New Commander of Maritime Reserves assumes command

Pioneering officer Commodore Melanie Robinson arrives with her vision for the future of the Royal Navy's Reserve forces.

Melanie has served in the Royal Navy for 27 years; was amongst the first women to go to sea and remains amongst the first to command a warship. One of only 12 female Captains, Cdre Mel now becomes one of only four female naval officers to have achieved flag rank as Commodore Maritime Reserves (COMMARES).

Setting-out her stall on day one, she said, "I am determined to lead a step-change in how the Maritime Reserves recruits, employs and deploys its personnel.

We are already operating as an auxiliary support force: Offering flexibility and cost efficiency, reserve personnel deliver capabilities into every aspect of frontline activity every single day."

Speaking at the Supersession Ceremony onboard HMS Victory, the first ever Reservist to be appointed in the role of COMMARES, Cdre Martin Quinn said, “Four years ago we commenced a significant programme of change across the Maritime Reserves to enable further regular/reserves integration across a range of capabilities.

"We have never been busier and in the future we hope reserves will be able to do even more.”

The Reserves' greatest strength is our capacity to recruit and employ a fantastic diversity of personnel, allowing the RN to draw upon otherwise unaffordable skills, both from existing personnel and future recruits.

Commodore Mel Robinson

Cdre Robinson is clear in her aim to grow the Reserves, generating a versatile and agile force by employing a simpler structure, better aligned to the Royal Navy’s five core branches and modern requirements.

"I will shortly set-out a future vision for an Auxiliary Naval force fit for the 21st Century. A force that takes full advantage of its unique capacity to tap-into skills and talents unavailable as part of the Regular service.

"Under my command, we shall redesign the Reserves, the way it’s run and the people structures that support it, setting the conditions and outlining the offer to Britons seeking to 'protect their Nation's interests' but on a more flexible basis better tuned to their availability."

Her vision for the future of the Maritime Reserves will include a wider employment offer, a better employment model, and proactive and recognised use of civilian skills to support a transforming Navy.

"The Reserves' greatest strength is our capacity to recruit and employ a fantastic diversity of personnel, allowing the RN to draw upon otherwise unaffordable skills, both from existing personnel and future recruits.

"From manning OPVs to providing specialist skills, today marks the beginning of a Reserves Renaissance across the next 12 months.

"It will offer opportunity for Reservists, Regulars, potential joiners and employers alike.

"Watch this space!"

Royal Maritime Reserves

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