New head of the Maritime Reserve takes charge

The world’s most famous warship was the setting on a stunning summer day for a new face to take charge of the 2,700 Royal Naval Reservists.

On the eve of National Reserves Day, a formal ceremony was held aboard HMS Victory in Portsmouth Naval Base to name Rear Admiral Mike Bath as the new Flag Officer Reserves (known as FORes).

Flanked by a guard made up of Royal Naval and Royal Marines Reservists, Rear Admiral Bath assumed the role from Rear Admiral Simon Williams.

The logistics officer by trade and previously having held the appointment of Assistant Chief of Staff (People Capability), Rear Admiral Bath said: “As Flag Officer Reserves, I am genuinely delighted to be the advocate for and champion of the Maritime Reserves.

“It is always welcome to be part of a good news story – and Maritime Reserves are very much that.”

His goal is to grow the RNR and RMR so both can meet the demands of the Senior Service into the next decade – and above all ensure that Reservists work seamlessly alongside their general service comrades.

As Flag Officer Reserves, I am genuinely delighted to be the advocate for and champion of the Maritime Reserves

Rear Admiral Bath, Flag Officer Reserves

In doing so, he’ll be building on the achievements of Rear Admiral Williams who has overseen a period of unprecedented growth in Maritime Reserve numbers and support to the Naval Service… growth which has demanded the opening of new units and detachments, such as the Medway Tender (part of HMS President), and seen units recognised by their local authorities, such as the Freedom of the City parade in Nottingham recently for HMS Sherwood.

His successor says in the current climate the “value and contribution” of reservists “are more important than ever”.

He continued: “Without the commitment, application, dedication, enthusiasm and passion of its people, our aspirations for the Maritime Reserve cannot be translated into reality.

“These qualities have been apparent in the daily delivery of capability in the frontline, and most recently the successes of the bespoke support to HMS Queen Elizabeth and the force integration of the RMR into 3 Commando Brigade have underlined how vital an integrated Reserves capability is to the future of the Naval Service.

“The future is bright, and we are on a journey together. I hope to meet as many of you as possible over the coming months as I settle into my new role. Enjoy your day!”