Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston is the new chair of South Australia's Defence Advisory Board, replacing General Peter Cosgrove, who's resigned to be governor-general.
Premier Jay Weatherill praised both General Cosgrove and his replacement, who has been on the board since October 2012.
"General Cosgrove has been on the board since its inception in 2007 and has been an outstanding advocate for South Australia's defence industry," the premier said on Friday.
He said the board had attracted an extraordinary array of defence strategic advice and the appointment of Air Chief Marshal Houston added "an extraordinary gravitas and strength".
Air Chief Marshal Houston, who has spent 41 years in the Australian Defence Force including six as its chief between 2005 and 2011, was the logical successor, he added.
Despite having less than 10 per cent of the nation's population, the state had managed to garner 25 per cent of the nation's defence spend, the premier said.
Air Chief Marshal Houston said he was delighted to take on the role to ensure South Australia remained the "Defence State".