Brigadier Mike Tanner OBE RM


Mike was appointed as Naval Base Commander (Devonport) on 14th July 2022. Commissioned in 1989, Mike has commanded a Troop, Company, Commando Group Training Wing, Training Centre and Naval Base; and planned operations at every level up to and including Divisional level – during combat operations.

Early in his career Mike was deployed overseas on jungle, arctic and desert training serials in such places as Brunei, Norway, Jordan, South Africa, South America and the Far East.  This period was punctuated by operational tours to West Belfast and East Tyrone during the ‘Troubles’ and to Bosnia as an United Nations peacekeeper.

Promotion to Major saw a move to the US. Working firstly in the British Embassy in Washington DC and then as an exchange officer to the United States Marine Corp.  In January 2003 Mike deployed to Kuwait as head of the USMC’s Task Force Tarawa advance party, before invading Iraq with them in 2003.  On promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, Mike was appointed Executive Assistant to the Second Sea Lord before working on strategy during the 2010 SDSR.

Since then Mike has been blessed with the extraordinary privilege of commanding the Commando Training Wing, 45 Commando Group, and the Commando Training Centre.  He also spent three years as Captain of Portsmouth Naval Base readying it for the arrival of the QUEEN ELIZABETH class aircraft carriers.

Staff training includes Army Junior Division, Advanced Command and Staff Course and the Royal College of Defence Studies.  Mike was awarded the US Bronze Star with Combat Valour decoration for his role in An Nasiriyah in 2003, the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service for his time in Iraq in 2005 and the OBE for his work transforming Portsmouth Naval Base in 2017.

As well as being a trustee of the RNRMC, Mike is the Chair of RNRM Boxing and a former professional rugby player with international caps for England U21 and the Combined Services.  Nowadays he enjoys lifting iron and gardening.  Married to Helen, they have three children and a Commando trained black Labrador.