Royal Marines Commandos are to get a brand new uniform under a rebranding programme.

Commandos are undertaking a bold modernisation project, known as the Future Commando Force programme.

As part of this restructuring, the Ministry of Defence say that Royal Marines will have a new uniform, fit for a new era of warfare, that is in-keeping with the maritime traditions of the corps, and also honours their commando forebears.

“The NATO procured uniform – which is been procured from USA-based firm Crye Precision – is lighter weight, has higher tear-strength, is faster-drying and is more breathable than typical 50/50 cotton/nylon kit. It also has a subtle change in camouflage design – instead of the previous multi-terrain pattern – the uniform now uses Crye Precision’s MultiCam pattern.”

Click to enlarge.

“And, in the week that saw the 80th anniversary of Operation Collar, the first commando raid of World War 2, the marines have drawn on their heritage by returning to the traditional Royal Marines Commando insignia, just like the design first worn by commandos when they launched daring raids into Nazi-occupied Europe. The flash with red writing and navy-blue background will be worn once again, as commandos evolve to conduct more raids from the sea, persistently deployed to counter the threats of the modern-day battlefield.”

For the first time the White Ensign features on one sleeve, as a clear indication of the Royal Marines’ integration with the Royal Navy.

Lieutenant Colonel Ben Reynolds RM, who led with the procurement and design of the new uniform, said in a news release:

“The Royal Marines are integral to the Royal Navy and an extremely versatile elite force, able to operate from mountain and Arctic wastes to jungle and littorals. The Royal Marines’ Commando Uniform 2020 reflects our distinctiveness and the unique capabilities we bring to defence, in addition to the Royal Navy’s eagerness to invest in our development towards the Future Commando Force.”

The Ministry of Defence also say that the Royal Marines’ Commando Uniform 2020 was procured in just over one year, utilising the NATO Support & Procurement Agency.

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David Barry
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David Barry

Had a discussion with @danielle earlier today.

Are we allowed to suggest a sweep-stake of 1penny on whether the new force structure will result in lower overall numbers for the Royals?

Danielle made a good point about the number of ‘badged’ members being drawn from Royal but I’m putting a penny on lost numbers.

The important point for me will be if the PIDs will be transferred to the Royal Navy or lost to the Treasury.

At the moment, I would suggest even PARA are in for a rough ride with the fallout from COVID on Govt finances.

julian1
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julian1

but on the other hand we read of Boris social investment projects fueled by cheap debt and possibly increased taxation in years to come. Is there really much of a dividend to be had from cutting defence? we are really at the minimum now, not sure that any real meaningful money will be saved….time will tell

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

I would wager some reductions in numbers, but nothing substantial, and all units remaining. They did this trick already with 42, transferring some headcount and removing heavier weapons. If there are losses they may be to army elements supporting the brigade rather than Marines. Example – does 29RA need 12 Light Guns if the brigade is taking on this posture? 148 Meiktila would still be needed, but maybe not the guns. Unless they remain for Norway role. It would be sensible if so to transfer them to supporting a light brigade in 1 Division, but our reviews are always financial,… Read more »

David Barry
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David Barry

Under your thoughts, the units remain and therefore the braid count remains unchanged; this is another inherent problem with defence. Que, thethinpinstrippedline and Jim telling us we need braid for this and that task – I hope the MoD actually pay him for his work, he’s the best they have but a country mile. Should the UK be prepared to accept cuts, there needs to be a culling of senior ranks with the consequent savings on payroll and pensions BUT an acceptance that career paths will only be open to the very best… … which will mean a career in… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

We shall see David. Generation X is important for the cyber stuff but to me should not be replacing the likes of the RM!
Reduce someone else for them!

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Mate Ive always said, we can be as tough as fuck, trained hard for years, vast combat experience, fit as a butchers dog, kitted up gucci wise, and raring to go, big tash and a mammoth cuban gritted between white teeth………then a 20 year old computer geek kills us all at the flick of his limp pale wrist! Thats 21st centruy warfare for you mate lol.

