Commandant General Royal Marines

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Office of the Commandant General Royal Marines
Flag of the Commandant General Royal Marines.svg
Flag of the Commandant General
Lieutenant General Robert Magowan (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Lieutenant General Robert Magowan

since 30 April 2021
Ministry of Defence
StyleLieutenant General
AbbreviationCGRM
Member ofAdmiralty Board
Navy Command
Reports toFleet Commander
NominatorSecretary of State for Defence
AppointerPrime Minister
Subject to formal approval by the Queen-in-Council
Term length1-4 years
Formation1825
First holderMajor-General Sir James Campbell
DeputyDeputy Commandant General Royal Marines
WebsiteAbout The Commandant General - Royal Marines

The Commandant General Royal Marines is the professional head of the Royal Marines. The title has existed since 1943. The Commandant General Royal Marines is responsible for advising the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, with professional responsibility for all Royal Marine units; however his direct reporting line is to the Fleet Commander.[1] The role is held by a Lieutenant General[2] who is assisted by a Deputy Commandant General, with the rank of brigadier.[3] This position is not to be confused with Captain General Royal Marines, the ceremonial head. The Commandant General Royal Marines is the counterpart to the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, although the latter is a full general.[4]

History[edit]

In 1760 three naval captains were appointed colonels of marines. However, these were naval officers and it meant that the furthest a marine officer could advance was to lieutenant colonel. It was not until 1771 that commandants of the three divisions (Portsmouth, Plymouth and Chatham) were appointed.[5] The first single professional head of the Royal Marine Forces was the Deputy Adjutant-General, a post which existed from 1825[6] until 1914 when the post was re-designated the Adjutant-General:[7][8] the post holder usually held the rank of full general.[9] Since 1943 the professional head of the Royal Marines has been the Commandant-General who held the rank of full general until 1977, the rank of lieutenant general in 1996 and until April 2021 all Commandant General's held the rank of major-general.[10] On 30 April 2021 the Royal Marines announced for the first time since 1996, that a lieutenant general would be taking over the role, that person being Lieutenant General Robert Magowan. Magowan is also the first person to assume the role twice.[11]

From 1825 until 1964 his headquarters office which changed location several times was known as the Royal Marine Office.[12][13]

Role as COMUKAMPHIBFOR[edit]

The appointment has been held concurrently with that of Commander United Kingdom Amphibious Forces (COMUKAMPHIBFOR) since the creation of the Fleet Battle Staff in 2001. COMUKAMPHIBFOR was one of two deployable two-star maritime operational commanders (the other being Commander UK Maritime Forces (COMUKMARFOR), now Commander United Kingdom Strike Force,[14] with particular responsibility for amphibious and littoral warfare.[14] Unlike COMUKMARFOR, COMUKAMPHIBFOR is primarily configured to command as a combined joint task force and designed to support a single two star commander.[14]

Present role[edit]

In April 2018 it was announced that the two separate deployable two-star maritime operational commanders (COMUKMARFOR and COMUKAMPHIBFOR) would be merged into a single, larger, maritime battle staff.[15]

General Officers Commanding[edit]

General Officers Commanding have included:[10]

Deputy Adjutant General Royal Marines[edit]

Adjutant General Royal Marines[edit]

Commandant General Royal Marines[edit]

