Royal Marines Commando

High priority role
Service:Royal Marines
Combat and security
Outdoor jobs
Royal Marines Commando in water pointing a gun

The role at a glance

What you’ll do

Could you become part of the world’s most elite amphibious force and wear the coveted green beret? It’s not for everybody, that’s for sure. Digging deep to aim high, you’ll stop for nothing. In the most hostile environments, and on the most treacherous terrain. There’s no such thing as an average day in the Royal Marines, and there’s no such thing as an average Commando. You’ll need to be exceptional just like the rest of your team, with the same ethos – and the same state of mind.

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • Play a key role in dealing with manmade, humanitarian and naturally occurring crises. Your missions will be varied, ranging from amphibious assaults and humanitarian aid, to large scale combat operations. 
  • Deploy to where you’re needed most, from the coldest climes and the hottest deserts, to the most hostile jungles and the highest mountains. Whatever challenges you face, you’ll need to adapt to get the job done.
  • Develop your military skills, before selecting a specialisation to become anything from an Armourer to a Mountain Leader. 
  • Travel the world, protecting your nation’s interests as part of a team renowned for its strength of unity. You’ll form ties – special bonds with your comrades – that will never be broken.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • HM Forces Level 2 Apprenticeship including functional skills Maths and English level 1 gained during recruit training
  • There are various civilian qualifications available dependent upon which specialist qualification a Marine goes on to pursue

Skills you'll develop

  • First-class leadership, and world-class teamwork
  • Essential military skills, as well as a specialisation such as abseiling, assault engineering or combat intelligence 

Career progression

What you'll need


  • Aged 16 to 32 when you start Basic Training
  • No qualifications are required for this role
  • A National of the United Kingdom, a Commonwealth Citizen or Dual National
  • Minimum height of 145cm
  • A maximum BMI of 28 (there may be some exceptions to this maximum if your waist measures less than 94cm) 
  • A minimum weight of 65kg or a minimum BMI of 23

Skills and interests

  • A true team player, self-discipline
  • Physical fitness and mental robustness
  • Positivity in the face of adversity 
  • The ability to cope well under pressure
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

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

  • Submit an application

    Once you’ve registered your interest and have satisfied the basic eligibility criteria, you will be sent an online application form.

  • Naval Service Recruitment Test

    The Naval Service Recruitment Test (NSRT) is for all new recruits to the service. You’ll be tested on general reasoning, verbal ability, numeracy and mechanical comprehension.

  • Interview

    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role.

  • Medical and eye tests

    These are quite comprehensive and must be completed by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors.

  • Pre-Joining Fitness Test Plus

    A step up from the regular fitness test for Royal Navy recruits, the Pre-Joining Fitness Test Plus (PJFT+) is a circuit assessment which you only have three chances to pass. It demands completion of: 20 burpees, 30 sit ups, 20 press ups and a one minute plank. Each circuit needs to be completed three times and, after a two minute recovery period, you are required to perform one set of five pull ups.

  • Royal Marine Candidate Preparation Course

    The Royal Marine Candidate Preparation Course (CPC) is a three-day course which gives you an introduction to life in the Royal Marines. It is your opportunity to show you have what it takes to cope with the rigours of Initial Training. You’ll need to complete a number of physical and mental tests to progress, including: sit ups, press up, pull ups, swimming and endurance and obstacle courses. Every stage will be thoroughly assessed to determine your candidacy. 

Initial Training

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. This Initial Training is a four-step process, with only successful candidates being progressed to the next stage. If successful, you’ll spend 32 weeks here learning the skills you need to become an elite amphibious soldier. The stages comprise:

  • Recruit Orientation Phase

    The Recruit Orientation Phase (ROP) is a four-week phase based out of CTCRM 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 (Weeks 1 to 10)

    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.
  • Team and Section Skills (Weeks 11 to 15)

    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.
  • Troop and Urban Skills with Skills Consolidation and Test Exercise (Weeks 16 to 23)

    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.

Commando Phase (Weeks 24 to 32)

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 Commando tests will follow, with your success being capped by your King Squad pass out and the earning of your coveted green beret.

Professional training

At this stage you can choose an area of specialisation and train for roles such as armoured support, driver and medical assistant. And the higher up the ranks you climb, the more options you’ll have open to you.

For the following specialisations you’ll need to be promoted to Corporal:

  • Physical Training Instructor
  • Drill Instructor
  • Mountain leader
  • Platoon Weapons Instructor
  • Royal Marines Information System Specialist
  • Aircrewman

In exceptional circumstances, some Marines may spend more than two years in the General Duties Rifleman role.