1976 Commando Establishment Questions

Discussion in 'The Corps' started by exspy, Mar 23, 2009.

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  1. Gentlemen,

    I have a copy of the establishment of a Royal Marine Commando as it existed in 1976 including weapons, vehicles and detailed sub-units. Although I'm able to guess at most of the acronyms used, there are some that I have been unable to figure out. I've listed them here in hopes that maybe someone can provide their meaning for me. I've also given the context in which they were found.


    One is found in each rifle troop headquarters. I know that GD stands for General Duties and a Runner is, of course, a runner. I'm guessing that an OP is a radio operator and that maybe an MOA is a Marine Officer's Attendant?

    2) MNE S3 and MNE RO

    Both are found in the signal section of the rifle company headquarters and in the signal troop. Is it signalman level 3 and radio operator? What's the difference?

    3) Out of 9 Troop Sergeants 4 to be PW1, 1 to be PW1 (s), 1 to be ML1.

    PW is, I believe, platoon weapons but what is the significance of the (s)? I know that ML is mountain leader.

    4) UIRO

    What does this stand for? It has a Sgt GD (RI). What is an RI?

    5) MNE GD (D) (C)

    Three such marines are found in the intelligence section. Do the D and the C stand for draughtsman and cartographer?

    6) RO, LV, RO/LV, CPR (1 to 3), CQ (1 to 3), D (1 to 3) and S/Man

    D, I'm guessing, is for driver. The rest I'm not sure.

    7) Instr Officer and Yeoman

    What are the meanings of these two positions within the context of the RM?

    To anyone who can help, and doesn't mind answering questions from 33 years ago, I would surely appreciate their assistance. If, on the other hand, the answers are so blatantly obvious that any fool should have been able to figure them out, then I ask for your patience.

  2. 1) Looks all correct
    2)Mne S3 fully trained sigs, RO just voice and basic skills, ie no morse. RO on the company net, S3 on the Unit net.
    3) Sniper.
    4) Unit Intelligence.... Ofiicer
    RI Reading Instructor?? 8O :D
    Hope that helps a bit.
  3. NZB,

    Sniper, of course, how simple. Thanks for differentiating an S3 from an RO for me.

    I don't think the UIRO is the intelligence officer as there is a separate intelligence section in the establishment.

    Reading instructor? Are you furthering the myth that commandos can't read? Maybe it was for the attached RN personnel!


    PS: Thanks for asking your 'older' friends for answers to my questions.
  4. Your Establishment/LOB would have been created about 3 years before I joined up! :lol:
    Memory fading explains some of the gaps, but just how many acronyms can one brain contain? I work on the rule of 1 in 1 out. :wink:
  5. Ye Gods just pinged another one.

    UIRO= Unit Imprest and Records Officer, pay and papershuffler. As a note of interest usually an SD (Special Duties) Officer, promoted from the Clerk SNCOs, after attending Gentlemans training of course. :D

    My God, just lost all knowledge of NZ Tax Codes, not in itself a bad thing! 8O
  6. RO/LV was Radio Op and LV was light vehicle so basically an RO that also held a license to drive Landrovers.

    S/man would be storeman.
  7. IMD
  8. Everyone,

    Thanks for the info. You've all been very helpful.

    Imprest, noun, an advance of funds, especially from a government or civil service (wiktionary).

    I have to say in all my years this is a word I have never heard before. NZB it's a good thing you were able to remember it because I would never have been able to guess that one.

    Now for some further clarifications. The CPR's were found in the UIRO. Could it stand for Clerk Personnel Records? Carpenters were designated CARP and were found in the QM's Troop.

    As for the MOA/Runner/Op, there were already two Marines GD in the troop headquarters designated for the 84mm. Could Op be the same as, or a lesser qualified, RO?

    Now for the big question. In the rifle troops, two of the sections had a strength of 9 and the third a strength of 10. Why the difference? Was it to allow for the Marines seconded to the intelligence section as snipers? If not, then why the extra body in one section only

    NZB you used the term LOB in one answer. If OB is order of battle, what does the L stand for?

