Talk:British Armed Forces

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The Royal Marines are an arm of the Royal Navy[edit]

See above Are the Royal Marines a part of the Royal Navy?

The answer to the question is yes they are. The content of the current page's infobox and lead are embarrassing, because it looks as if the editor who wrote this lead are aping the content of the American Armed Forces article. The Royal Marines are not a separate service of the armed Forces in the way that the US Marines are.

This is answered quite simply by looking at the MOD web site:

  • Royal Navy's page: [1] "The Royal Navy is made up of five arms. The might of ships in the Surface Fleet, the aerial strength that is the Fleet Air Arm, the covert Submarine Service, the elite and amphibious Royal Marines, and the civilian fleet central to our effectiveness, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary."
  • Royal Marines page: [2] "Internationally renowned, the Royal Marines are the UK's Commando force and the Royal Navy's amphibious troops."

To answer some of the issues raised in the section "Are the Royal Marines a part of the Royal Navy?". Historically one of their prime missions of the marines was to support the captain of a Royal Navy ship if the sailors threatened mutiny. To facilitate this they were always a separate corps within the Navy so that their pay and terms and conditions were separated from those of the ratings. However this did not make them a separate service.

The knowledge that the British armed forces consist of three services is so well known that the MOD tends not to state the obvious very clearly.

The MOD web page is a bit messy but it has links to the three services: Royal Navy, Army and RAF, and lower down the page it has links to the Tri-service personnel statistical bulletin: 2014 (that is Tri-service not quad-service). In the Tri-service report it does mention the three services:

  • "The targets for numbers of personnel in 2020; originally outlined in SDSR and including the revised Army figure after 3ME. are approximately as follows; 29,000 for the Naval Service, 82,000 for the Army and the 31,500 for the RAF." (page 5)
  • "There has been a downward trend in the requirement for UK Armed Forces personnel in all three Services since April 2008, although there was an overall increase in the All Service requirement between 2010 and 2011. The rate of decrease has been quickest in the RAF, followed by the RN/RM and slowest in the Army." (page 8)
  • "Strength of UK Regular Forces by Service, and Table 2.01.02 whether trained or untrained, at 1 April each year" (Page 11) -- The Royal Marines are listed in the Royal Navy section. The Total for the Royal Navy is given as 33,330 offices and men of which the Royal Marines make up 7,810.

So I suggest that the page is fix to remove the Royal Marines from the "Service branches" as they are part of the Royal Navy and no more a service than the "Fleet Air Arm". -- PBS (talk) 14:16, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

See this source:

The Naval Service comprises the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, QARNNS, Reserve Forces and Naval Careers Service. The Naval Service is supported by a range of organisations (including external agencies and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary) which are largely civilian manned. The latter organisations do not form part of the Naval Service, but where they contain personnel of the Royal Navy those personnel individually form part of the Naval Service. They are all governed by the Admiralty Board of the Defence Council.

I wrote the lead to this article and included Royal Marine Corps in the infobox based on that source. I don't understand why sources contradict each other :(
Rob984 (talk) 20:50, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

edit clash

I have made adjustments to the Royal Navy section. I have added mention of the five arms as described at http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/ and I have moved sentences around so that the Royal Navy section is now grouped into paragraphs around the four of the five arms. Bullet point of the the civilian support arm of the RN (Royal_Fleet_Auxiliary) simply has a link to the article and a link to the section lower down the page. I have removed mention of the Naval Service (United Kingdom) as it seem superfluous given that the RN says it five arms and does not make the distinction that that article makes between those arms. -- PBS (talk) 20:56, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Have a look at this page 2 of the source you are using "The Royal Marines is a separate corps of the regular (military) forces (as laid down in S.210 and qualified by S.225 of the Army Act 1955) but is commanded and administered by Fleet Commander. All Royal Marines are subject to the Armed Forces Act 2006 at all times when borne on the books of any of Her Majesty’s ships or naval establishments". -- PBS (talk) 21:03, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

It is very well known in Britain that there are three armed services and that before the RAF became an independent service there were two. Placing the marines as a separate entity at the start of this article give undue mention to the one part of the navy. I said above there were historic reasons for the marines being separated from the ratings but even so the RM have always beenDon't know that for sureare a part of the Royal Navy. -- PBS (talk) 21:11, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

An up to date version of your source is here it has an introductory page here but that intro is broken on my Firefox browser but not MS Internet browser. It seems to me that "BRd 2: The Queen's Regulation for the Royal Navy" are probably not the best source to work out the structure of HM armed forces (see what the article Queen's Regulations says about them). -- PBS (talk) 21:28, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

Okay. The term 'Her Majesty's Naval Service' is used by other sources however: 'Her Majesty's Naval Service', google.com
This source looks important: NAVAL PERSONNEL HIERARCHY, mod.uk
This source makes a similar distinction: Her Majesty’s Naval Service Eligibility and Guidance Notes, mod.uk
There is also a combat unit of the Royal Navy that is not part of the Royal Marines: Fleet Diving Units 1, 2 & 3, mod.uk
The command structure of the British Armed Forces is entirely different to it's structural composition. Army units come under the 3 Commando Brigade for example. This doesn't make them part of the Royal Marines.
Note the structure of the reserve forces: Reserve Forces, mod.uk
RFA personnel wear Merchant Navy rank insignias. The RFA can't be part of the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy.
So we a distinct structural difference depending on the source:
Or
If I may say so myself, the latter structure looks intentionally simplified.
Rob984 (talk) 15:19, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
Additionally, the well-known 'tri-service' concept isn't wrong. It's clearly referring to Her Majesty's Naval Service, not the Royal Navy. Rob984 (talk) 15:25, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Rob984 I made many edits not only to the structure but also to individual paragraphs. Do you disagree with all of the edits? If not why did you revert all of them indiscriminately?

