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 Mark Lancaster TD MP

Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes North and Minister of State for the Armed Forces

Mark was educated at Kimbolton School. He has a BSc in Business Studies from the University of Buckingham and an MBA from the University of Exeter Business School. He was awarded an Honorary PhD by Buckingham University in 2008.

Mark served on a gap year commission in the army between 1988 and 1990. He was a company director for the family fireworks firm, Kimbolton Fireworks, before he was elected to Parliament and continues to serve in the Army Reserves as a Colonel; this has included operational tours in Kosovo (1999 to 2000), Bosnia (2001 to 2002) and Afghanistan (2006).

Mark was a Member of Huntingdonshire District Council (1995 to 1999) where he served as the Chairman of the Leisure Committee (1996 to 1999). He was elected as Member of Parliament for the North East Milton Keynes in the 2005 general election.

Mark was a Conservative Party whip between November 2006 until July 2007 and as a Shadow Minister for Department for International Development ((DfID) until the 2010 general election. Shortly after his re-election in 2010, he was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Secretary of State for International Development. In September 2012 he became a government minister when he was made a Lord Commissioner of Her Majesty’s Treasury. In May 2015 Mark was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Veterans, Reserves and Personnel and held that position until June 2017, when he was appointed Minister of State for the Armed Forces.

He is married to Caroline Dinenage the MP for Gosport.

Previous holders of this role

  1. The Rt Hon Mike Penning MP

    • 2016 to 2017
  2. The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP

    • 2015 to 2016
  3. The Rt Hon Mark Francois

    • 2013 to 2015
  4. The Rt Hon Andrew Robathan

    • 2012 to 2013
  5. Sir Nick Harvey

    • 2010 to 2012


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  1. Defence Minister visits UK flagship of NATO maritime group in Georgia

    • News story
  2. Penny Mordaunt praises Scottish aid workers

    • Press release
  3. UK and India commit to closer military ties

    • Press release
  4. UK reaffirms African military commitments after five-nation visit

    • News story
  5. MOD confirms death of Lance Corporal George Partridge

    • News story
  6. UK-US military links strengthened after ministerial visit to Washington DC

    • News story
  7. UK steps up cyber defence

    • News story
  8. Defence Minister hosts Polish counterpart at Allied Rapid Reaction Corps

    • News story
  9. Defence Minister presents Nepalese President with Gurkha Annual Report

    • News story
  10. MOD confirms the death of Captain Dean Sprouting

    • News story