John Clark
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John Clark

You raise an interesting point Daniele. I think we all know that Albion and Bulwark are going, it’s probably the worst kept secret in the MOD! The best way of carrying this out from a slight of hand point of view, is to look back at history and bring forward the spirit of the ‘WW2 Commando’, small units, striking at our enemies in the dead of night! Large scale battalion sized assaults arn’t needed anymore, ‘old fashioned and vulnerable’ …. So no need for the large manpower and resource hungry LPD’s then…. It certainly puts reinforcement of NATO’s northern flank… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

It’s a poor excuse though John in my opinion removing LPD because we do not assault beaches. Just because they do not assault a defenced beach, the landing craft can still carry men and equipment onto an open one. The LPD still has the C3 role, still carries helicopters. It is still useful. I too think the LPD’s will go and be replaced by a LSS type, maybe the one recently articled here ( forget the name ) Operating Littoral Response Groups off of the Bay’s is problematic as they will surely need helicopters detachments, and the Bay’s have no… Read more »

John Clark
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John Clark

As ever Daniele, your observations are spot on. Albion and Bulwark offer unique capability, but Carrier Strike is the the tip of the spear now and assets will without doubt be thrown in front of the bus to protect it and free up funding to support and expand it. I think the RM space engineered into both the T26 and T31, show this eventuality has been planned behind the scenes for some considerable time unfortunately… The cost of effective Carrier Strike, without extra money being found for it, always ment that other capabilities were going to be sacrificed, it’s unavoidable… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Give me an extra squadron of helicopters, some UAV and V22 flying from an operational POW, more combat boats for the new RM formations armed properly, some extra firepower, and extra sailors for our wider escort fleet by using RM headcount, examples such as these might balance out the loss of the LPD’s.

Cuts should be balanced by sensible additions elsewhere. This is what I will be looking for.

Dern
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Dern

While I won’t say the Arctic role is being transfered to the Army I will say that the Army has been sending individuals on Arctic Warfare courses alongside the Marines, which never used to happen.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Interesting. Any idea what regs? Maybe 24 RE or 29RA? Would make sense as they support the RM anyway.

Dern
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Dern

Couldn’t comment on how widespread it is I’m afraid.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

No worries.

Rfn_Weston
Guest
Rfn_Weston

I know lads from 1 Rifles were going on the Arctic & Mountain Warfare Cadre as long ago as their formation back in 2008/2009. They were attached to 3 Commando Brigade back then though. It’s a tough old course.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

LPDs are not that manpower hungry. They are pretty good considering their size. The addition of the AGRM crew for the LCU and LCVPs pushes the numbers up but for matlots onboard its not that dissimilar to a T23/T45 Royal from LPDs has for a long time been mostly focused on raiding. Yes LPDs can carry a lot of hardware but most of it is usually light. On a Far East Cougar Exercise we had BVs/Viking and Land Rovers. The biggest item we ever had was an OSKOSH Tanker, Engineering Vehicles (Duggie the digger) and the ubiquitous BART. At that… Read more »

John Clark
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John Clark

Very good points Gunbuster, many of us see the real danger of getting rid of the RM capability to intervene in force and keep boots on the ground. It seems we are happy as a country to let intervention in any meaningful way quietly disappear, things have been creeping in that direction for years with hollowing out of the armed forces. The problem of supporting and operating two 70,0000 ton aircraft carriers, with all the assets needed (and no additional money) means something has to give, LPD’s really are about the only thing they can possibly get rid of to… Read more »

Ian
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Ian

Found on Forces.net…….Australia plans for “More Dangerous World” with a
£151 billion defence boost……we can only dream

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

I seen that report. Good on them. They clearly now view China as something other than a benign actor in the region.
I think the mask of subterfuge is slowly falling off and China’s real danger and threat is becoming clearer. Then you have 2 choices. Surrender or stand your ground and fight. Australia wisely has chosen to prepare for a possible fight.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

