Late ROYAL GREEN JACKETS
Robert Martin was born into a military family with long roots in Leicestershire. His father’s postings meant living in Germany, Australia and Cyprus before moving back to UK for the first time in 1959. Educated at Maidwell Hall, near Market Harborough, and Eton, at 16 he was awarded an Army Scholarship. He was commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst into the Royal Green Jackets (RGJ) in 1972. Upon leaving Sandhurst, where he won the Sword of Honour, he served as Platoon Commander in Germany and the Lower Falls in Belfast, before leaving his Battalion to become first an instructor at the Light Infantry Depot in Shrewsbury then ADC to General Officer Commanding 2nd Armoured Division in Germany. As a Captain he completed further tours with 1RGJ in Hong Kong; as Operations Officer in South Armagh; Adjutant the Eton College CCF; a six months staff tour as SO3 G3 Operations, Organisation and Deployment on Joint Force HQ Staff in the Falkland Islands; and finally 18 months as SO3 Intelligence HQ 49 Infantry Brigade at Chilwell, Nottingham.
Following a course at the Royal Military College of Science at Shrivenham, he was promoted to Major, and in 1986 attended the Army Command and Staff College Quetta, on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. From Staff College he was posted in 1987 as a Company Commander back to1RGJ in Germany, Canada and South Armagh. As SO2 G3, HQ South East District, he was the lead staff officer in the Intelligence and Operations Branch, responsible for mounting the district’s support to the first Gulf War.
In 1991, he assumed an appointment as Training Major 7th (Durham) Battalion, The Light Infantry, a busy NATO-roled, TA Infantry Battalion. In 1993 he moved on promotion to Lieutenant Colonel to be the Commanding Officer the Mozambique Training Team & SO1 Nyanga Battalion Battle School. A double-hatted post, he was both principal adviser to the Commandant of the Zimbabwe National Army All Arms Battle School and commanded the UK’s Mozambique Training Team. The latter was responsible for unifying the former warring armies at the end of a 17 year civil war in Mozambique. The team’s success was recognised in part by Mozambique becoming the first ever non-former British colony to join the Commonwealth, and Robert’s appointment as an Officer of the British Empire (OBE).
From Africa he returned to Oxford to command of the 5th Volunteer Battalion The Royal Green Jackets in 1994. In 1997, after learning colloquial Arabic, he was posted on Loan Service as Training Advisor, HQ Royal Army of Oman, and subsequently on an operational tour as Commander the Coalition Press Information Office HQ Stabilisation Force in Sarajevo, responsible for all Media Operations in Bosnia-Herzgovina.
He was promoted to Colonel in 2000 and moved to Damascus in 2001 as Defence Attache. Colonel Martin served in Syria through a most interesting time, including 9/11, and wars in Afghanistan and neighbouring Iraq. In 2005, after a short period in UK to learn Spanish, Colonel Martin served 3 years as the Defence Attache based in Guatemala, but with responsibility also for Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador. He also ran the Guatemala/Belize Language Exchange Project, the UK’s principal peacekeeping effort in Central America. On completion of this posting in 2008, he retired from the Army in August and return home to Leicestershire. Colonel Martin comes from a family with a long record of service to the county, which he is delighted to continue. His great uncle was Chairman of the County Council for 36 years, and his father was Lord Lieutenant for 24 years.
Robert is married to Janie, and they have three children, Charlotte(29), Edward(26) and Sophie (22). Janie too has thrown herself into Leicestershire life becoming President of the Royal British Legion’s Womens’Section, the Leicester Ladies Lifeboat Guild and the Friends of Charnwood Forest. She is also a Parish Councillor for Woodhouse Eaves and County Coordinator for Help for Heroes.
Robert is an enthusiastic sportsman. Although now playing only tennis and golf, in the past he played Cricket and Rugby for the Army and Combined Services in Hong Kong, was a playing member of the MCC, and the Gentlemen of Leicestershire Cricket Clubs. He is a keen supporter and member of Leicestershire County Cricket Club and Leicester Tigers Rugby Club. He is also member of the Quorn Branch of the British Legion and actively supports a number of charities and organisations, particularly those associated with the Armed Forces, and those encouraging active youth participation in community service and enjoyment of the countryside, such as the Scouts, Guides, Sea Rangers and Cadet Forces. He is County President for St John Ambulance and a Trustee of Bradgate Park.