See Navy Command senior, as of March 2013 (Updated 20 February 2014) for an overview of the operational command. Note the "Grade (or equivalent)" field allows the building of a tree of command.

The particular part of the tree we are interested in is the first three levels (OF-9, OF-8 and OF-7)

OF-9
First Sea Lord (1SL) / Chief of Naval Staff
The Royal Navy's professional head and Chairman of the Navy Board. He is responsible to the Secretary of State for the fighting effectiveness...
OF-S8
Fleet Commander / Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (DCNS)
The Fleet Commander has full command of all deployable Fleet units including the Royal Marines. He is responsible for providing ships, submarines, aircraft and Royal Marine units ready in all respects for any operations that the UK Government requires.
OF-8
Chief of Naval Personnel and Training (CNP&T) / Second Sea Lord (2SL)
SCS2, Director Resources (D Res)
OF-7Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Policy)
OF-7
Commander UK Maritime Forces (COMUKMARFOR)
OF-7...

One of the OF-7 levels is

Commander UK Amphibious Forces (COMUKAMPHIBFOR) / Commandant General Royal Marines (CGRM)

Commander of the UK Amphibious Forces (CAF) is a rapidly deployable amphibious land, maritime, joint or national contingent headquarters staff which is currently the RN's standing 2* contingency formation headquarters. Commandant General Royal Marines (CGRM) is the head of service for over 6800 Royal Marines and is responsible for all regimental and representational matters. CGRM is also a member of the Navy Board.

Or put another way COMUKAMPHIBFOR operational commander is DCNS (who's operational commander is the First Sea Lord/Chief of Naval Staff). But on the administrative side CGRM (same man but with a different hat on is also a member of the Navy Board).

The document you describe as "This source looks important" is a section from The Queen's Regulation. I think what you are looking at is the equivalent difference between an organisational chart of the American armed forces in Asia in 1944 under China Burma India Theater and that of South East Asia Command ( Vinegar Joe) was commander of one and deputy commander of the other). However the the CBI was an administrative structure while the operational structure was SEAC.

So I think what you are doing is looking at the structure administratively not operationally. Usually one would present armed forces from a operational perspective and not an administrative point of view. If you look at the structure operationally then the Royal Navy web pages are correct, and as the Web page of the Royal Marines says [3] "Internationally renowned, the Royal Marines are the UK's Commando force and the Royal Navy's amphibious troops".

