The Green Jacket Contribution to the Wider Army


The Green Jacket contribution to the wider Army has been significant; at times the Regiment has provided the Army with a disproportionate number of senior officers, and our battalions and Riflemen have served with distinction in every operational theatre. The Green Jacket ethos has traditionally been forward looking and many of the ideas it espoused have had a significant effect on leadership, operational success, intellectual development, and organisational change within the Army over the last 40 years. Maybe in part this is why the Regiment has always attracted a large number of capable officers, often too many to leave room for them all to have the chance to command the limited number of battalions within the Regiment. Many Green Jackets have therefore been privileged to command other Regiments, and both officers and Riflemen have distinguished themselves in Special Forces, as well as in other areas, not least in their subsequent, or for Green Jacket Territorials their parallel, civilian careers.

In 1984 the following senior Green Jackets were all serving officers in the rank of Major-General and above:

  • Field Marshal Sir Roland Gibbs GCB, CBE, DSO, MC
  • Field Marshal Sir Edwin Bramall, GCB, OBE, MC – Chief of the Defence Staff
  • General Sir Frank Kitson. CBE, KCB,MC,ADC Gen - CinC ULKLF
  • General Sir Roland Guy, KCB, CBE, DSO, ADC Gen - Adjutant General
  • Lieutenant-General Sir James Glover, KCB, MBE - CinC UKLF (designate)
  • Lieutenant-General Sir David Mostyn, KCB, CBE – Military Secretary
  • Major-General R A Pascoe MBE – Chief of Staff  HQ UKLF
  • Major-General ME Carleton-Smith CBE – Defence Adviser, Australia
  • Major-General P M Welsh OBE, MC - President Regular Commissions Board
  • Major-General D J Ramsbotham, CBE, MA - Commander 3rd  Armoured Division
  • Major-General C E W Jones – Director General Territorial Army
  • Major-General G D Johnson, OBE, MC – Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff

This snap shot in time illustrates the Regiment’s success and of those listed both Lieutenant Generals and four of the Major Generals went on to become full Generals; a generation unique in Green Jacket history.  A list of Green Jackets appointed to the rank of General since 1966 is also shown, together with a list of those officers appointed to command divisions and brigades, the most sought after senior appointments in the Army, and other senior appointments achieved. Also listed are those Green Jackets who commanded RGJ regular and Territorial battalions and our training Depot, as well as those who commanded non RGJ units in the British Army. This all represents a singular achievement for one Regiment, and perhaps goes some way to explain why it was often commented that ‘the Green Jackets run the Army’ and why the Regiment was widely known as ‘The Black Mafia’.  In a smaller Army the Regiment still has more than its share of bright talent in contention for senior appointments, and it remains the Regiments hope and intent to ensure that this condition is carried forward in The Rifles.