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Protecting our Nation's Interests

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Careers Reserves Royal Marines

Royal Marine Commando Training

The Royal Marines training at Lympstone, Devon is one of the toughest and longest basic training programmes in the world. Because to become an elite fighter ready for action, you have to develop the Royal Marines state of mind. And this is how you get it.

Throughout your 32 weeks at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) in Lympstone, you’ll learn everything from the basics like marching, looking after your kit and weapons. But you’ll also learn the combat skills that will turn you into an elite soldier, worthy of the green beret. These include patrolling, setting ambushes, cliff assaults and fighting in built up areas.

    • 1

      1. Introductions

      Foundation Module

      • Joining routine
      • Mathematics and English tests
      • Gym and swimming assessment
      • Admin
      • Kit issue
      • Drill and physical training
    • 2
      Field conditions

      2. Field conditions

      Foundation module

      • Exercise first step
      • Drill physical training
      • Personal admin
      • Close quarter combat
    • 3
      Tactics & weapons training

      3. Tactics & weapons training

      Foundation Module

      • Weapon training
      • Drill
      • Physical training
      • Family day
    • 4
      Physical training

      4. Physical training

      Foundation Module

      • Weapon training
      • Physical training and swim
      • Drills and corps history
      • Exercise early knight
    • 5
      Camp & field work

      5. Camp & field work

      Foundation module

      • Weapon Training (including weapon handling tests) 
      • Physical Training and Runs 
      • Map Reading 
      • Exercise Quick Cover (3 day exercise including basic fieldcraft and close quarter battle)
    • 6
      Basic shooting skills

      6. Basic shooting skills

      Foundation Module

      • First aid
      • Rifle shoot
      • Physical training
      • Map reading
    • 7
      Basic infantry skills

      7. Basic infantry skills

      • Exercise Marshall Star (3 1/2 day exercise) covers basic fieldcraft and soldiering skills (including obstacle crossing)
      • Close quarter combat
    • 8
      Physical & survival training

      8. Physical & survival training

      • Drill
      • Physical training
      • Map reading
      • First aid and survival training
    • 9
      More weapons training and introduction to education qualifications

      9. More weapons training and introduction to education qualifications

      • Drill
      • Physical training
      • Map reading
      • First aid exam light support weapon (LSW) training and shoot
    • 10
      Navigation & survival training

      10. Navigation & survival training

      • Exercise hunter's moon (4 day exercise) fieldcraft
      • Navigation training
      • Map reading
      • Survival exercise (long weekend)
    • 11
      Live firing & rifle application

      11. Live firing & rifle application

      • Live firing: rifle elementary application to annual Personal Weapons Test (combat infantryman) (also computer simulation shoots)
    • 12
      Shooting training

      12. Shooting training

      • Light support weapon auto shoot: LSW annual Personal Weapons Assessment (moving targets/night sight)
    • 13
      Communication & CBRN training

      13. Communication & CBRN training

      • Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) Training
      • Comms training starts
      • Grenade throwing
      • Helicopter & underwater escape drills
    • 14
      Perfect navigation & field skills

      14. Perfect navigation & field skills

      • CBRN
      • Exercise baptist run (2 day field test exercise) - to test all skills taught in phase 1 - includes stalking, kit inspections, map reading, CBRN and signal tests
      • Fit Lovats & Blues uniforms
      • Physical training
    • 15
      A major exercise

      15. A major exercise

      • Comms Training 
      • First drill inspection, arms drill pass out and phase 1 pass out parade. 
      • Intro to Battle Physical Training.
    • 16
      Infantry skills

      16. Infantry skills

      • Exercise First Base Tactical field patrols race 
      • Observation posts and harbour drills


Right through your training, you’ll take part in field exercises that bring together everything you’ve learned so far. You’ll start off using basic skills like camouflage, concealment or night movement. Later, you’ll deploy from helicopters and fast assault boats and you’ll also attack and defend buildings at night. This is also where you’ll start to develop the essential leadership and tactical skills you’ll need if you choose to be a Royal Marines Officer.

Testing times

You will have regular tests throughout your training which will help us and you to see how you’re developing. We’ll test specific skills such as marksmanship, reading maps, drill or first aid and give you an overall assessment during some of the exercises. You’ll know when these are happening and be fully prepared. If you don’t pass, we’ll help you put things right before you take the test again.

Commando tests

The four commando tests, which come towards the end of your training, are the final proof that you’re ready for your green beret – and to start your career as a Royal Marines Commando, or continue your Young Officer training.

The commando tests are as follows.

  • The endurance course - You will work your way through two miles of tunnels, pools, streams, bogs and woods, then run four miles back to camp, all while you’re in combat equipment and carrying a weapon, and all in less than 72 minutes. When you get back, you’ll have to get six out of 10 shots on target in a shooting test.
  • The nine-mile speed march - You need to complete this in 90 minutes, while carrying your equipment and a rifle.
  • The Tarzan assault course - An aerial slide, ropes course, assault course and 30-foot wall, which you will need to complete in 13 minutes, while carrying your equipment and a rifle.
  • The 30-mile march - A 30-mile march across Dartmoor, which you will need to complete in under eight hours with your equipment and a rifle. Officers must cover the same route in seven hours.


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Get fit to join

If you’re thinking of joining the Royal Marines you’ll need to make sure you’re in great shape – and have the strength and stamina to survive, and make the most of, basic training. To help you get ready, we’ve put together a fitness programme which will get you in the zone.

RM training diaries

Read fascinating training diaries written by the recruits and young Officers at Lympstone Commando Training Centre as the develop their skills.

Royal Marines Training Tool

Use our interactive training tool to improve and maximise your fitness level whilst developing your state of mind to become a Royal Marines Commando.