--PBS (talk) 20:19, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

The operational command structure of the British Armed Forces is significantly different to its structural composition, and still not perticuallarly similar to the Royal Navy web pages.
Operational command structure:
  • Navy Command
    • United Kingdom Maritime Forces
      • United Kingdom Task Group
        • Response Force Task Group
    • United Kingdom Amphibious Forces
      • 3 Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade is effectively most of the Royal Marines. Response Force Task Group is the Royal Navy's expeditionary task force.
Yes, Commander United Kingdom Amphibious Forces report to the Fleet Commander, a Royal Navy Officer, and Commandant General Royal Marines reports to the First Sea Lord, again, a Royal Navy Officer, but this does not mean the Royal Marines are part of the Royal Navy. The Chief of the Defence Staff, the head of the Her Majesty's Armed Forces, is an Army officer for example.
I know the Commander United Kingdom Amphibious Forces is the same person as the Commandant General Royal Marines, but lets not complicate things.
Operational command structure has little to do with the structural composition of our forces. You have commands such as the Joint Helicopter Command, which command units from all three services. JHC is commanded by Army HQ. That doesn't mean the Commando Helicopter Force is part of the Army (it's part of the Royal Navy). Some units come directly under the command of the Ministry of Defence, such as the Special Air Service. Again, the Special Air Service is not part of the Ministry of Defence (it's part of the Army).
Rob984 (talk) 21:10, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
I think there is some misunderstanding here of the distinctions between Full Command, Operational Command and Operational Control, and how that manifests in the organisation. It really needs now to be looked at in the context of the wider MoD, particularly with the Foint Force Commander as the customer of much of the Naval Service capability output.
Second recruits and trains all members of the Naval Service (RN, RM and RFA), Fleet Commander is the customer of the MoD support operation and for delivering operational capability of the whole force. In that sense the C2 for some roles is split for different reasons. CG reports to FC for the operational capability of the Brigade in his role as COMUKAMPHIBFOR, but to Second for professional standards and requirements in role as CG.
For practical purposes the Corps is fully supported by Second and FC, but administratively it is separate from the RN within the Service.
GhostlyLegend (talk) 08:51, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Yet again there appears to be no mention that the Royal Marines by statute constitute a separate regular force. Pretty damning. —Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 10:54, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Clarify your point please. Rob984 (talk) 16:28, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
The legislation mainly refers to the "Naval forces" (plural). None of the armed forces really have a strong legal personality, as all the formal legal powers are vested in the Defence Council. The 1957 Naval Discipline Act is the main legislation for the naval forces, most of its provisions are still in force albeit under the Defence Council rather than the Admiralty Board. It makes reference to the different Naval Services but does not define a hierarchy, except to say that all Naval Services are subject to the authority of the Admiralty Board (now the Defence Council) [4] Thom2002 (talk) 16:38, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
In conclusion, I'm not sure the legislation supports either side of this wiki-debate, except perhaps to the extent that it suggests this is a meaningless question! Thom2002 (talk) 16:50, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Look at one of the recent incarnations of the Armed Forces Act (2006 if memory serves, it's mentioned in the earlier discussion on this) - the Royal Marines are specifically defined as a separate regular force - it's up to someone to find the relevant statute, statutory instrument or order in council which categorically states that the the Royal Marines constitute part of the Royal Navy, or even some magic preamble in law which states "The Royal Navy and Royal Marines together shall be known as the Royal Navy ..." —Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 17:12, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
See Wikipedia policy articles should not be based on primary sources (such as acts of Parliament) if there are secondary sources that contradict them (as your interpretation of the acts can not be taken as accurate without secondary sources to support you interpretation). Do you have any reliable secondary sources to support you contention that the Royal Marines are not part of the Royal Navy? -- PBS (talk) 18:53, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I reviewed the 2006 Act as well. Its to do with the Civil War legacy. Land forces have to be renewed by Parliament every five years, but naval forces are exempt from this requirement as they stayed loyal to the Crown. For these purposes, Marines are land forces unless embarked, and so their mandate has to be renewed. That does not really make them a separate force though, its just a bit of historical legacy. Like I say, despite the bits of definition floating around for these purposes, its all essentially a meaningless question as military authority was centralised in the Defence Council in 1964. Thom2002 (talk) 18:00, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
They Royal Marines legal standing is besides the point. As Thom2002 points out, there is a good historical reasons for them being a separate legal entity, the first is to do with separating the interest of marines and naval ratings so that the marines would not support naval ratings in a mutiny. The second is to do with Parliaments distrust of a peacetime army and it would drive a coach and horses through the Army Act, if a government could get around it by simply increasing the size of the marine corps into a fully functional army (so obviously for the sake of the army act you want to make sure that Navy's soldiers are under similar terms to other soldiers). The relevant point is that the Armed services themselves state that the Royal Marines are the Royal Navy's infantry, and so do many secondary sources. Other than legislation and sources such as the Queens regulations (both primary sources that should be read in such as way as to contradict the majority of reliable secondary sources, unless there are secondary sources to support such readings), what evidence is there in secondary sources that the Royal Marines constitute a separate service?
  • For example see Royal Marines Museum: The Royal Marines Today "The Royal Marines today form an important part of Britain’s Armed Forces. They are part of the Naval Service, so form part of the Royal Navy’s ability to defend, deter and defeat any potential threats to the United Kingdom." (The museum is a registered charity (No. 1142186) -- and so a secondary source independent from the government).
  • Here is another source that in its introduction describes the six symbols in the Royal Marines' crest including "A fouled anchor ... is the traditional badge of the Lord High Admiral and signifies the Royal Marines' place within the Royal Navy. This symbol was added to the crest in 1747" (page 8, British Royal Marines: Amphibious Division of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy by Bill Scheppler (2002) on page 9 in the same book the first sentence in the body of the book states "The British Royal Marines are the amphibious division of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy.
So not only are there primary sources such as the Royal Navy's own website, the Royal Marines' own website both claiming that the Royal Marines are part of the Royal Navy, and an Operations organisational document that can be turned in to tree that shows that the Royal Marines are an operational part of the Royal Navy, I have also presented two independent reliable sources that make the same claim. Are there any reliable secondary sources that support the contention that the Royal Marines are not the Royal Navy's infantry? -- PBS (talk) 18:53, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
NAVAL PERSONNEL HIERARCHY and Her Majesty’s Naval Service Eligibility and Guidance Notes are secondary sources. They are an analysis of the Joint Personnel Administration system. "Secondary" does not mean "independent". Additionally, the secondary sources you have provided do not explain what the Naval Service is. It appears that they use the terms 'Naval Service' and 'Royal Navy' interchangeably, which evidently, this isn't entirely true, although endorsed by the Royal Navy itself. All things considered, we should use common sense. Reliable sources conflict. The sources you have provided are questionable. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary cannot be part of the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy. The Naval Service clearly exists. The structure your sources provide is simpler. There are combat units of the Royal Navy, not part of the Royal Marines. And so on. royalnavy.mod.uk is maintained by Royal Navy Digital, the PR department of the Royal Navy. The source I have given is a direct interpretation of the Joint Personnel Administration system, for use by the Naval Service, not promotional material created by a PR department. Rob984 (talk) 19:18, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
  • BR 3 is part of The Queens Regulations so is not a secondary source!
  • "Additionally, the secondary sources you have provided do not explain what the Naval Service is." -- They do not have to, this is an assertion that the Royal Marines are "the Royal Navy's amphibious troops".
  • "It appears that they use the terms 'Naval Service' and 'Royal Navy' interchangeably, which evidently, this isn't entirely true, although endorsed by the Royal Navy itself." -- What is your independent expert third party reliable source that backs up your assertion?
  • "The sources you have provided are questionable." -- What is your independent expert third party reliable source that backs up your assertion?
  • "There are combat units of the Royal Navy, not part of the Royal Marines." -- I would hope so, otherwise how would one operate Royal Navy ships, submarines and other combat paraphernalia?
If your are hanging your whole argument on one document which as was explained above is an administrative document and not an operational one, then that is not enough to show that the Royal Marines are not as the Royal Marine Web page states "Internationally renowned, the Royal Marines are the UK's Commando force and the Royal Navy's amphibious troops." A statement backed up by at least two reliable third party secondary sources. Do you have any third party secondary sources that contradict those sources? -- PBS (talk) 21:57, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
There's thousands of sources that refer to the "Royal Navy and Royal Marines". There's thousands of sources that distinguish between the Naval Service and Royal Navy.
Sure, yes, let's just pretend that distinction doesn't exist. Let's just ignore the fact that the article Her Majesty's Naval Service exists. Let's just ignore the fact that the Royal Fleet Auxiliary compromises of both Merchant Navy and Royal Navy personal. Great idea. That's not problematic at all.
Oh wait, there's this thing called common sense.
Rob984 (talk) 15:36, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
I do not think that anyone is ignoring anything. Instead the debate is over presentation and interpretation of sources. Usually military forces are presented from an operational perspective not an administrative perspective, because usually the chain of operational command is considered to be more relevant then the chain of paymasters (although of course ultimately it is the paymasters who have the control in the long term).
The very first two sources returned by your first Google search were the two I listed in my first post to this section:
  • Royal Navy's page: [5] "The Royal Navy is made up of five arms. The might of ships in the Surface Fleet, the aerial strength that is the Fleet Air Arm, the covert Submarine Service, the elite and amphibious Royal Marines, and the civilian fleet central to our effectiveness, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary."
  • Royal Marines page: [6] "Internationally renowned, the Royal Marines are the UK's Commando force and the Royal Navy's amphibious troops."
Rather than relying on "common sense", and rather than supplying a Google search, can you provide third party reliable secondary sources that contradict the third party reliable secondary sources I have provided? -- PBS (talk) 20:53, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
Maybe, I don't know. Could you explain your proposed changes to this article? And others related. Most sources refer to the 'Royal Navy and Royal Marines', and 'Royal Navy and Royal Marine personnel'. I don't think including the Royal Marines' section under the Royal Navy's section is particularly helpful, and sources don't do that either. Rob984 (talk) 15:53, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

