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, with professional responsibility for all Royal Marine units; however his direct reporting line is to the Fleet Commander.[1] He is assisted by a Deputy Commandant General, whose rank is brigadier.[2] 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.[3] He is based at Navy Command, as part of the headquarters staff.

Office of the Commandant General Royal Marines
Flag of the Commandant General Royal Marines
Major General Matthew Holmes

since 2019
Ministry of Defence
Member ofNavy Command
Reports toFleet Commander
NominatorSecretary of State for Defence
AppointerPrime Minister
Subject to formal approval by the Queen-in-Council
Term length1-4 years
Inaugural holderMajor-General Sir James Campbell


The professional head of the Royal Marines was the Deputy Adjutant-General from 1825[4] until 1914 when the post was re-designated the Adjutant-General:[5][6] the post holder usually held the rank of full general.[7] 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.[8].

From 1825 until 1964 his headquarters office which changed location several times was known as the Royal Marine Office.[9][10]


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 Forces (COMUKMARFOR),[11] with particular responsibility for amphibious and littoral warfare.[11] Unlike COMUKMARFOR, COMUKAMPHIBFOR is primarily configured to command as a combined joint task force and designed to support a single two star commander.[11]

General Officers Commanding

General Officers Commanding have included:[8]

Deputy Adjutant General Royal Marines

Adjutant General Royal Marines

Commandant General Royal Marines


  1. Government, H.M. "MOD roles and salaries: 2016 - GOV.UK - Navy Command senior". Royal Navy, MOD, April 21016. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  2. 08/11/2013 (2014-06-09). "Statement from Deputy Commandant General Royal Marines". Royal Navy. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
  3. "Marine Corps Leadership". Marine Corps. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  4. "Royal Marines historical time line". Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  5. "British Admiralty". Naval History. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  6. "Punch, or the London Charivari". 11 February 1914. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  7. "Navy List". Admiralty. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  8. "Senior Royal Navy appointments" (PDF). Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  9. Office, Admiralty (December 1827). "Royal Marine Office". The Navy List. London, England: John Murray. p. 124.
  10. Archives, National (1688–1983). "Records of Royal Marines". London, England: The National Archives. Retrieved 3 January 2019. Division within ADMCS1 maint: date format (link)
  11. "Fleet Battle Staff". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on March 17, 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2016.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  12. "No. 33983". The London Gazette. 3 October 1933. p. 6355.
  13. "No. 34329". The London Gazette. 6 October 1936. p. 6363.
  14. City brigadier will lead Royal Marines Archived 2011-12-09 at the Wayback Machine This is Plymouth, 5 November 2011.
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