Harman Patil (Editor)

Commandant General Royal Marines

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Reports to
First Sea Lord


Term length
1-4 years

Commandant General Royal Marines

Secretary of State for Defence

Prime Minister Subject to formal approval by the Queen-in-Council

Inaugural holder
Major-General Sir James Campbell

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, with professional responsibility for all Royal Marine units. He is assisted by a Deputy Commandant General, whose rank is brigadier. 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.



The professional head of the Royal Marines was the Deputy Adjutant-General from 1825 until 1914 when the post was re-designated the Adjutant-General: the post holder usually held the rank of full general. 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 until 1996 and the rank of major-general since then.


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 is one of two deployable two-star maritime operational commanders (the other being Commander UK Maritime Force (COMUKMARFOR), with particular responsibility for amphibious and littoral warfare. Unlike COMUKMARFOR, COMUKAMPHIBFOR is primarily configured to command as a combined joint task force and designed to support a single two star commander.

General Officers Commanding

General Officers Commanding have included:
Deputy Adjutant General Royal Marines

  • Major-General Sir James Campbell 1825–1831
  • Major-General Sir John Savage 1831–1836
  • Lieutenant-General Sir John Owen 1836–1854
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Robert Wesley 1854–1862
  • General Sir George Langley 1862–1867
  • General Samuel Lowder 1867–1872
  • General Sir George Schomberg 1872–1875
  • Lieutenant General George Rodney 1875–1878
  • Major-General Sir Charles Adair 1878–1883
  • General Sir John Williams 1883–1888
  • General Sir Howard Jones 1888–1893
  • General Sir Henry Tuson 1893–1900
  • Lieutenant-General John Morris 1900–1902
  • Lieutenant-General Sir William Wright 1902–1907
  • General Sir William Adair 1907–1911
  • General Sir William Nicholls 1911–1914
  • Adjutant General Royal Marines

  • General Sir William Nicholls 1914–1916
  • Major-General Sir David Mercer 1916–1920
  • Major-General Gunning Campbell July 1920–November 1920
  • General Sir Herbert Blumberg 1920–1924
  • General Sir Alexander Hutchison 1924–1927
  • General Sir Lewis Halliday 1927–1930
  • General Sir Richard Ford 1930–1936
  • General Sir William Godfrey 1936–1939
  • General Sir Alan Bourne 1939-1943
  • Commandant General Royal Marines

  • General Sir Thomas Hunton, 1943–1946
  • General Sir Dallas Brooks, 1946–1949
  • General Sir Leslie Hollis, 1949–1952
  • General Sir John Westall, 1952–1955
  • General Sir Campbell Hardy, 1955–1959
  • General Sir Ian Riches, 1959–1962
  • Lieutenant General Sir Malcolm Cartwright-Taylor, 1962–1965
  • General Sir Norman Tailyour, 1965–1968
  • General Sir Peter Hellings, 1968–1971
  • General Sir Ian Gourlay, 1971–1975
  • General Sir Peter Whiteley, 1975–1977
  • Lieutenant General Sir John Richards, 1977–1981
  • Lieutenant General Sir Steuart Pringle, 1981–1984
  • Lieutenant General Sir Michael Wilkins, 1984–1987
  • Lieutenant General Sir Martin Garrod, 1987–1990
  • Lieutenant General Sir Henry Beverley, 1990–1994
  • Lieutenant General Sir Robin Ross, 1994–1996
  • Major General David Pennefather, 1996–1998
  • Major General Robert Fulton, 1998–2001
  • Major General Robert Fry, 2001–2002
  • Major General Anthony Milton, 2002–2004
  • Major General David Wilson, 2004
  • Major General James Dutton, 2004–2006
  • Major General Garry Robison, 2006–2009
  • Major General Andy Salmon, 2009–2010
  • Major General Buster Howes, 2010–2011
  • Major General Ed Davis, 2011–2014
  • Major General Martin Smith, 2014–2016
  • Major General Robert Magowan, 2016–present
  • References

    Commandant General Royal Marines Wikipedia

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