 1st Mechanized Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (215), over the period of the Brigade conversion to Bowman and deployment on Op TELIC 10. She later commanded 22nd Signal Regiment as the Regiment re-roled to provide command support to Headquarters ARRC, and led on the introduction of FALCON into Service. She also commanded MOD Stafford. Following the Advanced Command and Staff Course (2001/03), Major General Nesmith’s black bag appointment was within the Directorate of Capability, Resources and Scrutiny in the Ministry of Defence, where she provided affordability advice to senior officers and Ministers at key investment decisions for equipment programmes. She subsequently served as SO1 Capability in Army Resources and Plans. On promotion to Colonel she served as the Assistant Director Capability Plans, leading on the delegation of capability development to the Army Headquarters in support of Director General Capability, and attended the Higher Command and Staff Course (2014).
Major General Nesmith commanded the 1st (United Kingdom) Signal Brigade from August 2014 to July 2016, supporting Headquarters ARRC and the UK JTFHQs. She was then Head of Manning (Army), before being appointed Director Personnel in March 2019.