The Life

Action. Adventure. Camaraderie. Welcome to life as a Royal Marine.

You will launch beach assaults. You will go undetected. You will stand by your mates. You will travel the world, belong to the team, laugh, and form unbreakable bonds. You will need grit and determination. Succeed in turning your mind into your most powerful weapon and you will overcome the odds. You will be stronger for it. You will be a Royal Marines Commando.

Andy

Sergeant Royal Marines

No two days are the same. You do things you never thought you could do. And you get to meet like–minded people. If you want an exciting life, this is it.

So what’s your day-to-day like?

We train. A lot. Weapons training, equipment training and physical training. The way we see it, amateurs train to get it right. We train so there’s no way it could go wrong. Every mission depends on this attitude.

Training

Front line success doesn’t come easily

All it takes is a decision. The first time you’re faced with it, it will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done: it’s so easy to give in. Next time it comes up, you’ve been there before. You know it’s a question of mind over matter. The lads are urging you on. They depend on you too. You can’t let them down. You can’t return home without your ‘green lid’. You have a part to play in this mission – even if it’s an exercise. It’s tough. Tougher than anything you’ve ever done, but this is how you get the focus and composure that is the Royal Marines state of mind.

Matt

Heavy Weapons Specialist

It’s gruelling, but you’ll learn about your strengths and weaknesses – and the friends you make would take a bullet for you. Unless you’ve been through the 32 weeks, it’s hard to explain.

How hard is the training, really?

It’s tough but we’re the best at what we do, so it has to be. My advice? Stay positive, find the right state of mind and you’ll get through the difficult days.

Travel

Off the beaten track

There was no picture of tanned people on a beach. There were no inclusive offers, discounts or package deals. No one offered me tea or coffee on the way but they did promise the experience of a lifetime… as a career. Not a two week holiday.

They were true to their word. This wasn’t a sales pitch. This was just life as a Royal Marines Commando. A life of spontaneity, adventure and freedom from routine. The opportunity to serve my country and see the world.

Daniel

CS3 Systems Operator

You really do get to travel the world. In my five years as a Royal Marines Commando I’ve been to Belize, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, the US, Afghanistan, Norway and Belgium.

Sounds cool. Do you get time off to see these places?

You get downtime during which you’re free to explore! When you’re on active duty abroad, you still get the chance to see some incredible places that you wouldn’t have access to as a tourist.

Skills & qualifications

Professionalism, embodied

The sea. The mountain. The jungle. The desert. You learn to make these your allies. You learn their secrets. Their quirks. They can be temperamental – hostile even. But you take this in your stride. You’ve developed the skills to thrive as a Royal Marine in any environment.

Depending on the specialisation you go into, you could learn skills that include:

  • Close quarter urban combat
  • Platoon weapons instruction
  • Beach assault landings
  • Abseiling
  • Reconnaissance
  • Surveillance
  • Extreme environment blacksmithing
  • Assault engineering
  • Heavy weapons air defence

Matt

Heavy Weapons Specialist

I’ve developed more than I could ever imagine. Not only did I learn my specialisation as a Royal Marine, I also had the opportunity to gain further qualifications that the Royal Marines paid for. They helped me become even more effective in my job.

Sounds great. But how do you develop the Royal Marines state of mind? Or are you supposed to have it to begin with?

No, not at all. You develop it during training. It's all about accepting situations and finding solutions. Give your all, whatever comes your way, and remember that your colleagues and instructors have your back.

Find out about the skills you could learn.

Sports & recreation

Work hard. Play hard.

Your muscles ache. You’re tired and out of breath. Sweat is streaming down your face. But you never lose focus. You wait for your moment. A break in his concentration, a weakness in his plan, and then you strike. Sport and warfare have more in common than you think.

Sports you could do:

  • Angling
  • Basketball
  • Bobsleigh
  • Extreme speedboat racing
  • Fencing
  • Squash

Andy

Sergeant Royal Marines

It doesn’t feel like I go to work. It feels like getting paid to do a hobby.

If you want to take up a sport but don’t have the skills, can you get instruction?

Yes! The Royal Marines have some of the best sport facilities and instructors in the country.

Equal opportunities

Getting the job done

The mission doesn’t care who you pray to, or what colour your skin is. The mission cares that I do my job, that I’m effective and can be depended on. The mission cares that I let nothing stand in my way.

Andy

Sergeant Royal Marines

We train together, we fight together, we live together. We really are brothers.

What about women? Can they join the Royal Marines?

At this time, they can’t. That’s because the government doesn’t allow women to serve in front line infantry units. They can join the Royal Marines Band Service and all other branches of the Royal Navy.

Wellbeing

Take a load off

Your family might worry. But that’s what family do. They won’t know where you’ve been, what you’ve been doing. Are you safe? Are you well? Do you have people you can talk to? Tell them it’s ok. The Royal Marines have your back – on and off duty.

Daniel

CS3 Systems Operator

The Royal Marines are a family and family look after each other.

How often will I be able to visit home?

We normally have our leave in December, at Easter and in August. You'll also get most weekends off if your training is up to scratch and you're not required to work.