Brigadier Karl Harris was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1994.
The next 10 years consisted of a variety of regimental posts, including troop commands, commanding the Army’s Ethnic Minorities Recruiting Team (EMRT), commando and military parachutist courses, service in Northern Ireland as an intelligence officer, and Adjutant.
Promoted to Major in 2004, he fulfilled brigade- and divisional-level staff roles, including deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Battery command followed, deploying with the Battery to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK. He returned to the staff, working in the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) J3 Operations Division, and deployed to Afghanistan again. In 2011 he served in United States Central Command, as Military Assistant to the Senior British Military Adviser.
On promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, Brigadier Harris completed the Advanced Command & Staff Course, graduating with a Masters in Defence Studies. He then joined Joint Forces Command and was responsible, on behalf of the Vice Chief of Defence Staff, for formulating a strategy to improve Defence’s capacity to learn from experience. He commanded the 26th Regiment Royal Artillery during 2015 to 2017, deploying a battery on operations and preparing the Regiment as part of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force. He deployed to Iraq in 2017 for a year as the United Kingdom’s Special Defence Adviser to the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, supporting the Kurdistan Regional Government’s nascent Peshmerga Reform Programme. A return to PJHQ as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff J3 Operations followed (2018-2020), then a year of professional development at the Royal College of Defence Studies, after which he took post as the Deputy Commanding General of the Operation INHERENT RESOLVE Combined Joint Task Force.
Away from his principal roles, Brigadier Harris is extremely proud to have set up then led the British Army’s Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Network for six years (now the Army Multicultural Network). His EMRT, family’s and others’ experiences have fuelled his determination to support the British Army’s drive to be an exemplary, representative and inclusive multicultural Armed Force. He is married, with two adult daughters and a teenage son.