David, while it may not be a numbers game, it will be a capability game, where the “raiding” aspect comes to the fore and any long term resilience, for any landing will be reduced. That means cheaper lighter forces, with less ability to deploy and support heavier formations, and that means no Landing Platforms. I see it as a rebranding, due to cost, at the expense of capability. Dont get me wrong, the ability to raid, forward deploy and carry out rapid insertions/extractions are essential. But lets not lean over to the one, therefore reducing the other to excess. Maybe… Read more »

Steve R
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Steve R

I can’t see any real defence cuts taking place. George Osborne already cut all the meat from the bone. Any further cuts would be cracking said bone open and sucking out the marrow! Police, education and other budgets were similarly hit hard. There isn’t room for cuts any more without catastrophic failure. And any cuts made would be a drop in the ocean. Boris doesn’t seem to be one for austerity like Cameron and Osborne – the UK could have had a budget surplus in 2010 rather than a deficit, and he still would have made cuts! Boris seems keener… Read more »

Cam
Guest
Cam

Yeah austerity’s out of the question thank god….

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

If Boris has any sense (big *IF* there really!) then he’d apply defence spending to his referencing of Roosevelt’s New Deal; spending on defence would largely be spent on procurement. A lot of that would be home made equipment, which sustains or even creates new jobs, which supports local economies around the country.

Something Cameron and Osborne didn’t seem to understand is that you have to spend money to make money. Cutting investment doesn’t help the economy at all.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

As David says.

I’d also venture that if the MoD cut say 500 hundred marines and made those posts sailors many would support it. The Corps is around 6,000 strong I believe.

Joe16
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Joe16

Hi Daniele.
It’s an interesting question; what would 500 sailors get us when I believe they’re under strength anyway? If that 500 got us a crew for the T45 that’s been alongside for the last few years (now in refit, I do believe- hopefully not going to return back to the pier afterwards…) then I’d be inclined to accept the cut as you say. But if it just goes to empty head count because we’re not recruiting enough anyway then it’d be a horrible waste. I assume that the RM does not have a recruiting issue?

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Not certain but I don’t think so.

John Stevens
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John Stevens

Hi Daniele.. I think the Marines have around 7,000 if you include the Marine reserves.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

That many John?

I’ve often wondered how there are that many considering the units the corps has.

40,45 Commando. About 600 each?
42 Commando. Less, was reduced in 2017.
30 ( was UKLFCSG ),43 ( was FPGRM ) ,47 Commando ( was 1AGRM ) I think are smaller than the 3 main Commando’s.
CLR. 500 ish?
539
CTCRM.
SBS / SMG RM ( Couple hundred at the most?? )
Band Service.
RMR.

Even adding the varied RM postings in wider MoD and with NATO where are they all to get to that number?

John Stevens
Guest
John Stevens

Hello Daniele. Thanks for the information.. To be honest, just from MOD statistics and other information that I have read over the last year or two seemed to suggest there are around 7,000 Marines including 500 – 600 reserves. But it would certainly be interesting to know the exact figures.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I’m sure you’re right John. As I said, how the corps is so big has always had me wondering. Unless the individual commandos and regiments are bigger than I thought. I thought Commandos were around 600 and the others, 30, 43, 47 much, much smaller.
I too had the RMR at around that figure.

Cam
Guest
Cam

Maybe they just play funny buggers with the RM figures…

Cam
Guest
Cam

I thought it was closer to 8500 including the reserves.

Rfn_Weston
Guest
Rfn_Weston

I assumed the Navy’s manning issues were down to lack of appeal and recruitment as opposed to funding for posts?

Surely sacking 500 RM will not help the recruitment issues for the RN’s surface manning issues?