Arbitrary break 1[edit]

It seems that we've got two issues here, whether the Corps is seperate legal entity from the RN, and whether they're operationally distinct?
With respect to the former, as identified above, it's not all that clear. The three different services don't have as distinct separations as they used to have when they had their own legal enablers, when they're all covered by the same act now. The risk with reliance on primary sources is that they do need to be considered in light of their relationship with other primary sources. There are historical reasons why the Corps was treated under both QRRN and the Army Act, subject to the context within which they were operating.
From a practical perspective, again there is a bit of a reliance on primary sources here. The JPA hierarchy ilsted above is principally to enable the cost of personnel to be appropriately alloted to employing budgets, to allow approvals of entitlement and expenses and to enable reporting.
From a practical perspective it's all rather moot. The HQ of CG merged into the wider Fleet HQ in, I think 2001, and they're now fully integrated. The staff is made up of RN and RM Seniors and Officers working alongside one another. There's been an ongoing debate around whether we'll see a dark green Fleet Commander, or Second, in fact there's no reason we couldn't see a dark green First.
GhostlyLegend (talk) 21:20, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
@Rob984 you wrote above "Could you explain your proposed changes to this article?" Yes. I have produced both MOD sources, by both the RN and the RMs, that say that the RMs are the RNs amphibious force.I have also produced third party sources that says the same thing. Myself and others have pointed out that the current wording resets on editors' interpretations of primary sources such as Queens Regulations, that those interpretations may be worong, and no third party reliable sources have been presented here to support those interpretations. Using such interpretations, when they are not simple and clear cut, without secondary sources to support the interpretations goes against WP:PSTS. So I intend to reinstate in full the edit I made that you then reverted. -- PBS (talk) 14:14, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
The issue is we have sources for the Naval Service. You can't simply remove mention of the Naval Service from Wikipedia. You have no source which implies that the Royal Navy is not part of the Naval Service. There's only two primary sources defining 'Naval Service', but there are many sources using the term 'Naval Service' in line with the definition given by those primary sources:

The Admiralty Interview Board (AIB) is our standard assessment process for those who want to join the Naval Service as an officer. You could be applying to join the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Navy Medical Services, Chaplaincy Service, Submarine Service, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Naval and Royal Marines Reserves or Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
ADMIRALTY INTERVIEW BOARD, mod.uk

