A message from Commandant General Royal Marines,
Lieutenant General Rob Magowan CB CBE
“You will be aware that the last UK Armed Forces personnel have begun their withdrawal from Afghanistan, the concluding act of a campaign which, for the Royal Marines, began with Operation JACANA in 2002. The events of the 11th of September 2001 started a period of operational tempo not seen since World War II – and the whole Corps Family delivered.
Amongst the first in and trusted with the most difficult tasks, Royal Marines fought with courage, tenacity and a compassion exemplifying the Commando Ethos. 161 national awards for gallantry and bravery and 82 for meritorious service recognised individual excellence, but everyone contributed – as a Corps our moral cohesion was strengthened by our shared experience.
Not everyone that contributed to our success deployed to Afghanistan. Throughout, the home base was kept strong by our families and the Royal Marines Association-The Royal Marines Charity, who continue to provide superb support to all parts of the Corps.
60 Royal Marines died on operations in Afghanistan and 78 were either very seriously or seriously injured. Many have unseen injuries that are only just emerging, or are yet to. Everyone who deployed lost friends and knows someone still affected by their experiences. As a Corps Family we must stay close. To anyone who is struggling, reach out – once a marine, always a marine.
Thank you all for your peerless contribution throughout this Afghanistan campaign. We will remember those no longer with us. We are ready to go again.”