Maj Gen Holmes (RM) found dead

I wonder if it is part of a particularly nasty smear campaign, with no though to the added distress to a bereaved family.
It’s particularly unedifying at a time when the Senior Service should be cock a hoop following the appointment of a Navy VSO as CDS.
Something stinks, with Journos at the heart of it as usual.
It must be very distressing for the late Generals family and close friends.
 
You may or may not have noticed that there is an epidemic of male suicide in the West
As you ask, yes unfortunately I have...my youngest tried after a big setback.

Luckily tragedy was averted, but it has brushed me by, very closely, so yes very aware.

And, as you have seen from previous posts, very aware also of the particular vulnerability the previous CGRM may have been susceptible to.

There do however remain questions.

Are they disrespectful?

Simply questions that have very reasonable answers, that can be easily dismissed? Or, perhaps with possible validity, food for thought, and consideration, even after the tragedy...because a life was taken/given for them?

Certainly no disrespect for the First Sea Lord, but respecting the value of the possible opinion of the previous CGRM. Yes.
 
As you ask, yes unfortunately I have...my youngest tried after a big setback.

Luckily tragedy was averted, but it has brushed me by, very closely, so yes very aware.

And, as you have seen from previous posts, very aware also of the particular vulnerability the previous CGRM may have been susceptible to.

There do however remain questions.

Are they disrespectful?

Simply questions that have very reasonable answers, that can be easily dismissed?

Or, perhaps with possible validity, food for thought, and consideration, even after the tragedy...because a life was taken/given for them?
Best wishes your youngest bounces back, it will take a lot of compassion kindness and gentle positive mental attitude.
 
Best wishes your youngest bounces back, it will take a lot of compassion kindness and gentle positive mental attitude.
Thank you. Happened a while back. Samaritans particularly helpful, and yes even though it was over twenty years ago, one remains very alert. The subsequent increase in communication was a major factor in mitigating the possible pressures that may have been factors.

The circle of confidants to people in very senior military positions is greatly reduced for reasons of security, which greatly handicaps the assistance that will readily available to most others. Often reduced to wives and close family only.

As I have said before a perfect storm.

My posts on this are not intended in any way disrespectfully, they do not apportion blame, simply wishing to acknowledge that this was a man who had achieved much, in a group to whom hardship, stress, and high standards, are the norm. It was an act not lightly done, and for some of the reasons, perhaps bears some consideration.
 

QRK2

LE
Given the relationship between RM and the USMC, that makes no sense at all. Examples of the relationship include fighting alongside in Korea ie Chosin Reservoir, the regular instructor exchanges (USMC at CTC when I was there as a PWI), arctic training of USMC, joint live fire exercises in Nevada, etcetera etcetera.
Edited for clarity

Arguably one of the most culturally influential is the PTI exchange who runs PT for the USMC OCS, given his visibility at such a formative stage in USMC Officer training.
 
Arguably one of the most culturally influential is the PTI exchange who runs PT for the USMC OCS, given his visibility at such a formative stage in USMC Officer training.
Have met a couple of USMC officers who did exchanges with the RM's, always had very positive comments.

Started at Deal which was then the RM PTI school, they had a pretty scientific and well thought out initial fitness training which showed each individual with charts just how fitness was increasing, which of course then ramped up at Lympstone.
 
Given the relationship between RM and the USMC, that makes no sense at all. Examples of the relationship include fighting alongside in Korea ie Chosin Reservoir, the regular instructor exchanges (USMC at CTC when I was there as a PWI), arctic training of USMC, joint live fire exercises in Nevada, etcetera etcetera.
Edited for clarity
That's my point. This is a good relationship developed by CGRM and his staff over the years, and Radakin tried to squeeze senior RM officers out of it, claiming it was only for 1SL to manage.

The arrogant prick.
 
Which emails would they be then?
The report shows Radakin for the utter cockwomble he is:

A directive from Sir Tony's office included a gagging order banning the Marines officer from discussing key issues with colleagues, including the commander of the US Marine Corps (USMC), General David Berger.

Major General Holmes was also warned to 'expect a more limited role' in the Marines. The order and the tone of Sir Tony's remarks left the father-of-two deeply upset.

He wrote to a friend: 'I've had a very tough year. I feel beaten down. Not listened to, merely run over by someone with no military judgment: Too much is about appearance.

'I don't trust Radakin. It's been awful. Awful. You should see the tone of some of the emails I've had from Radakin. Basically imposing his authority and keeping me constrained.

'Kept away from ministers. All about his narrative. He doesn't get the corps. But I know Gen Berger recognises my concerns (another one that Radakin ordered me not to engage with regarding my post).

'Radakin sees himself as owning the USMC relationship. Berger doesn't! At all. He wants to talk to me. How do you think I feel...'

Sir Tony's efforts to bring the Commandant General into line came to a head late last year after a series of heated arguments between the two about the future of Major General Holmes' post.