HRH Prince Michael of Kent said: “It is fitting, that this memorial embodies that profound sense of duty while paying tribute to all those in the Naval Service, regardless of rank, trade or fighting Arm. The Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Royal Naval and Royal Marine Reserves, the Women’s Royal Naval Service, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service, the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary are therefore all represented in this memorial, which draws our attention to the sacrifices made by all those in the Naval Service family past, present and future.”
Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity-backed Naval Service Memorial unveiled by HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity

To accept the gift, the Naval Service turned out in force – the memorial is for all the fighting arms, including the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Maritime Reserves, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Women’s Royal Naval Service, Queen Alexandra Royal Naval Nursing Service and the RN Auxiliary Service.
Naval service memorial dedication and unveiling, mod.uk

The Royal Naval Service includes Royal Navy, Marines their Reserves, WRNS, QARNNS, RNXS and the RFA.
Service: Dedication of the Naval Service Memorial, National Memorial Arboretum

The Naval Service consists of;
Royal Navy
Royal Marines
Royal Naval Reserves
Royal Marines Reserves
Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Women's Royal Naval Service
Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service
Royal Naval Auxiliary Service

The Naval Service Memorial, QR Memories

The Royal Navy forms a constituent part of the naval service, which also comprises Royal Marines, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Royal Naval Reserve and Royal Marines Reserve.
Royal Navy, debretts.com

The Corps of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines (RM) worked closely with the Royal Navy under the Naval Service and is the oldest force of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. ancestry.co.uk

And so on...
Of course, those aren't valuable sources, but they do show that the Naval Service's structure isn't unheard of. If we can identify the reason for the contrasting POVs, we should explain this, rather then presenting a one-sided view. 'Editing from a neutral point of view (NPOV) means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic'.
We don't have to state it either way. We don't have to say what the 'three uniformed services' are. We can go on to discuss the Royal Navy and Royal Marines separately, while identifying that the Royal Marine are the 'Royal Navy's amphibious troops' and leave the reader to come to there own conclusions.
Her Majesty's Naval Service is linked to by a lot of articles. It would confuse the reader if we presented different views on different articles.
Rob984 (talk) 21:45, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Not one of the sources you have provided would be considered to be of the best type of third party reliable sources, as defined under WP:SOURCE, and none of them advance the argument that operationally the Royal Marines are not part of the Royal Navy.

Four of your seven citations are about the same memorial.

I think with your last reference you were scraping the bottom of the barrel with ancestry.co.uk which clearly not a reliable source for anything, let alone the Navel service matters.

"QR Memories (UK) Ltd, a subsidiary of Pearce Associates" is not a reliable source, for naval matters.

"ADMIRALTY INTERVIEW BOARD" is not a third party reliable source.

Royal Navy, debretts.com. I am not sure that Debrett's is a reliable sources for this, but lets assume for for now that it is. The page does have the quote, but no one is arguing that the Naval service is not in existence. The question is if using an administrative organisation it is the best way to describe the armed forces of the United Kingdom because it does not reflect the operational command. For example on the Debrett's page all but that first sentence supports the operational layout; For example look to the left there is a list with major heading of Relative ranks, Royal Navy, The Army, RAF, Titled Officers ..." -- the Royal Marines are grouped under Royal Navy.

If the Wikipedia article were to follow the organisational structure based on the Naval Service, the presumably it would have a section called Naval Service with separate sections for "The Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Royal Naval and Royal Marine Reserves, the Women’s Royal Naval Service, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service, the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary". The problem with that is as it says from the source from which it is quoted "[it] embodies that profound sense of duty while paying tribute to all those in the Naval Service, regardless of rank, trade or fighting Arm." It does not represent operation command

I think that you want to use the Naval Service as a mechanism to trying to show that the Marines are separate and equal to the Royal Navy (I am not sure why -- perhaps you would like to explain), but if one goes that way then from an administrative point of view the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines are probably of no more importance than the Reserves. I think you need to address the two most recent postings by GhostlyLegend as I think those posts get to the heart of this matter. -- PBS (talk) 11:06, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

