Royal Marine Commandos: The joining process

As a Royal Marines Commando you’re part of the Naval Service's elite amphibious fighting force. You’ll encounter some of the most diverse and challenging environments on the planet. It’s not for everyone, which is 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.

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



Once you’ve reviewed the Royal Marines Commando 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 will send you an online application form. Alternatively, if you need more information, we'll be in touch to discuss your options. 

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 general intellectual ability, and how well you do shows your capacity to cope with the technical and academic aspects of Royal Marines training. To help you get ready for this multiple-choice psychometric test, we have included some example questions here.



We’ll invite you to a formal interview to assess your suitability for a career in the Royal Marines. This is much like any other job interview, so you should prepare accordingly, including asking your careers adviser for help if you need it. See how you can prepare here.

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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 AFCO will arrange an appointment for you at a convenient time and location.



Before you can join the Royal Marines you'll have to pass the Pre-Joining Fitness Test Plus (PJFT+). This is a more challenging test than the one taken by candidates joining other branches of the Royal Navy, and will require you to be at the very peak of fitness and in prime physical condition.

The PJFT+ is a circuit assessment. You have to complete the circuit three times, with each requiring the completion of 20 x burpees, 30 x sit ups, 20 x press ups and a one minute plank. On completion of the three circuits you will have to perform a set of five pull ups.

You'll have a total of three attempts at passing the Pre-Joining Fitness Test Plus.

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



The Candidate Preparation Course (CPC) is a three-day course at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM), Lympstone. This is your introduction to life in the Royal Marines and indicates your potential to begin Royal Marines Initial Training.

Over the course of the three 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.

The course includes a Beep test, press up, sit up and pull up assessments and a swimming assessment. Confidence and determination assessments are also conducted over the endurance, high obstacle and bottom field assault courses.

Once you’ve completed the CPC successfully, it's important to stay in peak physical condition, as Initial Training is also extremely demanding. To do so, you can follow the Royal Marines Fitness programme.


Recruitment Orientation Phase

The Recruit Orientation Phase (ROP) is a four-week phase based out of Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, (CTCRM) Lympstone, and culminates in a three-day field exercise and fitness assessment.

The phase includes physical conditioning through a series of training disciplines including pull ups, press ups and sit ups. A swimming assessment and a confidence at height assessment on the high obstacle course is also conducted. The ROP also includes drill and personal administration, weapon handling and fieldcraft and a series of lectures.



Once you’ve passed all aspects of the recruiting process, including a security check, you’ll then be given a date to commence Initial Training at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM), Lympstone. Your AFCO will buy your train ticket to help you get there, provide some joining instructions and tell you what kit you need.

If successful through the entire course, you’ll spend 32 weeks at CTCRM and learn the skills you need to become an elite amphibious soldier. The course is made up of four sections: Individual Skills (weeks 1 to 10), Team and Section Skills (weeks 11 to 15), Troop and Urban Skills with Skills Consolidation and Test Exercise (weeks 16 to 23) and the Commando Phase (weeks 24 to 32).

Training is covered in more detail in the ‘What's the Training Like’ section.