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Role of Different Ranks on Operations

Discussion in 'General Royal Marines Joining Chit Chat' started by Harry McRunFast, Feb 6, 2020.

  1. Harry McRunFast

    Harry McRunFast Valuable Contributor

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    Hi chaps,

    As a civilian, I believe I have a vague understanding of rank and power structure within the marines, and the wider military, although I’m probably misguided in my understanding.

    Could someone please explain to me how rank works whilst on combat operations...

    What’s the role of more junior officers vs senior officers, Lcpl’s/Cpl’s vs Sgt & above etc?

    If someone would be so kind as to give a fictitious but realistic example of how rank is important in planning and execution of operations that would be great!

    Thanks!
     
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  2. SCOTTY6

    SCOTTY6 Royal Marines Commando

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    Right il try to shed some light in basic terms. In the RM we have troops not platoons. Generally speaking 3 troops make up a squadron or company. A troop is made up of 3x 8 man sections and a HQ element. Within each section there will be a corporal and a lance corporal in charge of that section. The troop will (in the most basic terms) will have a troop sgt, a radio operator and a troop commander usually an LT or captain. The troop commander in fighting units, will usually be fresh out the box and under a very experienced sgt, who’s job it is to guide them and rid them of any crack pipe ideas they may have.
    Above this each squadron or company will have an OC (usually a major), a 2IC (captain) and a sgt major (WO2) with a number of attached ranks to assist the coy HQ element. These officers are in charge of what the coy does/where/when/what they do. The sgt major is responsible for the standards and well fare of the men within the coy. Above this you have a number of other administrative roles and other such jobs but the ones you will hear of/be told about will be the RSM which will be a WO and you will recognise him *text deleted* he will be cutting about with a big hitting stick. (It’s not actually for hitting). And a CO which is usually a half or full colonel.

    as I said this is billy basic terms and I’m not actually sure what some officers do, because it’s not my ball park. Hopefully someone with more insight can reply to this. But I hope you take something away from it!
     
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  3. Harry McRunFast

    Harry McRunFast Valuable Contributor

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    Right okay, I think I get it. So although a Lt is a commissioned officer, a Sgt will in reality be in charge of a troop on ops?

    No? Am I reading that wrong?
     
  4. SCOTTY6

    SCOTTY6 Royal Marines Commando

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    Just to clarify DLs also carry sticks, but different kind. And you will know the difference. DLs are quietly spoken and love it when you call them mate or fella...
     
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  5. SCOTTY6

    SCOTTY6 Royal Marines Commando

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    Yes an Lt is a commissioned officer. Technically the troop commander is always in charge of his troops but realistically shares the reigns with his troop sgt.
     
  6. Harry McRunFast

    Harry McRunFast Valuable Contributor

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    Ok I think I’m following -nailbiting-

    Thanks mate @SCOTTY6 (you’re not a DL are you, fella? ;))
     
  7. OneSheet

    OneSheet Royal Marines Commando

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    Did you just call Scotty fella and give him the four finger point?

    To be honest this is all info that you’ll get your head around when you’re in trg.
     
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  8. Johnny_Anonie

    Johnny_Anonie Moderator

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    Excellent post from @SCOTTY6. I appreciate I served with the British Army and not a Commando unit but during HERRICK the composition was largely the same. During the handover period my multiple (essentially an Infantry section) took over a checkpoint from an RM multiple. Prior to the completion of the transition I patrolled with RM. So I have an awareness on how the Royals rolled.

    When we took over my multiple commander was a Capt. He incidentally was also a Platoon Commander within our Company (clear as mud eh!). We had a senior/experienced Cpl who acted as our multiple 2 I/C. Like the bootnecks we took over from our multiple comprised of a commander and a second in command, a GPMG gunner, two LMG gunners, a number of riflemen with UGL, a sniper trained rank, sharp shooter, medic and the rest were riflemen. There were 14 of us.

    What we carried could be changed by the commander to fit the situation. We often carried 66’s & occasionally the Combat shotgun for areas when we needed to cross an area with high corn/dense vegetation.

    Whatever the chosen grouping, the multiple moved as an entity or divided into pairs which can fire and move in support of each other. Often the Capt took guidance from the NCOs but he remained in command. In order to maintain fresh legs and checkpoint security we would leave a small number of blokes behind to defend camp. Therefore on occasion we would patrol and the Cpl was the commander on the ground.

    @OneSheet is bang on, don’t worry about figuring this all out yet. You’ll learn in training. As well as all that other lovely stuff like 6 section battle drills and PAWPERSO. You’ll adore learning that in a soggy harbour area in CTC’s back area. It’s the stuff dreams are made off.
     
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  9. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    @Harry McRunFast On a general note every rank is expected to be capable of 'stepping up' to the next rank or appointment if operational circumstances require. For example, a section corporal should be mentally prepared to assume the duties of a Troop or Platoon sergeant on patrol.
    The same applies to a Marine or Private who might be required to step up to the role of section commander.

    Basically, nobody should coast along. Think "what if...?" and expect the unexpected regardless of one's rank and duties.
     
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  10. Harry McRunFast

    Harry McRunFast Valuable Contributor

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    :confused:-nailbiting-

    No, on a serious note thanks guys. I hadn’t realised there was so much give & take / input from the NCOs!
     
