Ranks & roles

Can you lead by example? Can you keep morale high in extreme conditions? Can you keep your cool when the pressure’s on? Be the effective leader your men need you to be and you could achieve swift promotion through the ranks.

Below are some of the officer specialisations you could choose once you’ve completed your initial training.

Officers take the next step
  • Second Lieutenant

    This will be your rank throughout the first 12 months of your initial training.
  • Lieutenant

    You’ll be promoted to Lieutenant after one year of service in the Royal Marines. After passing out (graduating) from Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, you will become a Troop Commander in an operational unit.
  • Captain

    As a Captain you could be a Senior Troop Commander, second in charge of a Company or Assistant Adjutant in a commando unit or an Aide-de-Camp to a senior officer.
  • Major

    You will be a commando unit Company Commander or Adjutant and could progress to the Joint Services Command and Staff College (JSCSC). You could then have your first staff appointment, possibly commanding a Close Combat Company.
  • Lieutenant Colonel

    A senior member of the Royal Marines, you could be in command of 40, 42 or 45 Commando or one of the other commando units.
  • Colonel

    You could serve as a Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff in the Permanent Joint Headquarters or Deputy Commander of 3 Commando Brigade or lead a group of other units.
  • Brigadier

    You’ll now be in a very senior position or at the Ministry of Defence. You could also be given overall command of 3 Commando Brigade.
  • Major General

    The professional head and Commandant General of the Royal Marines – our highest rank.
  • Heavy Weapons Officer

    As a Heavy Weapons Officer, you’ll be trained how to use mortars, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons or the heavy machine gun in a tactical situation. You could be responsible for up to 80 other Heavy Weapons Specialists as well as their vehicles and equipment.

  • Mountain Leader Officer

    Mountain Leaders specialise in mountain and cold-weather warfare. You’ll be trained in climbing, mountaineering, route finding, reconnaissance and survival. As well as using these skills in operations, you’ll be involved in training other Royal Marines Commandos. Mountain Leaders are needed to operate in dangerous environments. The Mountain Leader branch also trains the reconnaissance operations for 3 Commando Brigade.

  • Mountain Leader Officer

    Mountain Leaders specialise in mountain and cold-weather warfare. You’ll be trained in climbing, mountaineering, route finding, reconnaissance and survival. As well as using these skills in operations, you’ll be involved in training other Royal Marines Commandos. Mountain Leaders are needed to operate in dangerous environments. The Mountain Leader branch also trains the reconnaissance operations for 3 Commando Brigade.

  • Physical Training And Sports Officer

    Physical fitness is central to life in the Royal Marines. As a Physical Training and Sports Officer, you’ll plan and manage training programmes for large numbers of men, and you could go on to manage Royal Marines training facilities.

  • Pilot Officer

    Flying the helicopters of the Commando Helicopter Force, you could be delivering troops and supplies to the front line, carrying out reconnaissance missions, evacuating injured people or launching a land attack. You could also be chosen to train as a fast jet Pilot alongside your Royal Navy colleagues.

  • Signals Officer

    Signals Officers specialise in planning and managing the fast, reliable information communications systems which are so important to the success of our work.

  • Special Boat Service Officer

    Only the very best qualify to serve as Special Boat Service (SBS) Officers. You’ll become an expert in swimming, diving, parachuting, navigation, demolition and reconnaissance, and eventually lead missions with the UK’s Special Forces.

Can you imagine the freedom of going anywhere and letting nothing stand in your way? Belonging to a troop of amphibious warfare specialists, each of whom would risk their own safety for you? Welcome to life as a Royal Marines Commando.

Take a look below at the specialisations you could be selected for once you’ve completed your initial training.

Commando take the next step
  • Lance Corporal

    In your first promotion from General Duties Marine, you’ll take charge of a small section of Commandos.
  • Corporal

    The Junior Command Course (JCC) will prepare you to lead a larger team, such as an eight man Close Combat Rifle Section.
  • Sergeant

    You’ll be put a Troop Sergeant, second only to the Troop Commander. You could also be in charge of a Close Combat Rifle Troop or a similar unit.
  • Colour Sergeant

    You’ll provide a crucial leadership link between your Commanding Officers and the men serving under you.
  • Warrant Officer 2

    A wide range of roles will now be open to you, probably starting with Company Sergeant Major (CSM) in a Close Combat Company.
  • Warrant Officer 1

    You could be appointed as a Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) of a commando unit, or a manager within your chosen specialist area.
  • Armoured Support

    Armoured vehicles provide Royal Marines Commandos with support and protection. You’ll be trained to drive them through all types of environments (including swimming in deep water) and make sure they’re in perfect working order, whatever the conditions.
  • Armourer

    We use a huge range of personal weapons, support weapons and equipment. As an Armourer, you’ll be responsible for keeping everything from night sights to machine guns and sniper rifles working perfectly, whatever the conditions.

  • Assault Engineer

    Assault Engineers are trained to build bridges, field defences, obstacles and other structures used in commando operations. You’ll also be trained in mine warfare, demolition and using explosives.

