Martin Smith (Royal Marines officer)

Major General Martin Linn Smith, CB, MBE (born 30 July 1962) is a former senior Royal Marines officer who served as Commandant General Royal Marines from 2014 to 2016. He was previously commander of 3 Commando Brigade, and before that Commanding Officer of 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group and Deputy Commander of 3 Commando Brigade.[1] Smith is currently a non-executive adviser of Texo Group.[2]

Martin Smith
Major-General Martin Smith RM (Parade Reception).jpg
Martin Smith
Born (1962-07-30) 30 July 1962 (age 60)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Marines
Years of service1984 – 2017
RankMajor General
Service numberN027987R
Commands heldCommandant General Royal Marines
3 Commando Brigade
30 Commando Information Exploitation Group
Battles/warsThe Troubles
Gulf War
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
AwardsCompanion of the Order of the Bath
Member of the Order of the British Empire

Early lifeEdit

Smith was born on 30 July 1962 in Pembury, Kent, England.[3] He was educated at Sevenoaks School, an independent school in Sevenoaks, Kent:[3] originally an all-boys school, it became co-educational when girls were admitted from 1976. He studied zoology at the University of Bristol,[4] graduating with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree.[3]

Military careerEdit

Smith meeting with James F. Amos, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, in 2014

Smith was commissioned into the Royal Marines in May 1984.[4][5] During his early career, he served as a troop commander, a forward air controller, a mortar troop commander and a special forces officer in the Special Boat Service. He completed postings to Northern Ireland during The Troubles, and to Norway.[6][7] He went on to specialise in reconnaissance and was deployed as part of the Gulf War in 1991.[6]

In 1995, he attended the Royal Navy Staff Course and completed a Master of Arts (MA) degree in defence studies. From 1996 to 1997, he served as a staff officer specialising in operations. He then joined Headquarters Royal Marines where he served as Staff Officer to the Chief of Staff.[6] In the 1998 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).[8] From 2000 to 2001, he worked at the Permanent Joint Headquarters within its Operations Division.[6]

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he was posted to the United States as part of the initial UK advisory team attached to the United States Central Command. In November 2001, he was appointed Second in Command of 45 Commando. With them, he deployed to Afghanistan and took part in Operation Jacana in 2002. With the start of the Iraq War, he was posted to the multinational headquarters as Deputy Chief of Operations.[6]

Smith was appointed Commanding Officer of 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group.[1][6] In August 2006, he joined FLEET Operations as head of plans. In July 2008, he was appointed Deputy Commander of 3 Commando Brigade. He was deployed to Afghanistan where he served as Commander Battle Group Centre South during Op HERRICK 9.[6] In 2011, he was appointed commander of 3 Commando Brigade.[1] In June 2013, he left to study at the Royal College of Defence Studies.[6]

Smith was promoted to major general and appointed Commandant General Royal Marines on 13 June 2014, in succession to Major General Ed Davis.[6][9] Smith was posted as a deputy adviser to the Afghanistan Ministry of Interior ('MOI') in June 2016.[10][11]

Smith was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 2017 New Year Honours.[12]


  1. ^ a b c "City brigadier will lead Royal Marines". Plymouth Herald. 5 November 2011. Archived from the original on 13 November 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  2. ^ Burns, Hamish (19 March 2019). "Texo Group hires former Royal Marines commanding officer as adviser on its board". Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Smith, Maj. Gen. Martin Linn. Who's Who 2019. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2018. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U281303. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Afghanistan a 'top priority' for new Royal Marine leader in Plymouth". Plymouth Herald. Archived from the original on 15 June 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  5. ^ Southby-Tailyour, Ewen (2011). 3 Commando Brigade: Helmand, Afghanistan. London: Ebury. pp. 34–35. ISBN 978-0091937768.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "MAJOR GENERAL M L SMITH MBE" (PDF). Royal Navy. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Court circular, May 13". The Times. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  8. ^ "No. 55155". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 1998. p. 5.
  9. ^ "Commandant General Royal Marines Supersession". Royal Navy. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  10. ^ "FOIA Request" (PDF). UK Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  11. ^ "JFTC Commander and Deputy Advisor to the Afghan Ministry of Interior visit the NATO MP COE". NATO Military Police Centre of Excellence. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  12. ^ "No. 61803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N2.
Military offices
Preceded by Commandant General Royal Marines
Succeeded by