The Armed Forces clearly do not operate in line with there organisational structure. There's British Army regiments operating under 3 Commando, Royal Marines. There's regiments and squadrons operating directly under the command of the MOD. There's multiple squadrons of the Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm operating under Joint Helicopter Command, which is sub-ordinate to Army Headquarters. To say the Royal Marines are part of the Royal Navy because they operate under Navy Command is an absurd conclusion.
The Armed Forces presumably aren't defined in law because they are sub-ordinate to the Crown, as oppose to the government.
However, the Armed Forces Act 2006, which is the system of military law under which the Armed Forces operate, states:
“the regular army” means any of Her Majesty's military forces other than—
(a)
the Army Reserve;
(b)
the Territorial Army; and
(c)
forces raised under the law of a British overseas territory;
“the regular forces” means the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the regular army or the Royal Air Force, and references to “a regular force” are to be read accordingly;
“the reserve forces” means the Royal Fleet Reserve, the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Marines Reserve, the Army Reserve, the Territorial Army, the Royal Air Force Reserve or the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, and references to “a reserve force” are to be read accordingly;
So you could equally say the Regular Army and Army Reserve are separate organisations collectively referred to as the British Army, as well as operating under the same command. We cover the Parachute Regiment and Special Air Service, which are terms collectively referring to multiple separate regiments, likewise.
Why can't Royal Navy refer to the Royal Navy and Royal Naval Reserve? I don't see a problem with that.
Rob984 (talk) 17:09, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I think I can see the source of confusion here, and it is exacerbated by a reliance on primary and tertiary sources, rather than secondary.
The Armed Forces do operate in accordance with their structure, through the exercise of Full Command and Operational Command. In that sense, to use the two examples:
  • For 3 Cdo Bde -
  • 1SL has Full Command over all RM and RN units, sub-units and personnel subordinated to the Bde
  • Fleet Commander exercises Operational Command over the Bde
  • CGS has Full Command over Army units, sub-units and personnel subordinated to the Bde
  • CGS delegates Operational Command over those units and sub-units to the Fleet Commander
  • Where 3Cdo Bde is employed on contingent tasking under the Joint Force Commander the Fleet Commander will delegate his OPCOM to the JFC.
The Bde Cdr has Operational Control over the RN and RM units and sub-units attached to the Bde, by virtue of his Commander, whether FC or JFC, delegating such to him.
  • For JHC
  • CGS has Full Command over Army units and sub-units attached to the Command
  • 1SL has Full Command over any RN and RM units and sub-units attached to the Command
  • CAS has Full Command over any RAF units, sub-units and personnel attatched to the Command
  • 1SL delegates Operational Command of those RN and RM units, sub-units and personnel attahed to the JHC to Commander Land Forces
  • CAS delegates OPCOM of the RAF units to CLF
  • Where elements of JHC are employed on contingent operations under the JFC, then CLF will delegate OPCOM to the JFC.
All fairly clear cut, from an operational perspective. The main issue about Full Command in this sense really kicks in when one is talking about HR related issues, like redress of grievance and the like.
With respect to the precedence of the Armed Forces Act, whilst the AF are servants of the Crown, the Sovreign delegates authority over the AF to her government. As Treasury holds the purse strings there is a need for some form of authority for the AF to receive funds from HM through her exchequer.
Chain of Command isn't difficult in practice, as there are plenty of controls around it.
I think there is an over-reliance on the fact that RN and RM are talked about together to assert some form of independent existance for the Corps. As above, in practice it's a bit moot. Entrants to the RN and RM are recruited by members of the Naval Careers Service. They're trained under the direction of 2SL, they're employed at the direction of 1SL, through the Naval Secretary whose actions define where the individual fits into that structure of Full Command, Operational Command and Operational Control. Notwithstanding that I can understand why one might struggle to understand it if one has never studied it beyond a fairly superficial level.
GhostlyLegend (talk) 14:55, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
It may also be relvant to note that CG sits on the Navy Board in an advisory capacity only. The capability is formally represented by the Fleet Commander.
GhostlyLegend (talk) 15:57, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I do understand the distinction. PBS referred to 'operational command', not 'full command', hence my response. I feel like we're going round in circles. I don't think the Royal Marines are a independent service like the Army and RAF, but rather coequal to the Royal Navy, under a Naval Service. How is Navy Command HQ the Royal Navy's headquarters any more then it is the Royal Marines' headquarters? The reason for my recent changes to this article are that reliable sources almost always contrast the 'Royal Navy' with the 'Royal Marines'. They don't contrast the 'Royal Marines' with the 'Surface Fleet'. We don't need to describe the structure of the Armed Forces if it's unclear. We can leave readers to draw there own conclusions. We should however describe the Armed Forces as reliable sources describe them. Rob984 (talk) 16:20, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Well if you look in the Navy List you'll note that RM is listed as a specialisation, in brackets afte rthe name of the officer. NAVSEC appoints on the basis of specialisation; X, E, S, RM, SM.
GhostlyLegend (talk) 16:29, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
So? I can't see how that would be different if the Royal Marines were, or were not part of the Royal Navy? More notably, sources make a distinction between "Royal Navy personal" and "Naval Service personal", the latter including Royal Marines while the formed not. Rob984 (talk) 18:19, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
As for the RFA...
Although you’ll be working alongside the Royal Navy, you won’t actually be joining them. In fact, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary is part of the UK Merchant Navy, which means you will stay a civilian.
[7]
"The Royal Navy is made up of five arms." is therefore questionable. Royal Navy Digital may not be a very reliable source.
Rob984 (talk) 18:39, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Sources also distinguish between Warfare personnel, Engineer personnel, Logistics personnel, Aviation personnel. There are a number of reasons for that, particularly with respect to postings and command appointments. Engineers, for example, cannot take command of seagoing units, but can take command of shore units, only aviation personnel can command a flying Squadron. Equally a Warfare or Logistics officer can never be the Controller of the Navy.
For all practical purposes the Corps is part of the RN, including ID cards being marked as Royal Navy.
I'd agree that we're going round in circles. You seem to be wedded to using a term that's not in common use, even within the service. Unfortunately making the distinction requires the use of what could reasonably be construed as Original Research as there is a need to interpret a variety of sources to support the argument.
GhostlyLegend (talk) 18:47, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Possibly should be noted, 'Navy Command' is part of the Ministry of Defence, not the Naval Service or Royal Navy. [8] Rob984 (talk) 19:04, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Uh, they distinguish Royal Marine personal from various Royal Navy person. Not sure how you're drawing conclusions from that?
For practical purposes, I would agree. That is the purpose of Marines...
That said, for practical purposes, the RFA are 'part of' the Royal Navy. But they're not.
Rob984 (talk) 19:04, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
All three armed forces are part of MoD, that's how the authority is cascaded: HMQEII vests authority in her government, in the form of SecState. SecState delivers defence capabilities through three uniformed services and the civilian elements of MoD.
The Defence Council is made up of both civlian and military, then cascading through the three single service boards; Admiralty Board in this case.
The RFA is not part of the RN from a legal perspective as civilian flagged vessels have different rights of access, and passage. They're armed accordingly, with RFA vessels having defensive capabilities rather than offensive. That distinction is something that can be exploited in an operational context. The vessels themselves also give significantly different capabilities to military tasks; they're more suitable for counter narcotics and disaster relief activities for example.
Also RFA officers don't hold a commission, they have no command authority in a military context. Unfortunately I don't think you really support your point.
GhostlyLegend (talk) 08:46, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
You correctly point out, if we're going to regarding the Royal Marines and RFA as part of the Royal Navy, by the criteria of full command, we might as well regard the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force as part of the Ministry of Defence; completely ignoring the British constitution... Rob984 (talk) 10:08, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
A British constitution? Where's that then ;)
I made a distinction upthread about Crown servants, it's important here. Miliitary, law enforcement and Security Service are Crown appointees, which creates a distinction around how statute applies.
Also my point about RFA is that Full Command doesn't actually apply in the same way as different sets of legislation apply to civilian flagged vessels. In that sense FC has OPCOM, and Commodore RFA has different masters.
GhostlyLegend (talk) 10:24, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The laws and principles that fundamentally define the state. Mostly unwritten conventions.
Well yeah, obviously there's a reason why we have military ships that are not part of the military. It's still not a reason to encourage erroneous use of the term 'Royal Navy'.
Rob984 (talk) 10:34, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Unwritten convention doesn't have precedence over statute law.
Equally if it's not written own then I'm afraid that it's not verifiable.
GhostlyLegend (talk) 10:47, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
There commonly referred to in law as "the Armed Forces of the Crown". Can you provide a source that says they're part of the Ministry of Defence? Rob984 (talk) 11:05, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Are you really trying to suggest that the British Armed Forces aren't part of the British Ministry of Defence?
GhostlyLegend (talk) 11:29, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I believe that ministers and their civil servants issue directives rather than orders to the armed forces, and are responsible for the manning and equipping of the armed forces, but whether the armed forces a part of the MOD is a rather abstract concept given the Crown's involvement and is a blind-ally as far as deciding if the Royal Marines, are, or are not, part of the Royal Navy. Rob984 in what is now long conversation, you still have not produced one decent secondary source (such as a book) that supports you stance. Which other editors, who has been involved in this thread, do you think supports your stance that the contradicts the Royal Marines' own web page that state "the Royal Marines are ... the Royal Navy's amphibious troops"? -- PBS (talk) 15:51, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