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  11. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    A number of years ago 42 Cdo was in the US on a major exercise with the USMC.

    A rather senior USMC Officer was visiting the Operations Command of 42 as the CO was directing his forward troops. One sub unit was basically passing back information and in fact directing 42’s main attack. The attack was a success leading to the USMC losing to 42 Cdo.

    The USMC Officer was most impressed with the actions of the sub unit involved which were instrumental in how 42’s CO deployed his forces. He asked that the Officer in charge of that sub unit be congratulated on his insight and actions.

    Rather surprised when told that the ‘officer’ was in fact a L/Cpl!o_O:)

    The USMC Major General stated that he wished that some of his Officers were of the standard of the L/Cpl.
    ;):cool:
     
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  12. SCOTTY6

    SCOTTY6 Royal Marines Commando

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    Haha
    just don’t go round CTC calling your oppos fella! Haha. In training you will have a section corporal, these guys are the backbone of the corps. Don’t under estimate how experienced they are or what they have done, mine was an ML, and was an absolute well of knowledge. At week 15 a couple of lads per section will be awarded section tape, and they will act as corporal and lance corporal. If you don’t get it, don’t worry but don’t rest on your laurels, pay attention to what they have to do, wether it’s ammo and cas reports or working with the radios. You’re going to need to learn how to it anyway if you want to promote. so might as well start as early as possible.
     
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  13. Harry McRunFast

    Harry McRunFast Valuable Contributor

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    Ha of course not!

    So is promotion based around a mixture of experience and merit then? I understand there are courses one had to pass before promotion, but is it possible for individuals to be promoted faster than others?
     
  14. SCOTTY6

    SCOTTY6 Royal Marines Commando

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    So il explain what I can and If I make any mistakes I apologise and hopefully a more senior member can clarify. Lance corporal can be what’s called a local rank. So at a fighting unit if one of your senior lads promotes to lance corporal within his troop he will attain that rank and pay. Unlike in the army you do not have to do a course to be promoted to lance corporal. However say that lad then picked up an SQ let’s say sniper, and he goes on course, because that rank was local to his unit he loses it once he leaves that unit. However some with some SQs such as MP (boo hissss) you are automatically awarded your lance jack banana on completion of the course. Promoting to Cpl and above are permanent ranks and it’s a bit more complicated. For some SQs such as PTI and DL you either have to be a Cpl or have a yes yes recommendation to promote. Being eligible to promote is all done via JPA and your SJAR which is kind of like your school report card. It’s based of merit and evidence backing what you have done. However you can only promote within your spec if there are Corporals or Sgt’s or whatever spaces for you to promote into. Some specs promote a lot quicker than others due to the nature of the job, for example, clerks: very fast promotion, lads will choose that spec *text deleted* they want to promote fast and maybe go into PTI or air crewman and then transfer out or maybe they wanted more of a 9-5 so take that before going outside. However things like PW and other green specs have a slower promotion rate due to lads liking where they are and what they do. Profs and dips.
     
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  15. kirbymorgan17

    kirbymorgan17 Active Member

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    great post above.is it also true you can receive a field promotion to lance corporal.
     
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  16. Johnny_Anonie

    Johnny_Anonie Moderator

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    I recall during RSOI we were all taught how to use the Vallon to detect IEDs. The Vallon is effectively a metal detector type device that the point man would normally carry.

    Trust me, as a medic if there was ever a cause for me to use the Vallon on tour then something really went wrong!! :D

    It would probably imply that I was the only one left, and if that was the case I reckon I would of just proposed to a local Helmand gal and just started a new life.
     
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  17. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Goat herding opportunities available on Exmoor. :)
     
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  18. Johnny_Anonie

    Johnny_Anonie Moderator

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    I’ve worked a Saturday night shift as a response officer outside nightclubs- I’m a dab hand at goat herding.

    And by goats I mean drunk students. And by herd I mean direct to a kebab shop.
     
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  19. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    I'm years out of date but Lance Corporal was an appointment and not a promotion. As mentioned by @SCOTTY6 it was very much tied to the billet though.

    Back in the 1970s the Parachute Regiment ran cadres at battalion level for those considered for appointment to LCpl. One bloke I knew attended his cadre about six months after being appointed.
     
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  20. Rob20

    Rob20 Royal Marines Commando

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    For lads in the process unsure of who does what, in essence Cpls run the show. L/Cpls assist them and generally do alot of the work that Cpls may not have the time for, or their time is spent better elsewhere. In terms of scrapping, Cpls are the boys.

    Your Sgt is all about looking out for the lads and making sure everyone has what they need for the job to be successful. Bullets and beans and all that.

    The boss, or troop commander is the link between the Troop and Company HQ. Involved with the bigger picture and plans the troop actions with that in mind. He also squares lads paperwork away, such as reports, feedback and also courses etc.

    The sgt and officer work very closely. But the Cpls are really the ones gripping the lads.

    No disrespect to them, but when ive been to Army camps and seen the state of some of their lance Jack's who have the rank for being in a certain trade, it makes me want to vom. Bootnecks with their first stripe have really earnt it and are at a very high standard of soldiering. Do not underestimate the quality of a L/Cpl in the RM.
     
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