Sir Robert joined the Royal Marines in 1972. From 1992-1994 he commanded 42 Commando and in 1997-1998 he commanded 3 Commando Brigade. In 1998 he became Commandant General Royal Marines until 2001.
He left the Armed Forces in 2006 with the rank of Lieutenant General as the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff for Equipment Capability and was appointed to be the 63rd Governor of Gibraltar until 2009 where he was Britain’s first Governor to witness change in the Gibraltar constitution since 1967.
Since 2010 Sir Robert has been the Chief Executive of the Global Leadership Foundation. He is also the Chairman of the Governors of the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Schools at Elstre; the President of the Combined Cadet Force Association; President of the Governors of the Corps of Commissionaires and Vice President of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.
As Freeman of the City of London; Sir Robert serves as a member of the Court of Assistants of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers and also of the Council of the White Ensign Association.
He was knighted in 2005 by Her Majesty the Queen in 2005 and in 2009 was appointed as a Knight of the Order of St John. In 2016 by Her Majesty the Queen appointed him to be the King of Arms of the Order of the British Empire. Sir Robert has been the President of the Royal Marines Association, City of London since March 2010.