Whitehall, LONDON S.W.I
WHI: 9400 Ext. 548
8 January, 1964 MES No 5
9 JAN 1964
From: Colonel H.G.W. Hamilton, MBE
Adviser on Secondment Policy
Thank you for your letter BC 1193/26 of 1st January, 1964 addressed to
Major C.M.F. Webb, regarding the appointment of Major H.V. Sanders as the Officer
Commanding the Northern Frontier Regiment.
I was surprised to learn that Major Sanders appointment had not been
approved by the Sultan, as Major Sanders is a very high grade officer. I feel I had
better explain the War Office policy of promotion to Command.
A major is selected for the Command of a regiment in his early forties and on
assuming command is promoted Lieutenant Colonel. An officer is only given command
of a regiment once in his career and this isnormally for a period of 23 years. You
can see that it is not therefore possible to appoint a Lieutenant Colonel who has
had previous command experience to the Northern Frontier Regiment. The outstanding
Lieutenant Colonels are usually promoted after command and others are given a
staff appointment before retiring. The selection for command of a regiment is
carried out by a selection board and only above average officers names are put
before the board. There is a great deal of competition for a command appointment and
Major Sanders was highly graded by the Selection Board for Command.
I would be most grateful if you could explain to our Consul General in Muscat
the War Office policy for selection of command appointments and for him to again
place Major Sanders name before the Sultan.
C.D. Powell, Esq.,