General Messenger is the country’s highest-ranking Royal Marine, and has given distinguished service. He joined the Royal Marines in 1983. After a range of junior officer appointments, predominantly in regimental service and including a 1 year Mountain Leader course, he attended the Canadian Staff College in 1994. Two staff jobs followed, in the UK MOD and HQ Royal Marines, before he was appointed as Chief of Staff to 3 Commando Brigade in 1999; a tour that included an operational deployment to Kosovo. He commanded 40 Commando from 2001 to 2003, which included operational deployments to Afghanistan and Op Telic 1, the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Sir Gordon joined Joint Force Headquarters as Chief of Staff in 2004; a job that saw him on various operations worldwide, including the tsunami relief effort, the civilian evacuation from Lebanon and command of the Op Herrick Prelim Ops deployment in Southern Afghanistan in 2005.
After attending Higher Command and Staff Course, he briefly acted as Director Force Development in Main Building before being appointed to the position of Director Joint Commitments (Military) in September 2007, coordinating military policy for all overseas operations. After selection for Brigade command, he then commanded 3 Commando Brigade for their tour to Helmand in September 2008, followed by promotion and a tour as Chief of Defence Staff’s Strategic Communication Officer, focusing primarily on improving public awareness of the Afghanistan campaign.
In this honorary role, Sir Gordon will champion the Charity and its support of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. Sir Gordon is also Patron of the Royal Marines Charity.