Britain's most senior female soldier has insisted her decision to leave the Army has nothing to do with frustration at budget cuts.
Brigadier Nicky Moffat, was widely tipped to become the country's first female general, but will instead leave the Army within six months after 26 years' service.
The Brigadier has agreed to take voluntary redundancy and reports at the weekend suggested she was despondent at the swingeing cuts due to be made as part of the widespread reorganisation of the British Army, called "Army 2020". But Brigadier Moffat denied this, saying: "I am leaving the Army after a fulfilling 26 years of service to my country, and have been privileged both to command and to work alongside officers and soldiers of the very highest quality. My decision to leave has nothing whatsoever to do with Army 2020 cuts."
She repeated earlier assertions "there is no better time for young women to join the Army", saying the forces offer them "opportunities, training and skills". And added: "After a long and rewarding career, I am looking forward to new challenges, utilising the wealth of experience the military has afforded me."