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]

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 in 1996 and until April 2021 all Commandant General's held the rank of major-general.[8] 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.[9]

From 1825 until 1964 his headquarters office which changed location several times was known as the Royal Marine Office.[10][11]

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,[12] with particular responsibility for amphibious and littoral warfare.[12] Unlike COMUKMARFOR, COMUKAMPHIBFOR is primarily configured to command as a combined joint task force and designed to support a single two star commander.[12]

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.[13]