A document distributed to senior officers read: 'I [Sir Tony] will engage with ministers and our international partners. The debate has to be toned down and ideally stopped. This is about my authority. International engagement by CGRM [Major General Holmes] is to stop. The CGRM focus is to ensure the corps delivers on its tasks, seeking opportunities for increased integration with the Royal Navy and preparing for a more limited role as CGRM from April 2021.'

The pair are also said to have disagreed about closer integration of the Marines within the Navy – a move resisted by Major General Holmes.
 

Yokel

LE
The report shows Radakin for the utter cockwomble he is:

A directive from Sir Tony's office included a gagging order banning the Marines officer from discussing key issues with colleagues, including the commander of the US Marine Corps (USMC), General David Berger.

Major General Holmes was also warned to 'expect a more limited role' in the Marines. The order and the tone of Sir Tony's remarks left the father-of-two deeply upset.

He wrote to a friend: 'I've had a very tough year. I feel beaten down. Not listened to, merely run over by someone with no military judgment: Too much is about appearance.

'I don't trust Radakin. It's been awful. Awful. You should see the tone of some of the emails I've had from Radakin. Basically imposing his authority and keeping me constrained.

'Kept away from ministers. All about his narrative. He doesn't get the corps. But I know Gen Berger recognises my concerns (another one that Radakin ordered me not to engage with regarding my post).

'Radakin sees himself as owning the USMC relationship. Berger doesn't! At all. He wants to talk to me. How do you think I feel...'

Sir Tony's efforts to bring the Commandant General into line came to a head late last year after a series of heated arguments between the two about the future of Major General Holmes' post.

A document distributed to senior officers read: 'I [Sir Tony] will engage with ministers and our international partners. The debate has to be toned down and ideally stopped. This is about my authority. International engagement by CGRM [Major General Holmes] is to stop. The CGRM focus is to ensure the corps delivers on its tasks, seeking opportunities for increased integration with the Royal Navy and preparing for a more limited role as CGRM from April 2021.'

The pair are also said to have disagreed about closer integration of the Marines within the Navy – a move resisted by Major General Holmes.

Do you have a source for these things, or a you just advocating a 'burn the Witch' type approach to dealing with allegations?

I thought the issue of naval ranks being used by RM Officers (and SNCOs?) had been discussed before - and I was right!

Royal Marine Officers to adopt Royal Navy rank structure....... maybe

It was proposed by RM Officers and the RNLMC already do it.

Mainly it's to stop Nick Carter getting confused and trying to claim the Corps are "just another light infantry" organisation, and thus try to cut them to fund FRES...

(Cf "5th generation Commando Force" designed to put even more clear blue water between a Lt Inf Bn and a RM Cdo)


@alfred_the_great
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
I can see both sides of that argument - punchy bootneck 2* 'doing what he likes' outside of 1SL/CNS authority would tend to prompt a slapping down.

However, in line with other planets I see how it could combine to devastating effect. Being cut out of the loop can be pretty hard to take at any level, let alone 2*, but Holmes may have been seen as making his own bed.

Still a tragedy.
 
For Radakin to cut CGRM out of discussions with the CGUSMC seems particularly senseless, but perhaps more indicative of his intention to sideline Holmes completely prior to removal.

Berger would certainly have far more interest, common ground, and reason to want direct communications with his British counterpart, as Holmes somewhat bitterly indicates, but obviously this was not to be.

The CGRM retaking the position, clearly stated the Corps position as ready to comply with whatever it is told to do by it boss.

Sad situation for Holmes who had obviously dedicated his life to the Corps and a man not used to failure.

Sources two National newspapers over the weekend.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
For Radakin to cut CGRM out of discussions with the CGUSMC seems particularly senseless, but perhaps more indicative of his intention to sideline Holmes completely prior to removal.

Berger would certainly have far more interest, common ground, and reason to want direct communications with his British counterpart, as Holmes somewhat bitterly indicates, but obviously this was not to be.

The CGRM retaking the position, clearly stated the Corps position as ready to comply with whatever it is told to do by it boss.

Sad situation for Holmes who had obviously dedicated his life to the Corps and a man not used to failure.

Sources two National newspapers over the weekend.
Perhaps because CGRM was taking a different position with the USMC to that which 1SL had sanctioned? Who knows, but if that was the case it might have been enough of a reason to feel the need to impose the CoC - sad at that level but occasionally necessary, he wouldn't be the first senior officer to be reprimanded (or worse) by his boss.
 