GhostlyLegend, the armed forces most definitely are not part of a government department. They are directly sub-ordinate to the Crown. They're not defined in law so how can they be part of the Government? Consent of Parliament is required for the Armed Forces to exist, however they swear alliance to the Crown.
PBS, that's not the Royal Marines 'own' web page. It's a web page of the Royal Navy, published by Royal Navy Digital. I'm in no position to determine the reliability of sources, however I have demonstrated that there are errors on that website in this specific topic, so I would assume you can use your common sense.
Nonetheless, to state the Royal Marines are 'the Royal Navy's amphibious troops' does not directly imply that the Royal Marine Corps is part of the Royal Navy.
Additionally, you are not in a position to determine what is a decent reliable source either.
So WP:NPOV would seem to apply.
Rob984 (talk) 18:30, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
I think that you'll find that British Defence Doctrine, and Joint Operations Doctrine, both identify that MoD is both a Department of State and a Military Headquarters. If you're continuing to assert otherwise can you provide a source that disputes those. I recognise that they're both primary sources though, so that may give you a straw to grasp at...
I'd note also that the PM is appointed by the crown, which provides a chain of command, via delegated authority, for HMG to direct the military in delivering operational effect in support of strategic policy objectives. I'd also note that not all military personnel are attested.
The Joint Operations Doctrine also describes the Defence Crisis Management Organisation, and the process whereby the three Armed Forces execute policy as directed by SecState. In other words, DCMO at MoD directs Joint Force Commander to deliver effect using resources provided by the three single service chiefs.
And if you're disputing that the web page of RN Digital may have some bearing I'd suggest you go away and find the RMs 'Own' web page and find where it disputes that assertion...
GhostlyLegend (talk) 21:03, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
That does not imply that the armed forces are part of the MOD. I've already explained, the operational command of the armed forces are significantly different to it's organisational structure.
royalnavy.mod.uk incorrectly claims the RFA is part of the Royal Navy. We cannot use it as a source for the structure of the Royal Navy because we cannot pick and choose which information is accurate and which isn't. Using that source, you must state both the RM and RFA are part of the Royal Navy. Can't you find a reliable source which is accurate?
Rob984 (talk) 17:36, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
You keep demanding a source, yet you've failed to provide one that contradicts the various documents that have been identified as germane to this debate.
GhostlyLegend (talk) 22:03, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
You need to be more specific. Maybe I have overlooked a source. I don't know. I don't think either of you have justified PBS's edit. Since, I have attempted to improve neutrality, adding verifiable text such as: 'The Royal Marine Corps are the Royal Navy's amphibious troops'. Rob984 (talk) 09:11, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
As I have always understood it, the Armed Forces are not part of the MoD. The MoD simply manages the Armed Forces on behalf of the Crown (budget etc). Civilian oversight of the military is necessary for a constitutional monarchy such as the United Kingdom, but management and ownership are entirely different things. Furthermore I have found no reliable source that would suggest to me the Armed Forces are part of the MoD. Antiochus the Great (talk) 11:05, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Part of <> owned by, although given that MoD pays the bills, sets the policy, and directs military tasking that's a fairly moot distinction.
In the context of the original point, are the Royal Marines part of the Royal Navy? As upthread, from a legal perspective, it's unclear as whilst the Royal Marines don't have an independent legal existance, the three services don't have a particularly distinct legal existence anyway. Civilian oversight is exercised through acts of parliament that enable their existence, and three sets of more detailed regulations that govern their operation. Sometimes one of those sets of regulations applies to RM units, sub-units or personnel in preference to the other, depending on their tasking at that time.
From a practical perspective, the Corps is fully integrated with the RN for its business operations; recruiting, training, equipment and logistics, planning, doctrine, funding. Is it meaningful to grasp individual sentences that draw out a distinction that's not present in practice?
GhostlyLegend (talk) 15:35, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
The vast majority of the Royal Air Force's helicopter squadrons come under the operational command of Army HQ. You don't advocate stating those squadrons are part of the Army. The structure of the Armed Forces exist to distinguish the role of each force, not there operational uses in practice. Rob984 (talk) 15:54, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
That's because CAS has Full Command and he delegates OPCOM to CLF, as explained upthread. Not difficult really.
The structure of the AF is largely historical, which is one of the reasons we have a Royal Navy, a Royal Air Farce and a collection of Regiments and Corps... You'll also note that there is some duplication of role across all three services. Does the RN need its own infantry force, does the RAF? Does the Army really need to operate its own aircraft, does the RN?
GhostlyLegend (talk) 16:01, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
The 1SL has Full Command of the Royal Marines and he delegates OPCOM to Navy Command (the MOD). 'Not difficult really.' Rob984 (talk) 13:33, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I should clarify, Fleet Commander is a Ministry of Defence position, not a Royal Navy position. [9] Rob984 (talk) 13:37, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Available for military service[edit]