    Again, thanks for all your help.


    PS: NZB, if the NZ tax codes are anything like the Canadian, it'll be along the lines of 'just send us everything'.
  9. Doh, had a senior moment, meant OrBat, been reading too much Patrick O'Brian of late and got all Nelsonian. :wink:

    Did the 3rd Troop have an extra GPMG? May have been like a Fire Support Troop, heavy on the MGs.
  10. IMD
  11. ISTR that the Troop consisted of 3 sections of 9, and a Tp Hq consisting of the Tp Officer, Tp Sgt and the RO, also the 2" Mortar team and 84 team, Each section contained a GPMG or if in Norway/Belize/Brunei then an LMG.

    The Snipers were as mentioned usually in Recce Tp although if the Unit was "up" on Snipers then the guys would carry the L42 in a normal Tp, or as part of Coy HQ (each Coy held its own L42's). Never saw Snipers with the Int section.

    If a guy went to the Int section he left the Coy and became part of the HQ set up so that when deployed the Trops and the Int section never had a bun fight over any of their Marines.
  12. Guys,

    Been away for a while. Thanks for your answers. Now, where to begin?

    IMD, I still think that the Op in MOA/Runner/Op stands for some kind of radio operator. The troop headquarters shows a strength of 7 (1-6); a troop commander, troop sergeant, the aforementioned MOA/Runner/Op, two Marines GD for the 84mm and two Marines GD for the 2" mortar. No mention of a specific body for the radio other than the Op. Your thoughts?

    I think you're right about CPR standing for Clerk Pay and Records. CPRs are found in two sections only. In the UIRO section there is a CSgt and a Sgt, both CPR1, two Cpl CPR2 and three Marines C3. They work with three Sgts GD; one for RI, one for Funds and one for Welfare. In the Clerks Section there is a WO2 CPR1, two Cpl CPR2 and two Marines C3. All just as you said.

    Now as to the location of the snipers. The recce troop has only 23 men (1-22). They operate with six 1/2 ton GS vehicles. There is no indication of anyone having had sniper training. In the weapons table there is provision for 8 sniper rifles, but they are shown as pool weapons. The intelligence section only has 7 men (1-6) and one of those is the RN photographer. There is a note beside the section that states "1xSgt and 7xMnes GD for Sniper Sect". That just leaves seconded Marines from the rifle companies for the sniper section.

    Still wondering what the CQ SQ means, and what the tenth man in the third section of a rifle troop was for. I recall that one of the troop sergeants was to be PW (s). Was he the seconded sniper sergeant?

    Finally, this is all peace establishment. The war establishment differed only in having 100 (5-95) RMR personnel attached. A full rifle troop (1-34) is provided to the commando headquarters and another to headquarters company (protection for A and B echelons in the field I would think). A defence section of 10 (1-9) is provided to each rifle company headquarters. War or peace establishment made no difference to the strength of the commando's sub-units and troops.

    Comments please.


    PS: I think I just sussed out what a CQ is. There are no CQ3s in the commando just as there are no CPR3s, just Marines C3. If CQ stands for quartermaster clerk (they are found in the QM's section) then they could be one of two specializations that clerks level 3 select upon promotion to level 2, either CQ or CPR. What do you gentlemen think?
  13. No. Troop Officer, Troop Sergeant and 2 Mnes make up a Rifle Troop HQ.
    One Marine acted as the RO, the other as MOA/Runner (Chief Cook and bottle washer) all other duties shared between these 2.

    The Sniper was an Adqual (Additional Qualification.) and whilst there appear to be on the strength of the Int Section in your list, most of them would have been in the more sneaky beaky Recce Tp, acting as members of Recce Tp with the added bonus of being Snipers.

