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Protecting our Nation's Interests

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Careers Royal Marines

Royal Marines Reserve

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As a Royal Marines Reservist, you'll be one of about 600 people who combine their civilian day jobs with serving part-time as fully-trained Commandos.  Most have no previous military experience.  What we have in common is that we're all volunteers.  Like the regular Royal Marines Commandos, you'll be trained to operate in any location, environment and terrain.  We're specialists in mountain and extreme cold-weather warfare, trained in climbing, skiing and mountaineering.  As a Reservist, you'll complete exactly the same rigorous commando course as the regular Royal Marines.  We do not make allowances and there are no favours given.  As a result though, you'll be able to do the same job to the same standard.  The proof is that roughly 10% of the Royal Marines Reserve are currently serving on long-term attachments in regular Royal Marine units.

Royal Marines Reserve


Type Level

  • Action: 1
  • Leadership: 2
  • Hands on: 2
  • Technical: 1
  • Admin: 1
  • Teamwork: 3

Eligibility and qualifications

What are we looking for

People who are prepared to go the extra mile. Who are committed. And who want to learn discipline, leadership and military skills. People who are ready for the next challenge. And who want to experience the unique camaraderie of the Royal Navy.


And the following qualifications

British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens may join the RMR.  Nationality restrictions may apply for certain specialisations.  Only men can serve in the RMR.  You need to be between 16 and 32 years old, though in exceptional circumstances enlistment after the age of 32 may be authorised, and age limits do not apply to applicants with former Regular or Reserve service.

Skills and interests

You should like

  • A Sense of Adventure
  • Working in Challenging Environments
  • Working as Part of a Team
  • Outdoor Activities

You should have these skills

  • Good Physical and Mental Stamina
  • Reliable
  • Honesty and Integrity 

Career Progression

Skills for life

Because you’ll have to go through the same training as your full time colleagues, you will get all the specialist skills you’ll need to excel at being a Royal Marines reserve. As well as some that will benefit your civilian life as well – like basic first aid, firefighting. You will also learn command, leadership and management skills.

But the learning doesn’t end with your initial training. You will have constant opportunities to develop and build on the foundations you’ve laid.

As well as qualifications and specific military training, serving with the Royal Marines Reserve will help you develop other skills and personal qualities that will prove invaluable in any civilian line of work. The leadership potential, self-discipline, self-motivation and ability to work in a team you’ll gain through the Royal Marines Reserve will be of enormous benefit to your employer and co-workers and greatly improve your employment and promotion prospects.


Like all careers in the Royal Marines, where and how far you go during your time as a reserve is up to you – and depends on your choices and achievements. Show the dedication and ability that’s needed of a reservist and you could be promoted on merit.


Just like the regular Corps, everyone starts out as a General Duties Marine.

Once you’ve built up some experience and skills, you’ll be given the chance to train for one of the Commando specialist jobs. These could be anything from assault engineer, to drill leader or reconnaissance operator. Your particular career path will depend on the needs of the service, and any previous military experience and existing specialist skills you may have.

Pay and benefits

Although, as a reservist, you’re a volunteer, that doesn’t mean we expect you to do it for free. Quite the opposite. You’ll be paid at the same rate as your full time equivalent colleagues in the regular Royal Marines – for every drill night and training weekend as well as when you are deployed for longer.


When you successfully complete your minimum training to the necessary standard you’ll also qualify for a yearly tax-free bonus which we call a ‘bounty’. This is on top of the pay you get for each quarter day that you train. At the moment it’s £395 for your first year, rising to £1,556 a year after five years of service.


How to join

Joining process

1. Get in touch by filling out a simple form or calling 08456 00 32 22.
2. Attend an Initial Careers Presentation (ICP) at a careers office near you.
3. If you’re still interested, then fill out a short application form.
4. We'll book you in for the Royal Navy Recruitment Test (RT). Find out more (PDF).
5. Next you will have a formal interview with a career advisor.
6. Take the medical tests and the Royal Navy pre-joining fitness test. Take a look at our fitness programme.
7. Attend the 'selection weekend' - physical tests and teamwork exercises at your local Royal Marine Reserves Unit.
8. Begin Phase 1 training. Find out more.

Find out more about the joining process


The Commando basic training at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) lasts 32 weeks. You’ll start with the basics You can be sure these nine weeks will test your mind and body.  There will be exams to study for and physical challenges to tackle. But you will also have plenty of opportunities to relax and socialise with your fellow recruits. And at the end of the day, not many experiences can match the feeling of marching in your passing-out parade – and the sense of achievement that goes with it.

Find out more


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