Royal Marines Reservists Scotland Get New Home
Royal Marines Reservists north of the border have formally opened their new headquarters in Rosyth with a ceremony performed by Britain’s second most senior sailor.
The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Scotland provided the pomp and ceremony as the new home of reservist green berets north of the border was formally opened.
Britain’s second most senior sailor, Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Philip Jones, performed the honours as the Headquarters of the Royal Marines Reserve Scotland was dedicated in Rosyth, marking a move out of Glasgow and also taking the RMR Tyne unit down the coast in Newcastle under its wing.
RMR Scotland’s Commanding Officer, Lt Col Graham ‘Jock’ Fraser, said the move to the new HQ in the grounds of MOD Caledonia – HMS Caledonia of old – was the latest milestone in “remarkable period in the history of the unit.”
“I am immensely proud of what the RMR Scotland personnel have achieved over the last 18 months in so positively embracing the many significant changes resulting from the amalgamation of two headquarters and the move of that HQ – and all while continuing to deliver our main effort, which is Force-Generating Royal Marines Commandos for service on operations.”
In the past year, ten marines from the Scotland unit have mobilised and deployed on operations to Afghanistan; a further 32 ranks were mobilised to support the Olympic Games; and nine of its number have taken up full-time reserve service posts.
All are identical to their regular counterparts – they’ve all completed the commando course to earn the coveted green beret – but they also hold down a full-time job in civvy street.
On the intake side, ten RMR Scotland recruits have recently earned their green berets, while another 30 recruits are preparing for their first training fortnight at the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone, Devon.
In addition to meeting the demands of the front-line Corps, the unit’s commando-trained ranks have participated in a variety of exercises in the UK, Norway, Germany, Cyprus, Gibraltar and the USA, whilst others have supported the regular RM Corps in a range of duties, from instructors to enablers.
They donned their ceremonial uniforms for the formal opening on a glorious summer’s evening, attended not only by Admiral Jones, but also Cdre Andrew Jameson, Commander Maritime Reserves and Col Rory Bruce RMR – the latter is not only Deputy Commander Maritime Reserves but the grandson of the first Commanding Officer of the City of Glasgow Royal Marine Forces Volunteer Reserves in 1948.
The Royal Marines Band performed Fanfare for a New Beginning, a piece specially composed for the occasion before a Ceremonial Sunset brought proceedings to a close.
“This ceremony marks the completion of one of many infrastructure projects designed to significantly enhance the facilities available as part of the Future Reserves 2020 investment,” Lt Col Fraser said.
“This work could not proceed without the expertise, advice and support provided by the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association in all four regions which host RMR Scotland detachments and I am very grateful to them as well as the Defence Infrastructure Team at MOD Caledonia who have been instrumental in facilitating the refurbishment of our new HQ.”
Despite the title of the 2013 unit, RMR Scotland is also responsible for detachments in Belfast and Newcastle, as well as those across the Forth in Edinburgh, plus Dundee, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
The Scottish reserve unit traces its history back to 1948 – it was the very first one in the country, formed as the Royal Marine Forces Volunteer Reserve, a title which changed to RMR in 1966.
Press Release, July 26, 2013; Image: Royal Navy