Ministerial role

Minister of State for the Armed Forces


The minister is responsible for armed forces activity including operations, operational legal matters, force generation and international defence engagement including:

  • operations and operational legal policy
  • force generation (including exercises)
  • manning, recruitment and retention of regulars
  • cyber
  • Permanent Joint Operating Bases
  • Northern Ireland
  • international defence engagement
  • Africa and Latin America
  • operational public inquiries, inquests, safety and security

Current role holder: The Rt Hon Mike Penning

Mike Penning was appointed Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence on 15 July 2016. He was elected Conservative MP for Hemel Hempstead in 2005.


Mike was educated at Appleton and King Edmund comprehensive schools in Essex.

Political career

Previously Mike was:

  • Elected MP for Hemel Hempstead 2005
  • Member, Health Committee 2005 to 2008
  • Shadow Minister for Health 2007 to 2010
  • Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport 2010 to 2012
  • Minister of State for Northern Ireland September 2012
  • Minister of State for Disabled People 2013 to 2014
  • Minister of State at the Home Office and Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice from July 2014 until July 2016

Career outside politics

After school Mike joined the British army and served in the Grenadier Guards. He then worked as a firefighter before going into the family business. He later worked as a political journalist.

Personal life

He is married to Angela and has 2 daughters. He is passionate about sport, especially rugby union and football.

Previous holders of this role

  1. Penny Mordaunt

    • 2015 to 2016
  2. The Rt Hon Mark Francois

    • 2013 to 2015
  3. The Rt Hon Andrew Robathan

    • 2012 to 2013
  4. Sir Nick Harvey

    • 2010 to 2012


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  1. Armed Forces Minister attends EU meeting

    • News story
  2. UK maritime forces visit Vietnam with French naval task group

    • News story
  3. HMS Enterprise returns home after three years on Navy operations

    • News story
  4. Armed Forces Minister underlines UK commitment to Africa

    • News story
  5. British troops continue support to UN South Sudan mission

    • News story
  6. Armed Forces Minister confirms increase in support to Afghanistan

    • News story
  7. Third Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme levy announced

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  8. Lance Corporal Scott Hetherington has died

    • News story
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    • Press release
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    • Press release