  • Clerk

    You’ll provide expertise in human resources and information management, administrative support and cash accounting within the Royal Marines, Special Forces and wider defence.

  • Combat Intelligence

    Armoured vehicles provide Royal Marines Commandos with support and protection. You’ll be trained to drive them through all types of environments (including swimming in deep water) and make sure they’re in perfect working order, whatever the conditions.
  • Communication Technician

    You’ll be responsible for using our state-of-the-art electronic warfare equipment and intercepting and analysing enemy radio activity to get information on their actions. This information will help Commanders to plan for, and carry out, operations on the ground.

  • Drill Instructor

    You’ll be a central figure in the lives of new recruits, with a vital role in training them to become Commandos. You’ll also keep up our worldwide reputation for precision on parades, taking overall responsibility for ceremonial drills, drills on state occasions, such as remembrance parades, and other occasions.

  • Driver

    As a Driver, you’ll be trained on a range of vehicles, from Land Rovers to pick-up system (DROPS) supply trucks. All vehicles are vital to the support of the Commando Brigade.

  • General Duties

    After your passing-out parade, you’ll normally start your career as a General Duties Marine (GD), serving as a Rifleman in a commando unit, joining the Fleet Protection Group guarding the UK’s nuclear weapons or training to board ships at sea as part of a Fleet Standby Rifle Troop.

  • Heavy Weapons Air Defence

    Protecting commando units and Royal Navy ships from air attack is a vital part of modern warfare. You’ll work as part of a small, tight-knit team and be trained in all aspects of air defence.

  • Heavy Weapons Anti-Tank

    As an Anti-Tank Specialist, you’ll be trained to identify enemy tanks and other armoured vehicles, then use the Javelin anti-tank missile system and the heavy machine gun to hold back the enemy threat.

  • Heavy Weapons Mortar

    Mortars are an important part of our resources, helping us attack enemy forces from nearly six kilometres away. You’ll learn how to operate mortars and accurately direct fire onto targets.

  • Information Systems

    Our computer networks allow us to deliver up-to-date battle information to Royal Marines Commandos working in the field. As an Information Systems Specialist, you’ll be trained to design and maintain this vital and complex equipment.

  • Landing Craft

    We use various types of landing craft to transport Royal Marines Commandos from ship to shore. You’ll be trained to drive all types of assault vessels, from small, high-speed raiding craft to vehicle carriers and hovercraft.

  • Medical Assistant

    As a Medical Assistant you’ll learn advanced first aid and skills to deal with accidents and emergencies, so you can carry out life-saving procedures in the field with limited medical facilities.

  • Military Police

    The Royal Marines’ Military Police are in charge of security and convoy control, as well as enforcing the law. You may also be responsible for protecting senior officers on operations, or personnel from the British Embassy and High Commission in countries around the world.

  • Mountain Leader

    You’ll become highly-trained in the art of long-range reconnaissance. This is where you will operate in small groups forward of our own lines and report information back to the Command. You’ll be trained as a Military Rock Leader in all aspects of vertical assault and military mountaineering in difficult and dangerous environments. You’ll also provide instruction, when needed, to all other arms of the British forces.

  • Physical Training Instructor

    As a Physical Training Instructor (PTI), you’ll be responsible for delivering physical training and combat conditioning, sport, adventure and recreational training for both recruits and trained ranks. After qualifying you’ll have opportunities to specialise as a close-combat, rehabilitation or adventure-training instructor.

  • Platoons Weapons Instructor

    In this highly-skilled specialist job, you’ll train your fellow Royal Marines Commandos, Non-Commissioned Officers and Officers in all aspects of weapons handling and marksmanship. During your career, you may work as a Modernised Urban Combat (MUC) Instructor, train snipers and work with armed forces from other nations.

  • Signaller

    Signals Specialists provide communications between land, sea and air forces and Royal Marines Commandos in the field, using everything from satellite links to hand-held radios.

  • Special Forces Communicator (SFC)

    As an SFC, you’ll provide direct, close-support communications to the Special Boat Service (SBS) and all other parts of the UK Special Forces. So, because you’ll be working alongside them, you’ll need to develop many of the same skills for this incredibly challenging specialist job.

  • Stores Accountant

    Stores Accountants do a vital job, making sure Royal Marines Commandos have the right kit in the right place, at the right time. Wherever you’re based, which could be at sea or on land anywhere in the world, you’ll need to be highly organised, as lives will depend on you.

  • Swimmer Canoeist

    Swimmer Canoeists are members of the Special Boat Service (SBS). Once you’ve passed the UK Special Forces Selection Course (a big achievement in itself), you’ll be trained to the highest standards in surveillance, reconnaissance, boat operations and survival skills.

  • Telecommunications Technician

    Signals Specialists provide communications between land, sea and air forces and Royal Marines Commandos in the field, using everything from satellite links to hand-held radios.

  • Vehicle Mechanic

    Our fleet is made up of over 2800 different types of equipment. Your job will be to keep them running during peacetime and operations.

  • Yeoman of Signals

    As a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer in the communications field, you can apply for further training as a Yeoman of Signals. In this specialist role you’ll manage the complex communications planning for brigade level and commando operations.