Martin Smith (Royal Marines officer)

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Martin Smith
Major-General Martin Smith RM (Parade Reception).jpg
Major General Smith in 2014
Born (1962-07-30) 30 July 1962 (age 54)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Marines
Years of service 1984 – present
Rank Major General
Commands held Commandant General Royal Marines
3 Commando Brigade
30 Commando Information Exploitation Group
Battles/wars The Troubles
Gulf War
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
Awards Member of the Order of the British Empire

Major General Martin Linn Smith, MBE (born 30 July 1962) is a senior Royal Marines officer and who served as Commandant General Royal Marines. He was previously commander of 3 Commando Brigade, and before that Commanding Officer of 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group and Deputy Commander of 3 Commando Brigade.[1]

Early life[edit]

Smith was born in 1962. He studied zoology at the University of Bristol.[2]

Military career[edit]

Smith meeting with James F. Amos, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, in 2014

Smith was commissioned into the Royal Marines in May 1984.[2][3] During his early career, he served as a troop commander, a forward air controller, a mortar troop commander and a special forces officer in the Special Boat Service. He completed postings to Northern Ireland during The Troubles, and to Norway.[4][5] He went on to specialise in reconnaissance and was deployed as part of the Gulf War in 1991.[4]

In 1995, he attended the Royal Navy Staff Course and completed a Master of Arts (MA) degree in defence studies. From 1996 to 1997, he served as a staff officer specialising in operations. He then joined Headquarters Royal Marines where he served as Staff Officer to the Chief of Staff.[4] In the 1998 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).[6] From 2000 to 2001, he worked at the Permanent Joint Headquarters within its Operations Division.[4]

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he was posted to the United States as part of the initial UK advisory team attached to the United States Central Command. In November 2001, he was appointed Second in Command of 45 Commando. With them, he deployed to Afghanistan and took part in Operation Jacana in 2002. With the start of the Iraq War, he was posted to the multinational headquarters as Deputy Chief of Operations.[4]

Smith was appointed Commanding Officer of 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group.[1][4] In August 2006, he joined FLEET Operations as head of plans. In July 2008, he was appointed Deputy Commander of 3 Commando Brigade. He was deployed to Afghanistan where he served as Commander Battle Group Centre South during Op HERRICK 9.[4] In 2011, he was appointed commander of 3 Commando Brigade.[1] In June 2013, he left to study at the Royal College of Defence Studies.[4]

Smith was promoted to major general and appointed Commandant General Royal Marines on 13 June 2014, in succession to Major General Ed Davis.[4][7] Smith was posted as a Deputy Adviser Ministry of Interior ('MOI') in June 2016.[8]

Honours and awards[edit]

Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) 1998[6]
General Service Medal 1962 BAR.svg General Service Medal With Northern Ireland clasp[7]
Gulf Medal BAR.svg Gulf Medal [7]
Iraq Medal BAR.svg Iraq Medal [7]
OSM for Afghanistan BAR.svg Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan [7]
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal 2002[7]
QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012[7]


  1. ^ a b c "City brigadier will lead Royal Marines". Plymouth Herald. 5 November 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Afghanistan a 'top priority' for new Royal Marine leader in Plymouth". Plymouth Herald. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Southby-Tailyour, Ewen (2011). 3 Commando Brigade: Helmand, Afghanistan. London: Ebury. pp. 34–35. ISBN 0091937760. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "MAJOR GENERAL M L SMITH MBE" (PDF). Royal Navy. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "Court circular, May 13". The Times. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  6. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 55155. p. 5. 15 June 1998. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Commandant General Royal Marines Supersession". Royal Navy. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "FOIA Request" (PDF). UK Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 13 July 2016. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Ed Davis
Commandant General Royal Marines
Succeeded by
Robert Magowan