Royal Marines Commando training

Marines Commando Initial Training is one of the longest and most arduous programmes in the world. This is where you get a true taste of what being a Marines Commando is all about and learn all the skills you need to become an elite amphibious fighter.


Once you’ve passed the recruiting process you’ll be given a date to start Initial Training at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM), Lympstone. A five-step process, only successful candidates are progressed to the next stage. If successful, you’ll spend a total of 36 weeks here learning the skills you need to become an elite amphibious soldier.

To hit the ground running when you start your training at CTCRM, you need to be in the best possible physical condition. Keep up the good work you'll have done to prepare for your Pre-Joining Fitness Test Plus (PJFT+) by sticking to the Royal Marines Fitness Programme.

Stay Marines fit

Typical Initial Training stages comprise:

Weeks 1 to 10

Recruit Orientation Phase and Individual skills

Recruit Orientation Phase (ROP)

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 Training (PT) and swimming sessions and test, drill and personal administration, weapon handling, Royal Marines close combat training and basic fieldcraft.

You will have two attempts to pass this stage.

Individual skills

During the first four-weeks and for the next six, if you successfully pass the ROP, you'll continue your training by learning and developing individual skills. This phase will see you continue with: PT gym sessions, swimming sessions, drill, weapon handling and fieldcraft. You'll also develop map reading and navigation skills, live firing experience and marksmanship training.

Weeks 11 to 15

Team and Section Skills

At this stage, your continued success and determination will see your training progress where you learn skills including: Reconnaissance and Surveillance (RS), small team tactics, tactical navigation and signalling, medic training and section tactics. You'll also continue to excel with PT and swimming sessions.

Weeks 16 to 23

Troop and Urban Skills

In this final stage of the initial training you will step-up your knowledge-building and development further, through more targeted combat training, comprising: General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), pistol handling and live firing, troop tactics, tactical night navigation, Royal Marines close combat training, close quarter battle training and Strike Operations (Strike Ops) training.

This phase will also see your skills consolidated and a test exercise take place.

Weeks 24 to 32

Commando Phase

If you're successful in the first stages of training, you'll progress to introductory Commando training. This will see you undertake: Live firing tactical training - at section and troop level, day and night manoeuvre training and amphibious foundation training. A final exercise and four Commando tests will follow, with your success being capped by your King Squad pass out and the earning of your coveted green beret:

  • The endurance course:
    You will work your way through two miles of tunnels, pools, streams, bogs and woods, then run four miles back to camp where you will need to achieve six out of ten in a shooting test.
  • The nine-mile speed march:
    You need to complete this in 90 minutes, while carrying your equipment and rifle.
  • The Tarzan assault course:
    This is an aerial assault course which needs to be completed in 13 minutes, while carrying your equipment and rifle.
  • The 30-mile march:
    This is a march across Dartmoor, which you will need to complete in less than eight hours, carrying your equipment and a rifle.