    Int section IMD was the Schoolie (RN Education Officers wartime role, AACC Trained.), an NCO and an Illustrator (Trained at RM Poole) who acted as Unit cartographer, sand model maker, scale model builder/painter (For AFV identification lessons.), sign writer and cartoonist!!

    As with all OrBats it's a bit of a wish list, the Troop I was in was rarely if ever at full strength, the jobs just got shared around or Troop assignments were altered accordingly.
    This manpower shortage would have been reflected through out the Unit in all areas to some extent.

    Good luck with your research.
  15. Recce sections were supposed to have 1 PW3 (Sniper) per section so making a total of 6, the 3 troops I was with were usually short of them.

    As to the manning of Recce, we used to be scaled for 6x4 man sections therefore 24 (23 +1).

    ISTR C/S were 60 and 60a, 61 and 61a, finally 62 and 62a. 60 was the Tp Officer and 60a the Tp C/Sgt although we often had 3-4 Sgts. Quite often the troop would have 3-4 ML's a couple of PW's and even (thankfully) some GD Sgt's/Cpl's.
  16. CQ............Clerk Quartermasters............. QM'S Dept(Capt SD)

    Consisting off................1 RQMS, 1 Sgt, 1 Cpl, 3 Marines(all CQ's).

    A/QMS..........................1 LT(SD). 1 Marine(CQ).

    In 1981 the became SA's.

    Prior to 1968......A Clerk could be drafted as a CPR(Clerk Pay and Records) to CQ billet and vice versa. All those that were in the billets then stayed in that branch. With some exceptions I was a CQ, but in 1979 I was loan drafted to Intrepid for 5 months as a CPR, because no CPR could be spared.
  17. The Yeoman was the top Sigs NCO in a Unit, resposible for planning of Sigs nets etc for deployments.
  18. pompeymick,

    Thanks for jumping in. Quick question; what does the (SD) stand for when it follows the officer's rank? Also, if you were in service during 1979 would you know why the third section in a rifle troop, at the time, had an extra Marine GD?


    As always, the gentleman of the thread. In an earlier post from In_my_day he stated that a Yeoman was the padre's assistant. The Yeoman's position is found in the commando headquarters. Now you're saying a Yeoman is the top sig NCO in a unit. Confusion reigns here over the pond. Can you expound on your post?

  19. Special Duties Officer, a former SNCO who has undergone Officer Training and is then promoted to fill various HQ Company roles; Motor Transport Officer, Unit Imprest and Records Officer, Regimental Quartermaster and Base Company Commander (At 45 Cdo anyhow, Base Company provided manpower to guard the base whilst the rest of the Unit was away on Ops or Training.). There may be more SD roles but thats about all I can recall.
    They were called Special Duties as they did not have to go the usual Officer route and command a Rifle Troop before Specialisation, as they were usually slotted into the Department from which they were promoted ie a Colour Sergeant D1 (Driver 1st Class) would, on being succesfully promoted, become the MTO.

    I may be wrong but nowadays in the Unit the Yeoman of Signals carries out the organisational role as I mentioned.
    See this link to the RM Careers Career Specialisation page, the Yeoman of Signals is mentioned at the bottom of the Other Ranks Specialisations.


    Hope this doesn't add to the confusion!
  20. NZB is correct about the Yeoman of Signals but he would be found in Signals Tp HQ. His SQ would be S1 but it could be shown as CSgt S1 (YoS). Also in the HQ (more recently anyway) would also be a CSgt S1 (Radio CSgt). The YoS course is widely recognised as extremely difficult. He is the technical planner with the RCSgt being the man that runs Cdo HQ.

    The Padres Yeoman, as I said, would be GD. If you had the corresponding tac Orbat he would probably be shown in the RAP.

    NZB's recollection of SD employment is reasonably correct except that they were not (and are still not) confined to their former SQ, remember that some SQs do not have officer appts and others only had DE offrs. The roles he mentions are classed as first tour jobs, I don't know many that would have been in existence then but now they include Training Offr appts at CTCRM, coy/Sqn 2i/c, staff appts, etc.


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