Kensington Palace announced today that Harry, 29, a.k.a. Captain Wales, will end his more than three-year run as an Apache helicopter pilot with the Army Air Corps and take up a position as a staff officer in London.
“Captain Wales has reached the pinnacle of flying excellence as an Apache pilot, particularly in Afghanistan and, in the process, has proved to be a real inspiration to the many Army Air Corps officers and soldiers who have come to know him so well over the last two years,” Lt. Col. Tom de la Rue, who commanded Harry in the Army Air Corps, said in a statement released by Kensington Palace.
The palace said that Harry will retain the rank of captain but his focus will now be on “helping to coordinate significant projects and commemorative events involving the Army in London.”
He will be based at the Horse Guards in Central London, according to the palace.
Harry joined the British Army in May 2005 and rose to the rank of Apache helicopter commander in July after three years of training. The British Defense Ministry named Harry the best front-seat pilot, or co-pilot gunner, in February 2012 from his class of more than 20 fellow Apache helicopter pilots.
The prince returned to England last January from a five-month deployment to Afghanistan with the Royal Air Force’s 662 Squadron of the Army Air Corps, where he served as an Apache co-pilot gunner.
Upon his return from Afghanistan, Prince Harry spoke to British media about why he enjoys serving in the Army.
“I find it very easy to completely forget about who I am when I’m in the army,” Harry said. “Everyone’s wearing the same uniform and doing the same thing. All the officers get called sir and it is great fun. I get on great with the lads and I enjoy my job. It really is as simple as that.”