Royal Marines on Ex Talisman Sabre - released on announcement of Vanguard Strike Company 200720 CREDIT ROYAL NAVY
Royal Marines

Royal Marines Commandos Win Fight To Keep Ranking System

The elite unit was unhappy with a draft decision to use the same ranks as the Navy.

Royal Marines on Ex Talisman Sabre - released on announcement of Vanguard Strike Company 200720 CREDIT ROYAL NAVY

Royal Marines commandos have won their fight to keep their longstanding ranks.

The elite unit was unhappy with the decision - drafted last year - to give them the same ranking system as the Royal Navy in a move to further integrate the force.

While the Royal Marines are part of the Navy, they are seen as a distinct unit with a unique identity.

The U-turn means the Marines will continue to use the same ranks as the British Army.

Major General Matthew Holmes, the Commandant General of the Royal Marines, told The Sun it had been an “emotive” issue.

"The First Sea Lord recognises our distinct identity. It’s who we are and what drives our fighting power and spirit," he said.

However, Royal Marines will start wearing a new uniform later this year as part of the Future Commando Force programme - designed to overhaul the way they operate. 

The Royal Navy says it is the most significant transformation and rebranding programme since the Second World War.

Details of the new Royal Marines commandos uniform (Picture: MOD).

It will see Marines wear a Navy ensign for the first time in their 350-year history.

It is designed to differentiate the Corps from the Army, yet symbolise its connection to the Royal Navy.

One of the most striking differences in the new uniform is the change from the arched Royal Marines Commando shoulder flash to a velcro rectangular patch.

Maj Gen Holmes said integration would deepen, but insisted: "We will not dilute our ethos, brand or Commando standard.

"If anything the way we need to operate in the future will be even more demanding."

Cover image: Royal Navy.