DSJ

LE

Death of leading general could ‘drive a wedge’ between Navy and Royal Marines​

Senior officer appeals for calm ahead of funeral of Major General Matt Holmes, who was removed from job as head of the Royal Marines

ByRobert Mendick, CHIEF REPORTER ; Danielle Sheridan, POLITICAL AND DEFENCE CORRESPONDENT and Con Coughlin, DEFENCE EDITOR13 October 2021 • 6:00am

The funeral of Major General Matt Holmes is due to take place on Wednesday

The funeral of Major General Matt Holmes is due to take place on Wednesday

The death of the former head of the Royal Marines is “serving to drive a wedge” between the elite unit and the Royal Navy, his successor has warned in a letter to senior commanders.
An inquest which opened on Tuesday into Major General Matt Holmes’ death heard that his body had been found in a bedroom at his home in Winchester after he had "concerns about his marriage and service career".
The father-of-two - a pallbearer at Prince Phillip’s funeral - was, according to reports, said to be in a “bad place” over the loss of his “dream job”. Maj Gen Holmes’ body was found on October 2.
The coroner requested details of how the Royal Navy, of which the Marines is a part, had managed his career, including his removal from post.
Ahead of Wednesday’s funeral of Maj Gen Holmes, the Marines's most senior officer appealed for calm for the sake of his widow, explaining that the “dispute” was “making that journey harder”.
Maj Gen Holmes, pictured inspecting the guard at the supersession of the Commandant General Royal Marines

Maj Gen Holmes, pictured inspecting the guard at the supersession of the Commandant General Royal Marines CREDIT: Joe Cater/PA Wire
In the letter to senior commanders, Lieutenant General Rob Magowan, Commandant General Royal Marines (CGRM), wrote: “I thought I would drop you a short note as we run towards Matt’s funeral on Wednesday. Stories are playing out in the press that are making that journey harder.”

The senior officer said he was “really keen… to help contain things”, not least to help his widow, Lea.
Lt Gen Magowan said she was “very upset” at how Maj Gen Holmes’ relationship with Admiral Sir Tony Radakin “is being publicly portrayed”. It was announced last week that Sir Tony, the First Sea Lord, is being promoted to Chief of the Defence Staff, heading up the Armed Forces, at the end of November.
In reference to the colours of the shirts worn by the Navy and the Marines, Lt Gen Magowan said: “The ‘dispute’ is serving to drive a wedge between white shirts and lovat, which helps nobody. It is making my job harder as CGRM.
“I’ll manage that but it is also impacting the serving Corps, just as we mature an integrated relationship across the Navy in pursuit of the Future Commando Force, a concept that is rooted in the maritime.”
Lt Gen Magowan added: “The focus this coming week is to celebrate Matt’s amazing career, and to support his family. Anything else is a straight distraction. So I am asking all of us to work together, for Matt, his family and the Corps.”

Inquest opens into death​

The funeral will take place on Wednesday at Winchester Cathedral, a day after the opening of the inquest into the 54-year-old’s death.
At the opening of the inquest, Jason Pegg, the Hampshire coroner, said he would be asking for details from the Royal Navy of Maj Gen Holmes' career, including the end of his tenure as CGRM after just under two years in April.
Mr Pegg said: "It's suspected that Matthew Holmes had a number of concerns at the time of his death including matters relating to his marriage and his service career."
He added: "I direct the Royal Navy provides a statement setting out very briefly Matthew Holmes' career and his career management post-supersession from his post as Commandant General Royal Marines and the known response to that from Maj Gen Matthew Holmes."
A year before his death, Maj Gen Holmes reportedly said in a message to a friend he felt “beaten down” by Sir Tony, and that he had been undermined during a well-publicised spat over the future of the Royal Marines.
He is said to have told the friend that he felt he had been “run over by someone with no military judgment” after Sir Tony sent emails “imposing his authority and keeping me constrained”.
The Ministry of Defence has declined to comment on the messages.
A senior military source said: "There is a huge amount of resentment at the way he [Matt] was treated, and people are very angry about the tragic circumstances surrounding his death."
But a Navy source suggested that disaffected former Royal Marines “are using this tragic event to their own ends”. The source said Lt Gen Magowan’s letter was “simply him leading the organisation and seeking to prevent distorted truths from being interpreted as anything else”.
 
It’s getting a bit fûcking boring for serving bootnecks to keep on leaking to the press: especially letters from CG to tell them stop leaking

And people wonder why 1SL felt it necessary to grip the Corps about their predilection to consistently do an end run around their superiors…
 
It’s getting a bit fûcking boring for serving bootnecks to keep on leaking to the press: especially letters from CG to tell them stop leaking

And people wonder why 1SL felt it necessary to grip the Corps about their predilection to consistently do an end run around their superiors…

What's got them so upset to be leaking so much, have they banned the LBD?
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
But a Navy source suggested that disaffected former Royal Marines “are using this tragic event to their own ends”. The source said Lt Gen Magowan’s letter was “simply him leading the organisation and seeking to prevent distorted truths from being interpreted as anything else”.
That is really going to quieten things down, I don't think. I hope it was just the newspaper making it up, but if not then someone needs taking down a peg or three!
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
It’s getting a bit fûcking boring for serving bootnecks to keep on leaking to the press: especially letters from CG to tell them stop leaking

And people wonder why 1SL felt it necessary to grip the Corps about their predilection to consistently do an end run around their superiors…
Seriously, in today’s social media environment, what makes you think that an email from 1SL and entreaties from the CGRM that supplanted Holmes would stop the leaks/comments about the whole thing?

These days everybody apparently leaks to the Press, no reason the Naval Service should be any different surely? Good luck on trying to put this particular fire out, distasteful and full of disinformation as it seems to be.
 

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