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

You might be right mate.
My comment just assumes the latter. That more sailors are needed right now compared to soldiers as far as the RN is concerned.
On RN recruitment, we read recently it’s on the up.

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

I think it’s a good nod to the past while also being decent gear for the presnt (I’m assuming that Crye makes a good product).
Are all the commandos getting AR-style rifles (C7s, I guess) now then, rather than SA80?

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I read on Twitter the whole corps. Unsure if true.

BB85
Guest
BB85

Interesting regarding the new rifle. Does anyone think the US will actually go ahead with this 6.8 infantry rifle competition that is taking place? I thought it was just another competition for the sake of it but the offering from Sig looks very credible especially their LMG. It will prob come down to the cost and reliability of the ammo.

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

The appeal of a “universal cartridge” is strong, so maybe? I think there could be mileage in it, but only if the ballistic effects are significantly better than the most recent 5.56 NATO rounds. My thinking being that, what with all this peer conflict concern going on and the increased use of body armour by Russian and Chinese armed forces, the Americans are going to want something with sufficient punch to be effective. I’m not saying a straight up armour piercer, because that may not be possible in a sensible assault rifle calibre, but something with better chance than the… Read more »

BB85
Guest
BB85

There is a some information published online about it. The army wants it to travel at over 3,000ft per second which is a decentbleap on 556, they also want it to be lighter. I’m not sure how they achieve that. Some are offering cta in 6.8 but the mechanism is far the complicated, ammo will also be far to expensive and the will burn the barrels out. The only advantage I can see is the reduced weight. The sig rifle itself has been well received after some teething problems I think the basic design has been around for around 6… Read more »

BB85
Guest
BB85

My typing is shocking off this phone. Why can I not edit comments anymore.

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

Haha, no worries, I’m not sure where the edit function went- it was quite useful…
Yes, everyone is loving Sig right now, they’ve got some great designs. Maybe the combination will be enough to get a new calibre introduced, but it’ll still be a long shot. As you quite comprehensively prove, there are complications with a more powerful round…

Daveyb
Guest
Daveyb

I am going to be blunt here and Airborne will hopefully back me up. The only real advantage of 5.56 is its weight, you can carry lots of it. However, the bullet’s low weight coupled with a very high velocity means it does get more affected by wind over 300m. The US did a investigation into the contacts they had in Afghan and found the Taliban using the older AK 7.62mm round had more effect at suppression than actual hits. The AK round is big and heavy and not very accurate after 200m. The majority of the firefights were happening… Read more »

pkcasimir
Guest
pkcasimir

The US Army is perfectly serious. The prototype 6.8mm ammunition is already being tested and the Army has committed to construction of a new manufacturing facility for it in Missouri. Concomitant with the development of a new rifle, the Army is separately developing a new fire and control system for the rifle that would include a variable powered optic, an integrated range finder, ballistic calculator, and a digital display capable of providing an adjusted aiming point. The entire US military has finally shifted from its “war on terror”. Everything is now being focused on peer/near peer competition (China) and the… Read more »

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

Thanks, it’s an interesting decision but I hear it’s a good weapon so glad they have it. I’ve fired AR-15s in the US but never an SA-80 so couldn’t say which is “better”, but I will say that the AR is very comfortable to shoot.

BB85
Guest
BB85

My only experience with it was from the cadets. I had 3 issues with the SA 80, its awful ergonomics, its weight and I’m left handed and left eye dominant so completely hated it.

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

Not much else could have been bad about it then!

