Picture: Royal Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Magowan (Samantha K. Braun/Planet Pix via ZUMA Wire)
The head of the Royal Marines has been asked to put off moving into a new role "to ensure continuity at a time when capabilities are under review", it has been reported.
Major General Rob Magowan became Commandant General of the Royal Marines in May 2016 and it is reported he was due to move to a senior job at Navy Command.
But in comments written in the Globe and Laurel Journal and reported by the Daily Telegraph, Maj Gen Magowan wrote that he was "personally engaged" in the review process.
It has previously been suggested there will be a cut to the size of the Royal Marines in an attempt to plug a black hole in the defence budget, with ministers looking at plans to scrap the navy's two amphibious assault ships - HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark.
Maj Gen Magowan is reported to have written the proposed cuts were "speculation", but added:
"The First Sea Lord has asked me to continue to be Commandant General Royal Marines, despite moving to a new role, to ensure continuity at a time when capabilities are under review."
The plans to axe up to 1,000 Royal Marines have previously been condemned as "utter folly" by former marine commanders.
Giving evidence to the Commons Defence Committee last week, Lieutenant General Sir Robert Fry said the Royal Marines were among the "finest infantry in the world" and accused ministers of "inviting them to fail".