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Ref.
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Thomas Hunton.jpg General
Sir Thomas Hunton
(1885–1970)
January 1943 1946 2–3 years
2 General
Sir Dallas Brooks
(1896–1966)
1946 May 1949 2–3 years
3 Leslie Chasemore Hollis.jpg General
Sir Leslie Hollis
(1897–1963)
1949 1952 2–3 years
4 General
Sir John Westall
(1901–1986)
1952 1955 2–3 years
5 General
Sir Campbell Hardy
(1906–1984)
1955 1959 3–4 years
6 General
Sir Ian Riches
(1908–1996)
1959 1962 2–3 years
7 General
Sir Malcolm Cartwright-Taylor
(1911–1969)
1962 1965 2–3 years
8 General
Sir Norman Tailyour
(1914–1979)
1965 1968 2–3 years
9 General
Sir Peter Hellings
(1916–1990)
1968 1971 2–3 years
10 General
Sir Ian Gourlay
(1920–2013)
1971 9 June 1975 6–7 years
11 General
Sir Peter Whiteley
(1920–2016)
1975 1977 1–2 years
12 Lieutenant General
Sir John Richards
(1927–2004)
1977 1981 3–4 years
13 Lieutenant General
Sir Steuart Pringle
(1928–2013)
1981 1984 2–3 years
14 USMC display to British Royal Marines LGEN Sir Michael Wilkins (Wilkins cropped).jpg Lieutenant General
Sir Michael Wilkins
(1933–1994)
1984 1987 2–3 years
15 Lieutenant General
Sir Martin Garrod
(1935–2009)
1987 1990 2–3 years
16 Lieutenant General
Sir Henry Beverley
(born 1935)
1990 1994 3–4 years
17 Lieutenant General
Sir Robin Ross
(born 1939)
1994 1996 1–2 years
18 Major General
David Pennefather
(born 1945)
1996 1998 1–2 years
19 Governor Sir Robert Fulton - Inspection (cropped).jpg Major General
Robert Fulton
(born 1948)
1998 2001 2–3 years
20 Sir Robert Fry - Self Portrait (cropped).jpg Major General
Robert Fry
(born 1951)
2001 2002 0–1 years
21 Major General
Tony Milton
(born 1949)
May 2002 February 2004 1 year, 9 months
22 Royal Marines French Marines 20 years (David Wilson cropped).jpg Major General
David Wilson
(born 1949)
February 2004 August 2004 6 months
23 James Dutton Governor of Gibraltar.jpg Major General
James Dutton
(born 1954)
August 2004 June 2006 1 year, 10 months
24 HMS Edinburgh rededication (Garry Robison cropped).jpg Major General
Garry Robison
(born 1958)
June 2006 June 2009 3 years
25 Andysalmon.jpg Major General
Andy Salmon
(born 1959)
26 June 2009 February 2010 7 months
26 USMC-110727-M-RT059-004 (cropped).jpg Major General
Buster Howes
(born 1960)
February 2010 December 2011 1 year, 10 months
27 Mgeddavis.jpg Major General
Ed Davis
(born 1963)
December 2011 13 June 2014 2 years, 6 months [18][19]
28 Major-General Martin Smith RM (Parade Reception).jpg Major General
Martin Smith
(born 1962)
13 June 2014 4 June 2016 1 year, 11 months [19][20]
29 Major General Robert Magowan (cropped).jpg Major General
Robert Magowan
(born 1967)
4 June 2016 19 January 2018 1 year, 7 months [20][21]
30 Major General Charles Stickland RM (cropped).jpg Major General
Charles Stickland
(born 1968)
19 January 2018 14 June 2019 1 year, 4 months [21][22]
31 Major General Matt Holmes CBE DSO.jpg Major General
Matthew Holmes
(1967–2021)
14 June 2019 30 April 2021 1 year, 10 months [22]
32 Lieutenant General Robert Magowan (cropped).jpg Lieutenant General
Robert Magowan
(born 1967)
30 April 2021 Incumbent 1 year, 4 months [23]

List of Deputy Commandants General[edit]

The following have served as Deputy Commandant General:

  • 0000–2013: Brigadier Bill Dunham
  • 2014–2017: Brigadier Richard Spencer
  • 2017–2020: Brigadier Haydn White
  • 2020–present: Brigadier Anthony R. Turner

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MOD roles and salaries: 2016 - gov.uk - Navy Command senior". www.gov.uk. Royal Navy, MOD, April 21016. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Major General Matthew Holmes, former head of Royal Marines, found dead at home aged 54". 4 October 2021. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  3. ^ "Statement from Deputy Commandant General Royal Marines". Royal Navy. 2014-06-09. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
  4. ^ "Marine Corps Leadership". Marine Corps. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  5. ^ Nicolas, Paul Harris (1845). Historical Record of the Royal Marine Forces. Vol. 1. London: Thomas and William Boone.
  6. ^ "Royal Marines historical time line". Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  7. ^ "British Admiralty". Naval History. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  8. ^ "Punch, or the London Charivari". 11 February 1914. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Navy List". Admiralty. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Senior Royal Navy appointments" (PDF). Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  11. ^ "New Head Royal Marines Takes Role". forces.net. 30 April 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Royal Marine Office". The Navy List. London, England: John Murray. December 1827. p. 124.
  13. ^ "Records of Royal Marines". nationalarchives.gov.uk. London, England: The National Archives. 1688–1983. Retrieved 3 January 2019. Division within ADM
  14. ^ a b c "Fleet Battle Staff". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on March 17, 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  15. ^ "Jane's – UK Amphibious Headquarters to Disappear in Merger". 20 April 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-04-24. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  16. ^ "No. 33983". The London Gazette. 3 October 1933. p. 6355.
  17. ^ "No. 34329". The London Gazette. 6 October 1936. p. 6363.
  18. ^ City brigadier will lead Royal Marines Archived 2011-12-09 at the Wayback Machine This is Plymouth, 5 November 2011.
  19. ^ a b "Commandant General Royal Marines Supersession". royalnavy.mod.uk. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  20. ^ a b "Supersession of the Commandant General Royal Marines (CGRM)". theroyalmarinescharity.org.uk. The Royal Marines Charity. 13 June 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  21. ^ a b "Supersession of the Commandant General Royal Marines (CGRM)". theroyalmarinescharity.org.uk. The Royal Marines Charity. 19 January 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  22. ^ a b "Supersession of the Commandant General Royal Marines (CGRM)". theroyalmarinescharity.org.uk. The Royal Marines Charity. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  23. ^ "New Head Of Royal Marines Takes Up Role". Forces News. 30 April 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.