Captain Tom Moore has been appointed as an honorary colonel to mark his 100th birthday. The Bedfordshire war veteran, who has raised more than £29 million for NHS Charities Together by walking laps of his garden, has become the honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College in Harrogate.
Chief of the General Staff General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith made theappointment, which has been approved by the Queen, in order to inspire the next generation of soldiers.
Captain Tom was informed of the promotion in a letter presented by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Miller, the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire.
The veteran, who was born in Keighley, served with the 8th Battalion The Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment, which is now part of The Yorkshire Regiment.
His centenary is being marked by two military flypasts, while a GWR intercityexpress train has been named in his honour and his local postbox had beenrepainted in the colours of the NHS.
As honorary colonel, he will be invited to speak to junior soldiers at Harrogate, ensuring his incredible example is passed on to the next generation of soldiers.
The centenarian, who is now entitled to use the rank of colonel, was alsopresented with a replacement Second World War Defence Medal ahead of next week's VE Day celebrations.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "Captain Tom is simply inspirational and I am absolutely delighted the Army has honoured him in such a fitting manner"
"He not only embodies the spirit of our incredible veteran community, but the resolve of this nation. During these unprecedented times, he has reminded us all hardship is easier endured when we place the needs of others above our own, and approach everything with a smile. Like millions of others, I put my hand in my pocket for his incredible fundraising feat that will do such good for the NHS working on the front line of this battle right now. Ahead of VE Day 75, it is fitting that we are once again looking to the Second World War generation to show us the way."
"His mature wisdom, no-nonsense attitude and humour in adversity make him an inspirational role model to generations young and old. I am delighted he has accepted the honorary colonelcy of the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, where our 16 and 17-year-olds are trained and educated to be the future leaders of the Army."