Frequently asked questions


  • Are there age limits to joining?

    You can join the Royal Marines Band Service from the age of 16 to 32, and you must start your training before your 33rd birthday. If you’re under 16, we can put you on a waiting list, but we can’t consider you until you’re at least 15 years nine months, when you can make a formal application.

  • Can I join and work locally?

    No. You have to be prepared to serve anywhere in the world, which for most people is one of our main attractions.

  • Can women join the Royal Marines Band Service?

    Yes. Women can serve in almost all branches of the Naval Service. The Government doesn’t allow women to serve in front-line units though, so if you’re female, you can’t join as a Royal Marines Commando.

The Life

  • Can I see if I like it before I apply?

    Yes. We run five-day acquaint courses in the Portsmouth area, which will give you a taste of life in the Royal Marines Band Service, as well as a chance to ask questions and find out more about the different options available to you. It’s free and we’ll even pay for your travel costs.

  • How long is a tour of mobilised service?

    A tour of duty is usually 6 months, supplemented with some pre-deployment training. On completion, you will be entitled to paid Post Operational Leave.


  • How easily will I be able to start a civilian career once I leave?

    For most people when they leave, the high levels of training, responsibility and management skills they gain from their Royal Marines Band Service career prove to be highly desirable among civilian employers.

  • How long do I have to sign up for?

    To some extent, that’s up to you. Once you complete your professional training, we’ll ask you to serve for at least two-and-a-half years. As a Musician, Bugler or a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO), you can serve a full career of 20 years’ service or until the age of 40, whichever is later. However, you may be able to extend this depending on your fitness and the needs of the service. If you earn a commission as an officer, you may stay on until the age of 50.


  • What benefits will I get?

    A generous pension scheme, free medical and dental care as well as great maternity and paternity benefits. We’ll also pay for your musical education, which can lead to a full Bachelor of Music honours degree.


  • When I join how much holiday will I get?

    You will get six weeks’ paid holiday and time off on all non-working weekends whether at home or abroad. As a member of the Royal Marines Band Service you’ll often be working unsociable hours and at weekends, but you’ll get plenty of free time to make up for this.