Royal Marines Officers: The joining process

As a Royal Marines Officer you’ll be leading and managing a team of highly trained Royal Marine Commandos in some of the most diverse and challenging environments on the planet. It takes a certain set of personal qualities to show the way to some of the most elite amphibious troops in the world. That’s why the joining process is rigorous, and can seem lengthy. It involves a series of interviews, plus mental and physical tests, to ensure the Royal Marines is right for you – and that you’re right for the Royal Marines.

Week one

In the first week of your Basic Training, you will complete another assessed 2.4km run, followed by some additional fitness tests.

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows



Once you’ve reviewed the Royal Marines Commando Officer role information, you need to fill out a simple form to register your interest. If you are ready to apply please indicate this and we'll send you an online application form. Alternatively, if you need more information we will be in touch to discuss your options.

PLEASE NOTE – The last date for applications for the September 2018 entrance is 17th November 2017

Remember, filling out this form doesn't commit you to joining the Royal Marines.



We'll then arrange for you to take the Naval Service Recruiting Test (NSRT), which all potential recruits have to sit. It tests your specific general intellectual ability, and how well you do shows your capacity to cope with the academic aspects of Royal Marines Officer selection. You’ll be tested on general reasoning, verbal ability, numeracy and mechanical comprehension. You can complete a practice test here.

After your NSRT you will have a short initial interview with your Area Careers Liaison Officer (ACLO), who will talk you through the recruitment process and your suitability for a career in the Royal Marines. During this interview they will talk you through your Officer Applicant Questionnaire. This is a form that is sent prior to your NRST and provides you with the opportunity to highlight your relevant skills and experience.



The medical and eye exam are quite comprehensive, because life in the Royal Marines is very physically demanding.

Your tests must be completed by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors, who are based all around the country. Your local Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO) will arrange an appointment for you at a convenient time and location.



Before you can join you'll have to pass the Royal Marines’ Pre-Joining Fitness Test, which involves completing two 2.4km runs on a treadmill that is set to a 2% incline. The first run must be completed in less than 12 minutes 30 seconds. You will then have a one-minute break before completing the second run in under 10 minutes. This time is the absolute minimum requirement, and the expectation is that you will record the best time possible.

You’ll find more details about fitness in our ‘joining’ section.



We’ll invite you to a formal interview to assess your suitability for a career in the Royal Marines and ensure you are ready for the Admiralty Interview Board. This is much like any other job interview, so you should prepare accordingly.

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This is your introduction to life in the Royal Marines and indicates your potential to begin Royal Marines Basic Training. Over the course of four days you'll complete a number of physical tests in a range of challenging environments, and learn all about our ethos. Train efficiently and keep a positive state of mind, and you’ll stand a good chance of passing. If you can prove that you are able to think clearly under pressure and operate to high levels when fatigued, you will be invited to meet with the Admiralty Interview Board (AIB).

Once you’ve completed the Potential Officers Course (POC) successfully you must stay in peak physical condition, as Basic Training is also extremely demanding. To do so, you can follow the Royal Marines Fitness programme.



Next is the two-day Admiralty Interview Board, which is unique to officers. It’s a competency-based assessment to find out if you have what it takes, mentally and physically, to succeed as a Royal Marines Commando Officer. Here’s what to expect:

  • An essay, to assess written communication skills
  • A Practical Leadership Task, to assess teamwork and leadership
  • A planning exercise and presentation
  • An interview
  • Psychometric testing (verbal, non-verbal, numeracy)
  • A Fitness test (an outdoor 2.4km run that is timed)

You’ll find out at the AIB whether you’ve been forwarded for selection, though being forwarded doesn’t guarantee your entry into training. You’ll be placed in order of merit, and the final selection depends on the number of vacancies available at the time, the number of successful candidates who reach the required fitness, medical and educational standards and your performance on the Potential Officer Course.



To be eligible for selection, you’ll need to pass a Security Check. Then, if you are chosen by the final selection board, you’ll be able to start your Initial Royal Marines Officer Training – and your Royal Marines career – at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) in Lympstone, where you’ll spend 16 months. Your AFCO will buy your train ticket to help you get there, provide joining instructions, and tell you what kit you need.

Training is covered in more detail in the ‘Training and Post-joining’ section.