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Eligibility & qualifications

Did you know?

You don’t need any specific qualifications to join as a Musician but you will need to have British, Irish, Commonwealth or British Dual nationality.

You must be able to read music and play a wind, brass, stringed or percussion instrument to a high standard.

What’s more, if you have tattoos that are visible in parade uniform you won’t be allowed to join. There are several other eligibility criteria that you need to meet as well. Please take a look at the tabs below.

To join you must have:

British, Irish, Commonwealth or British Dual nationality.

What nationality are you?

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Eligibility in detail



To join you must be:

  • At least 15 years and 9 months when you apply
  • At least 16 years old on entry
  • Under 33 years old  when you begin basic training



To join you need to have British, Irish, Commonwealth or British Dual nationality.

Criminal convictions


If you’ve been convicted you may still be able to join. Certain kinds of offences or serving certain types of sentences, might however permanently prevent you from entering or re-entering the Royal Marines or Royal Navy.

Security and CRB Checks

For all branches of the Naval Service you will need to complete a full Security Check. This is done online and checks your details against Government data. You will have to declare all previous convictions, whether spent or not. To find out more, take a look at the MoD Form 493 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Tattoos and piercings


Most tattoos or piercings are not a problem but if they’re offensive, obscene or excessive in size or number you won’t be allowed into the Royal Marines.  If your tattoos are visible in parade uniform you won’t be able to join. This means any tattoos on your head, neck and hands.

When you apply to join you’ll need to fill in a form describing your tattoos and their locations and show them to us during you medical examination.


If you have body piercings which cause holes that don’t close up (known as flesh tunnels) you will not be able to join the Royal Marines. If the holes have healed up or are in the process of doing so without leaving a hole, you will be eligible.For health and safety reasons you will have to remove certain body piercing jewellery before taking part in any physical activity during the application and selection process.

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