Sam Hart previously served in the Army Air Corps where he flew Lynx helicopters. He was awarded the NATO Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding leadership as an operations officer for the Joint Helicopter Force in Afghanistan.
Mr Hart moved into education after leaving the armed forces, and moves from Winchester College, where he was housemaster, head of the school's combined cadet force and head of sport, as well as a physics teacher.
He will now take over as headmaster at the 400-pupil independent Giggleswick School, in Settle, which was founded in 1512. He will replace current head Mark Turnbull, who will step down after Christmas to move to Kent College in Canterbury.
Mr Hart, who is married with two young children, has a first-class degree in engineering from the University of Edinburgh.
He said: “I am honoured to have been appointed as the headmaster of Giggleswick. During my recent visits, I was greatly impressed by the ethos of the school and the pupils I met.
“I am looking forward to meeting everyone, and to finding out much more about the full breadth of learning at Giggleswick and what it offers to young people.”
Alex Thursby, Chairman of Governors at Giggleswick, said: “We had a strong field of candidates to be the next headmaster, and this reflects well on Mark’s achievements at the school and the high standing of Giggleswick.
“The governors selected Sam for his qualities as a leader, his dedication to education and his exceptionally broad talents.
“He is highly intelligent, pragmatic, and energetic, as well as caring deeply for those he leads. Sam brings strong experience of boarding as well as a highly successful track record from his current school.
“We are delighted to have made such a strong appointment to be the next head of Giggleswick School.”