The Life

We are the select few

The flash on your arm that says Royal Marines Commando. The green beret on your head that says you passed one of the toughest military training programmes on the planet. The look on your face that says no terrain and no weather conditions can stand in your way. You’ll wear them all with pride and you’ll hold your own next to full time Royal Marines.


Royal Marines Reservist and Student

I’m one of 600 men in the UK. Just 600. What I’ve achieved is that special.

Was it tough becoming a Royal Marines Reservist?

Tough doesn’t quite describe it and I thought I was fit when I started! Staying focused and relying on each other to keep you going really helps. In the end, it’s all worth it.


Get the power to surprise yourself

The burn.

It feels like it will go on forever. You’re ready to give up now. When you don’t though, something extraordinary happens. You discover you can keep going and you have more to give. Until one day you discover you’re doing all those things you previously thought superhuman. It’s not magic. It’s our state of mind.

Why do they say the Royal Marines are about a state of mind?

I can only explain it by saying that I’ve seen men bigger and stronger than me throw in the towel. Yes, you need to be strong and fit, but it’s the strength of our minds and our determination that makes us different.


Where duty takes you

The challenge of being a Royal Marines Reservist isn’t something to be taken lightly. Serve your country. Answer the call when it comes. Assist during a crisis. This is why you join – because you go places. You see things differently. You live a little.

Cool! What sort of places have you been to?

I’ve been to the Congo and Sierra Leone. Mates of mine in the RMR have been to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Georgia, the USA and the Caribbean. Not bad!

Skills & qualifications

Calm under pressure

Your civilian friends will think you’re superhuman but you know better. You know your pulse will race. Your eyes will dilate. Your breathing will get faster. Your palms may even get sweaty but you’ve been here before. No eruptions of flames and no rattle of gunfire can put you off. The only thing superhuman about you is the power of your mind – the greatest weapon in your arsenal.

Just some of the things you’ll become an expert at:

  • Navigation
  • Weapons training
  • Field craft and tactics
  • Hand to hand combat
  • Survival techniques


Royal Marines Reservist and Communications Director

It takes a lot of dedication, time and commitment, but getting your green beret and being part of that select group keeps you going.

I hear the Royal Marines can specialise after initial training. Is it the same for the Royal Marines Reserve?

Definitely. After the three phases of initial training you can go on and specialise in jungle, mountain or cold weather warfare.

Sports & recreation

More than one way to see action

When you’re a Royal Marines Reservist, you’re a Royal Marine, full stop. It’s a big ask – to operate at the same level, to stand shoulder to shoulder with the other green berets but you hang in there. You signed up for an adventure, remember? This life doesn’t disappoint. It excites.

Some of the sports you could play:

  • Basketball
  • Canoeing
  • Extreme speed boat racing
  • Martial arts
  • Motor sports
  • Rugby league
  • Shooting
  • Triathlon


Royal Marines Reservist and Communications Director

If you can commit the time, you will be involved in almost everything the regular Corps does. And that includes adventurous training all over the world.

What exactly is adventurous training?

Every year, just like the regular Royal Marines Commandos, we get to go on a week away to develop individual and leadership skills on activities like offshore sailing, sub-aqua diving, canoeing/kayaking, caving, mountaineering, ski touring, paragliding/parachuting, gliding and mountain biking. It’s brilliant!

Equal opportunities

Everything else pales in comparison

In the light of day or in the darkest night. In the thick of the jungle. In the deepest snow. Or on the sheerest cliffs. All that matters is when and where. Not who. All that matters is, can you do what’s expected of you? When deployed, can you find the strength to stick to the plan?


Royal Marines Reservist and Student

It’s great to be part of the Royal Marines family and knowing that our Reserves training will allow us to fit seamlessly into the regular Corps.

Do you get the chance to move up the ranks, like in the regular Royal Marines?

Of course. If you show the right potential and determination, you can be promoted. Given the part time nature of the Reserves though, it will take longer than in the regular Royal Marines.


The green beret has your back

You’ve heard it before. It takes a special state of mind to be a Royal Marine. It also takes a special kind of team to help you maintain it. To help you keep your focus. This is because the Royal Marines Reserve are a family second only to your own.


Royal Marines Reservist and Automotive Technician

Be patient. Be motivated. The rewards are there.

Are there people you can talk to if you feel the strain?

Definitely. There are advisers, chaplains, and of course your colleagues. You’ll never be without support.