| GEO World|
| UK Army Head Sir Jock Stirrup resigns early|
| Updated at: 1314 PST, Monday, June 14, 2010|
LONDON: Sir Jock Stirrup, Britain's chief of the defense staff since 2006, will step down this fall, six months before expected.
Having had his tenure extended until April 2011 by the previous government, the air chief marshal has been heavily criticized for deploying troops quickly without adequate equipment, expert civilian support, or clear objectives.
The first Strategic Defense and Security Review since 1998 will take place in the autumn. Its aims are to assess military spending and the role Britain will play in world affairs.
It is considered an apt time for Sir Jock to step down.
Talks with Defense Secretary Liam Fox were said to be amicable.
The ministry of defense (MoD) Permanent Undersecretary Sir Bill Jeffrey will also leave office. As with Sir Jock, all references to being fired have been denied.
Both are considered to have been close to the previous Labor administration and a clean start for the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition is seen as sensible.
Sir Jock, a former jet pilot, could be replaced by candidates including the head of the army, Gen. Sir David Richards, and the vice chief of the defense staff, Gen. Sir Nicholas Houghton.
Sir Bill's post may not be refilled as there are already more bureaucrats than soldiers in the MoD.