Major General Kieran Brennan, who won senior hurling medals for Kilkenny in 1982 and 1983, will take over the deputy chief of staff operations after the Cabinet approved his promotion yesterday.
Maj Gen Brennan, who is a native of Jenkinstown, Co Kilkenny, was commissioned as an officer in the infantry corps in 1977 and quickly rose through the ranks.
He has since instructed in the Military College, Defence Forces Training Centre, and served as Battalion Commander of the Third Infantry Battalion in Stephens Barracks, Kilkenny.
Maj Gen Brennan, who won a GAA All Star award in 1984, also has extensive overseas experience having served twice with United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in 1982 and 1997.
He also served as company commander with the 28th Infantry Group as part of a KFOR Multinational Battalion in Kosovo in 2004.
Four years later he commanded the 98th Infantry Battalion with the EUFOR mission in Chad and in 2010 he served as deputy military adviser at the permanent mission to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna .
The senior officer has two sons, Kieran and Shane, who serve as a captain and lieutenant respectively in the army.
Defence Minister Simon Coveney said he wanted to wish Maj Gen Brennan every success in his new role.