• Simon Biggs

HM King George V - The Kings Squad & Kings Badge


Unit/ Formation: Royal Marines Location: Great Britain Period/ Conflict: World War I Year: 1918 Date/s: 7 March 1918

The ceremonial head of the Royal Marines was the Colonel in Chief until the title changed to Captain General in 1948 - King George V held this position for 35 years from 1 January 1901 until the 20 January 1936

THE KINGS SQUAD On the occasion of his visit to the 4th Battalion in March 1918, preparing at Deal for their raid on Zeebrugge on St George’s Day 1918, HM King George V (Colonel in Chief) also visited the Depot and witnessed recruit training.

He was much impressed with what he saw and on completion directed that the senior squad of recruits under training should be designated “The King’s Squad”.

As a mark of distinction it is customary for members of the squad to wear a white lanyard on the left shoulder of their blue uniform and to the chinstrap of their cap ‘down below the chin. At one time of the highlights of the Royal Tournament was a drill display by the King’s Squad of the Royal Marines. This was regularly up until 1959, but since then these displays have only been performed in 1980 and 1990.

Today the senior recruit troop at the Commando Training Centre RM, Lympstone it titled “The King’s Squad”. THE KINGS BADGE Soon after his visit to Deal, HMS The King further directed that the best recruit in the King’s Squad should be awarded ‘The King’s Badge’, “provided he reaches the required standard”. The senior recruit receives his badge from the Inspecting Officer at the Squad’s passing out parade.

The badge, which consists of the Cypher of King George V (GvR) within a laurel wreath, is worn at the top of the left sleeve. It is worn throughout his service, in all orders of dress no matter what rank he later attains.


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