Lieutenant General Sir George Norton graduated from St John’s College, Cambridge in 1984 where he read Archaeology and Anthropology and Land Economy, and was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards in 1985. After a conventional Regimental career he commanded 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards from 2002- 2004, and currently holds the honorary appointment of Regimental Lieutenant Colonel.
At staff he has served as Military Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the ACE Rapid Reaction Corps as a major; as a member of the Directing Staff at the Joint Services Command and Staff College as a lieutenant colonel; and in the Ministry of Defence as Secretary to the Chiefs of Staff Committee as a colonel. On the misguided assumption, he assumes, that having a German wife entailed fluency in German, he was sent for 2 years to the German Armed Forces Staff College in Hamburg, and later attended the UK’s Higher Command and Staff Course in Shrivenham.
Operationally he deployed to Bosnia for 12 months in 1995/96 as Military Assistant to the Chief of Staff within HQ IFOR in Sarajevo; to Kabul in 2004 as Director Plans and Policy within the Combined Forces Command Afghanistan; and to Helmand, first in 2007 as the Deputy Commander of the UK Task Force, and subsequently in 2010/11 as the Deputy Commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) and Regional Command (South West). He has served four times in Northern Ireland, most recently as the first Commander 38 (Irish) Brigade. He was appointed MBE in 1997 (Bosnia); CBE in 2008 (Afghanistan); was awarded the US Bronze Star Medal (2004), the US Meritorious Honor Award (2011), and a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service (2011) for service in Afghanistan; and was appointed KCVO in 2013.
He was appointed General Officer Commanding London District and the Major General Commanding the Household Division in 2011. During his tenure in London he was responsible for the military ceremonial aspects of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and as Joint Military Commander (London) provided the Army’s support to the 2012 Olympic Games. He served from 2013-2016 as Deputy Commander of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy: based north of Milan with his wife Lexi, he did not find it hard to encourage his 3 daughters to come home for the holidays.
He assumed the role of UK Military Representative to NATO and the European Union on 20 May 2016.