A NEW man has taken over one of the most senior military posts in the north of England.

Brigadier Charlie Herbert has taken command of 4th Mechanized Brigade – the Black Rats - based at Catterick Garrison from Brigadier Bob Bruce.

Brig Bruce only recently returned with the brigade following a successful but tragic six-month tour in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in which nine soldiers lost their lives.

In a short ceremony outside the Brigade headquarters in Scotton Road his officer lined the road and saluted as he was driven away from the building for the last time.

Brigadier Bruce said: “I wish my successor the very best of luck as he takes over a very powerful machine.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to have commanded the Black Rats especially Helmand. The soldiers were outstanding and made a considerable contribution to helping the Afghan National Security Forces look after their own security.

Brigadier Herbert said: “It is an enormous privilege to assume command of a Brigade with such a rich history stretching from the Second World War right through to Afghanistan more recently.

“As we look to the future I sense the challenge will be no less fulfilling that in the past.”

Brig Herbert joined the Army at 17 and after four years as a soldier with the 16th/5th Lancers was commissioned into the Royal Highland Fusiliers in 1990. He is married with two children aged four and seven.