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Commanding Officer

Colonel Mark Gray MBE Royal Marines

Commanding Officer FPGColonel Mark Gray MBE Royal Marines Educated at Bradfield College, Mark Gray joined the Royal Marines in 1984.  Following university and Young Officer training he served in various appointments in 40, 42 and 45 Commandos, as well as Headquarters, 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines.  These included operational tours in Northern Ireland, Northern Iraq, the former Yugoslavia (as a UN military observer) and Nicaragua (hurricane relief), as well as six winter deployments to Norway.

Subsequent staff appointments have included the Permanent Joint Headquarters, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon (as the deputy CDS liaison officer during the build up and conduct of the 2003 Iraq invasion), Navy Resources and Plans in the Ministry of Defence, the Joint Force Headquarters (including the planning and conduct of the 2006 evacuation from Beirut) and the Multinational Headquarters in Baghdad.  More recently he taught on the Advanced Course at the Joint Services Command and Staff College.  On promotion to Colonel he was appointed to the staff of Fleet Commander Operations, where he was responsible for Operational Policy.  He assumed command of the Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines in July 2009.

Mark Gray was promoted to Colonel in July 2008, appointed MBE in 2002 (for his work as the PJHQ project officer for exercise SAIF SAREEA II) and acclaimed by The Times on 16 September 1995 for saving the lives of 20,000 civilians in the former Yugoslavia.  He is a graduate of Durham University (BA in Russian) and the US Marine Corps Command and Staff College (MA in Military Studies). 

He lives in Taunton with his wife, Sarah, a Primary School teacher, and their two teenage children.  As a PADI diving instructor he spends much of his spare time underwater.