Bob
Guest
Bob

I’ve fired both extensively including three operational combat tours. Aside from the left hand issue, the SA80 series beats the AR15 hands down in every respect except weight in my opinion, especially if looking at the M4 rather than C8 version. I fired literally hundreds of rounds in combat, never had a stoppage, it hit what I was aiming at, it had range and punch (because despite the weapon length, the barrel is much longer than the M4). With the latest versions it’s really adaptable and has great sights / additions. I also like that you perform a magazine change… Read more »

Dern
Guest
Dern

So I’ve been on exercise several times with the US Army, and lived in America for a while, so carried and fired M4’s, M16’s and Civilian AR-15’s a few times, and of course carried and fired the L85 and L86 much more often (along with the C8). Personally I prefer the L85, but I am very aware it’s personal preference. I find AR’s point of balance to be weirdly far forwards compared to the L85 so it feels like I’m fighting the rifle when I want it to point somewhere. I also *hate* the cocking handle, t-bar thing on AR’s.… Read more »

Dern
Guest
Dern

Also a quick adendum, civilian AR’s I’ve fired have universally been much nicer to shoot than military M4’s and M16’s.

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

Interesting, I’ve heard that guys are happier with the A2 and A3, but not that anyone prefers them to the AR platform! Maybe not enough people have had the opportunity to try the two.
Sounds like you’ve managed to have some fun with your deployments/attachments!

Dern
Guest
Dern

I think part of the issue is it’s not just a question of trying the two, it’s a question of having used them enough to get past the initial awkwardness of a very different weapons system.

Rfn_Weston
Guest
Rfn_Weston

Would have to agree I prefer the L85. They are heavier and more cumbersome but the weight was always towards the rear/centre of the rifle so less of an issue when shouldered. Recoil was also less felt because of it, so follow up shots were more accurate and quicker. Also easier to see a bullet ‘splash’ as the recoil affected the sight picture less when firing. I agree M4’s especially with the RIS rails on the fore end tend to be muzzle heavy. And the Diemaco’s and civilian AR types are infinitely more comfortable to handle than the standard issue… Read more »

Dern
Guest
Dern

I know, too much navy talk here isn’t there! XD

I think with Civilian AR’s especially it’s because you can spend a lot more money on a nice civilian AR than the US army would ever spend on a M4. There are 4,000 USD AR-15’s that have had one very careful owner, compared to US Army M4’s which go for 700USD per Rifle and get handed from bod to bod.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Regarding the rifle choice, an AR variant, either, HK or Colt Canada is the way to go for the British Armed forces. My personal choice would be to adopt the USMC M27 across the board ( modified short gas piston HK416), it’s an ‘excellent’ rifle. Due to the clever way the AR has been designed, we could easily adopt a new rifle in 5.56mm and subsequently re-barrel to a new intermediate NATO calibre. You could in fact rebore the barrels to the new calibre and really minimise waste! Thee L85A3 is really the end of the road for the SA80,… Read more »

Daveyb
Guest
Daveyb

Had the HK on my last tour of Afghan and had a bromance with it. Being detached with the Canadians who used Demarco AR15 copies. I found it was a lot quicker to clean than the M4 types, after a prolonged contact, especially the bolt and carrier. I think this is down to the HK, just like the L85, being a gas piston rather than an impingement operated weapon. The Canadians also admitted that they had to do a forward assist after a pro-longed contact, whilst the HK would go all day. Perhaps not mentioned is the significantly better Elcan… Read more »

Dern
Guest
Dern

Yeah I was going to mention the Elcan but since it’s not integral to the weapons system and in theory you could take your L85 Elcan and put swap a C8’s ACOG for it.

Also thanks to the gradients no “oh crap I forgot to change my sight to 300m” moments.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

The 416 is an excellent rifle Davey, the French have adopted it after all.

Ironically, the short stroke gas system employed is closely derived from the system HK reworked for the L85A2!

I’ve had the opportunity to closely inspect the A3, 416 and Colt Canada C4, I have to say the extra weight of the 416 ( compared to the C4) is off set by the clean ‘operation’ of the 416 and I would say the higher standard of fit and finish on the HK.

The A3 felt as heavy as the A2/A2 used to, though apparently it’s fractionally lighter…

Daveyb
Guest
Daveyb

About 100g lighter.