The figures given as availability of military service is not correct because of the British government's treaty obligations. No-one under the age of 18 is available for combat operations ("take a direct part in hostilities"), and conscription is not an option for children (people under the age of 18). See Military use of children#International law and more specifically Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict#National responses to which Britain is a signatory). -- PBS (talk) 14:34, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Conscription would involve legislation anyway. The UK could simply pull out of any treaties. If national survival was threatened (which is the only case when conscription would be introduced) then any treaties that stood in the way of that objective could be exited. Thom2002 (talk) 16:45, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
In neither world war did the British Government conscript boys of 15 into units that took a direct part in hostilities, so there is no reason to think that they would in future. It is also unlikely that they would break their treaty obligations. Besides your argument does not cover the issue, because why pick an arbitrary age of 15 unless that is chosen because of ART 77.2 of the Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions. Pull out of Protocol I and then one could conscript Brownies into the armed forces! So lets not go down that rabbit hole and get the numbers in this article adjusted to 18 which is the current minimum age under Britain's treaty obligations. When Britain announces that it is going to pull out of the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict then the age can be change in this article back to 15. -- PBS (talk) 20:42, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
I think its all a bit academic anyway, since no-one actually expects a return to conscription (any war that big would be over very, very quickly and quite radioactively). The measure is just a standard one in sources like the CIA factbook to compare different countries. We should simply follow the sources and make clear where they come from and how they have been defined. Thom2002 (talk) 16:15, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
It is not academic because the source is inaccurate (and not even cited as the source). If it is not accurate it should be removed better to have no information than inaccurate information). Also See Military of Germany (17–49) and Military of the United States (18–49) while the CIA fact book uses (16-49) for all three countries, so there is no reason to use 15 for the UK, Like the US it needs adjusting to 18. -- PBS (talk) 19:13, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
I think that both "available for" and "fit for" should just be removed from the infobox they have no meaning for a country without conscription and it is misleading. MilborneOne (talk) 22:21, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Done! Thom2002 (talk) 23:09, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Headquarters location[edit]

I've just noted that the infobox identifies PJHQ Northwood as the HQ of the British Armed Forces. Whilst it's the operational headquarters and location for the Joint Force Commander, the Headquarters function for the entirety of the armed forces is at MoD Main Building in Whitehall. Strategic Direction is provided to the Joint Force Commander and the three single service commanders from there, so it encompasses the procurement, support, personnel and training elements as well as just current operational activity.

Any issues with amending that?

GhostlyLegend (talk) 13:39, 11 October 2014 (UTC)