The Life

  • As a Reservist can I serve full time?

    Once you’ve completed your phase two training you might be able to apply for one of the Full-Time Reserve Service (FTRS) contract opportunities. If you’re accepted, you’ll serve with the regular Corps on exercise or operations, wherever they are in the world. You’ll also be on the same terms and pay, for between three months and two years, depending on your availability and the needs of the service.

  • How can I keep in touch while I’m away?

    All our ships and shore units have satellite phones for emergencies. Also, if you’re serving abroad you’ll get 30 minutes worth of free satellite calls a week. All Royal Navy ships have email access and mobile phones are also allowed on board. However, there may be some restrictions about when they can be used.

  • Will I always be part time?

    Yes, unless you’re either called out on permanent service or you might be able to apply for a Full-Time Reserve Service Contract.


  • Can I join as a Royal Marines Reserve Officer?

    No. You must first qualify as a General Duties Royal Marine. If you show the right skills and talent we might then consider you for the role of Royal Marines Officer.

  • Do I have to tell my employer that I’m joining the Royal Marines Reserve?

    Yes. The skills and personal qualities that you’ll develop as a RM Reservist can be a great benefit to any organisations – and many employers are extremely supportive.

  • How long do I have to sign up for?

    Like the regular Royal Marines, you will join the Royal Marines Reserve on an open engagement which will take you to the age of 45.

  • If I’m called out on operations or active duty, will my job be protected?

    Yes. While you’re on active duty or operations your employer is required to hold your job open for you although you do need to discuss this with them.

  • When can I join?

    You can join when you’re 17. And you have to begin training before your 33rd birthday. If you’re older than this but have previous military experience we’ll consider your application on an individual basis.

  • Will a criminal record stop me from joining?

    Not necessarily. As long as you don’t have unspent convictions, a criminal conviction shouldn’t stop you from entering the Corps. Your local Armed Forces Careers Office or Royal Marines Reserve unit will be able to advise you.


  • Do I get paid for the time I work and train with the Royal Marines Reserve?

    Yes you do. Pay rates vary according to your rank.

  • How do I qualify for pay?

    Every two-hour period of training equates to a quarter day’s pay. Your unit will advise you of the current rate of pay for your rank.
  • What kind of pay do I get?

    By completing your minimum training commitment satisfactorily, you’ll also qualify for your yearly tax-free bounty which is £395 for your first year, rising to in excess of £1,725 a year after five years of service. This is on top of the pay you’ll receive for every hour’s service that you give, which is at the same pay rates as the regular Royal Marines.


  • Does my Royal Marines Reserve service qualify me for the Royal Navy pension scheme?

    Yes, you will be able to join the Armed Forces Pension Scheme.