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

Not a bad decision, all told. Reinforces their elite nature, and potentially makes their more widely and internationally distributed mission easier in terms of collaboration with other countries’ forces?

Dern
Guest
Dern

Crye makes a very good product, desired across the infantry and usually cracked down on by chains of command who don’t want their soldiers looking like they’re Special Forces.

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

Good, I’m glad they haven’t made a big mistake! To be fair, I think equipment and gear acquisition for infantry has generally been pretty good for the last little while, hasn’t it?

Dern
Guest
Dern

In some parts yes and in some parts no. Some bits of the new Virtus kit are liked, others are detested from what I’ve seen. Eg my virtus belt is collecting dust in a corner somewhere with zero pouches attached to it. Instead I use a combination of two civilian bought webbing belts, and I don’t think I’ve once used the daysack.

And of course there’s a lot of personally bought equpiement in the clothing too, my company looks like an advertisment for Keela when it rains on excerise.

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

Haha, I’ve read a couple of autobiographies of UK soldiers’ tours of Iraq and Afghanistan- they say the same thing when it comes to bought in kit by the troops!
I guess it might be difficult to get a set of kit that is great for everyone- it’d be interesting to see if there are certain items are universally detested and get rid of them. I take it you’re active duty- do you guys feel you’re well looked after in all of this?

Daveyb
Guest
Daveyb

Crye gear is the icing on the cake when it comes to “field dress”. The new MTP is a lot better than the Soldier 95, which fell to pieces after a couple of months in the field. We transferred to Cyre on my last tour in Afghan as a JTAC and managed to go the whole tour on two sets of trousers. They are simply better designed. Such as double stitching, double layered material in the seating area and around the knees, not to mention the built in knee pads. There’s nothing worse than the velcrod on knees pads slipping… Read more »

Rfn_Weston
Guest
Rfn_Weston

I rocked a lovely pair of Crye trousers, the built in knee pads are pretty decent. As you say the over-trouser type slapping about around your ankles when you’re trying to get a shift on are a right pain in the arse!

BB85
Guest
BB85

The advancement in fabric technology has been crazy over the last 10 years. Lighter yet stronger, more breathable and disapates moisture better. You would think they would be a trade off hit they have improved on all of them.
I take it the pattern is unique to the RM and not a copy of the USMC.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

BB85 – Hopefully yes,although there is History with this Uniform,apparently the US Army were so impressed with it that they wanted to buy it for themselves,until someone pointed out to them that Embedded into the Pattern were the letters USMC.

Cam
Guest
Cam

It was the marine commandos that first trained the American Rangers wasn’t it?, and they even wear the green beret in honour of the RMC.

Dern
Guest
Dern

Rangers used to wear Black Beret’s, then switched to Tan when the rest of the US Army was issued black.

Cam
Guest
Cam

Ok well, their special forces then but I’m sure it was originally rangers I quote “The color green became favored because it was reminiscent of the World War II British Commando-type beret.”

Helions
Guest
Helions
Ron
Guest
Ron

Slightly of subject, but I have just been reading about a Royal Marine getting the Bronze Star from the US put in by the USMC. Looks like a job well done and no one speaks or mentions it in the news.

Daveyb
Guest
Daveyb

I think that requires expanding.

Ron
Guest
Ron

Daveyb, I have copied the full announcment from the Royal Navy website dated 30/06/2020, it is as follows: Hope the RN won’t mind! Royal Marine Major James Fuller received the rare honour of an American decoration for his service in Afghanistan. The commando was presented with the Bronze Star – typically awarded to US military personnel for heroism on the battlefield or meritorious service on the front line – for his 12-month tour-of-duty while on exchange with the US Marine Corps. The green beret served as assistant operations officer with the US Task Force Southwest in Afghanistan as it carried… Read more »

Sceptical Richard
Guest
Sceptical Richard

I would bet a month’s pension that this ‘transformation’ results in fewer numbers. I would be prepared to see half the army go before I see a single Royal cut.