The Gentleman Usher of the Scarlet Rod is one of six administrative and ceremonial officers of the Order of the Bath and established in 1725.
The Title ‘Scarlet Rod’ is from the characteristic insignia of the office which is a long silver gilt rod. The shaft is covered with scarlet enamel that signifies the mantles of the Knights and Dames Grand Cross of the Order.
The holders of the office have been senior military members since 1900. In 1932, the first RAF appointment held the position. Since then, the Armed Services takes turns from which branch Scarlet Rod comes from.
The officer is addressed and referred to as Scarlet Rod. He takes the fifth precedence among the brother officers of the Order, following the Genealogist and before the Deputy Secretary.
The Order of the Bath is one of the five Orders of Chivalry along with the Order of the Garter, Order of the Thistle, Order of St Michael and St George and Order of the British Empire.
The current Scarlet Rod is Major General Charles G. C. Vyvyan, CB, CBE. He is a retired British Army officer and was appointed in July 2006.