Lt Col Charlie Wilson joined the Royal Marines in 1975 as a Royal Marines University Cadet. In a career spanning 33 years, his initial appointment after Young Officer training in 1978-79 was as commander of 6 Troop, B Company, 40 Commando RM for a six month tour in Northern Ireland.
After a period as Commander 3 Commando Brigade’s ADC, he qualified as a bridge watch-keeping officer in the Leander Class frigate HMS Ariadne, where he was also Officer Commanding Royal Marines and Ship’s Diving Officer.
He became a Landing Craft Specialist and commanded 10 Training Squadron at Royal Marines Poole, was 2IC and Operations Officer of 6 Assault Sqn RM in HMS Intrepid, as well as reprising his earlier role of bridge watch-keeping officer and ship’s diving officer, and commanded 539 Assault Squadron RM. He finished his career in his specialisation in 2008 as SO1 Littoral Manoeuvre in Naval Command Headquarters.
Away from the world of amphibious operations, Charlie was also Assistant Adjutant and later Operations Officer 45 Commando RM. He has experience of exercises and operations in the Arctic, the desert and the jungle.
Charlie’s most unusual postings ranged from being part of a small British team establishing a training college for senior military officers in Kuwait to being one of the monitors of the establishment the South African National Defence Force in the years after apartheid ended.
Prize for the most surprisingly enjoyable and fulfilling tour of his career went to a 3 year posting to SHAPE, NATO’s military HQ in Mons, Belgium, during which time he was, firstly, directed by SACEUR to re-write NATO’s training and exercise programme to give it a more expeditionary slant and then to undertake a 5 month tour of duty on the NATO Training Mission in Iraq, becoming the SHAPE Strategic Direction Centre’s advisor on Iraq upon return to Belgium.
After 3 diverse jobs in the civilian world, Charlie has been with RMA Central Office since February 2014, first as Principal Development Officer, working with the Chief Executive to develop and drive through the RMA’s modernisation strategy. Latterly, his role has changed to Chief of Staff, helping to prepare the Association for merger with The RM Charity.
Charlie has an MA in French from Aberdeen University, is a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and is a PRINCE 2 Project Management Practitioner. He is qualified as a French military interpreter and has conversational Russian and Italian. Charlie is married with two adult children; his home is in South Somerset and he spends as much time possible sailing in Poole Harbour, walking, cycling, cooking and reading.