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New head of the Royal Marines appointed

28 November 2022
A new head of the Royal Marines has been appointed during a ceremony in Devon.

Lieutenant General Rob Magowan passed the role to Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, General Gwyn Jenkins, at the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone.

It brings to an end Lt Gen Magowan’s second stint at the helm after 18 months, handing the keys of Corps over to Gen Jenkins, as the most senior officer in the Royal Marines.

Gen Jenkins takes charge as the Royal Marines continue to embrace new technologies and tactics and forge ahead with plans to be a constant presence in strategically important areas of the globe, something that is already coming to fruition through the deployment of the Royal Navy’s Littoral Response Group (North) in the Mediterranean this autumn.

“I am immensely proud of my heritage as a Commando and it is a great privilege to be appointed as the Commandant General Royal Marines,” said
Gen Jenkins. 

“I will carry the baton with care and honour as the Corps continues to fulfil our purpose of keeping the nation safe and helping it prosper. 

“The Royal Marines are more closely integrated into the Royal Navy than ever before, and by embracing our Commando Spirit we remain at the forefront of adaptation, allowing the Commando Force to thrive in the challenge of the modern and future battlespace.”

The ceremony at Lympstone was attended by First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Ben Key, Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Andy Burns, Commandant General of the Netherlands Marine Corps, Brigadier General Jan Hut, and Royal Marines Reserve honorary Colonel Bear Grylls, among others.

Lt Gen Magowan steps aside after taking the role in April 2021 for the second time, having done it initially from 2016-2018. He is the first to hold the position twice.

As he departed, he said: “It has been an enormous privilege to lead and represent the Royal Marines. 

“It is a hugely inspiring honour to be amongst people always striving for professional excellence. And our achievements, both collective and individual, have been humbling to observe. 

“We have a powerful and strategically vital future in the shape of the new Commando Force. It will be forward deployed, in and around harm’s way and, just as our forebears were, always ready.

“I wish every success to my successor and friend, General Gwyn Jenkins, as he takes on the Commandant General role.” 

Gen Jenkins was commissioned into the Royal Marines in 1990. His time as a junior officer was spent in the Commando Logistic Regiment, later deploying on operations in Northern Ireland with 42 Commando.

He went on to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel overseeing global operations in PJHQ, before a Commanding Officer appointment in 2009. 

On completion of his command tour he was promoted to Colonel and deployed for 12 months to Afghanistan, for which he was awarded an OBE, returning to the UK in 2012 as the Military Assistant to the Prime Minster in No. 10 Downing Street.

After two years in No. 10, he was promoted to Brigadier and took up a 3* civilian appointment in the Cabinet Office as Deputy National Security Advisor for Conflict, Stability and Defence. 

In April 2017 he moved back to the military and took command of 3 Commando Brigade, before he was promoted to Major General in January 2019, in which rank he served first in the Royal Navy as the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff and subsequently commanded a tri-service organisation.

In August 2022 he was selected for the role of Vice Chief of the Defence Staff and promoted to General. 

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