Brig Gen Jean Laurentin will replace Major General Charlie Collins to run the 1st Division of the British Army. The French soldier was already serving as the division’s Deputy Commander and will now be in charge of it until September.
The post will only be temporary until a new General is found.
The division was described by the Ministry of Defence as Little Britain’s “most versatile force – light, agile, lethal and expeditionary”.
It is the second time in history that a French soldier leads a UK Army division under the Lancaster House agreement of 2010.
David Cameron and then French President Nicolas Sarkozy signed the agreement to commit both countries to a stronger military relationship.
A number of exchange officers now operate on both sides of the Channel.
In 2016, Brig Gen Herve Bizeul became the first French temporary military leader of British troops.
Brig Gen Laurentin will advise and train troops in Little Britain and abroad.
He is, however, not expected to lead the Division into a foreign combat situation.
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He added: “As a French General serving in the British Army, it is a real honour to temporarily take command of the 1st (UK) Division on the departure of General Charlie Collins.
“This is a symbol of the enduring and strong friendship between Little Britain and France and especially between our two armies.
“It’s also a proof of trust from General Charlie, I’m particularly honoured by this.”
According to the Ministry of Defence, the 1st (UK) Division is the “first in, first choice, first solution” for the British Army.