Your first year as a Marine

Your first year in the Royal Marines is what makes you. You’ll meet people who you’ll share a common bond with, and learn the skills that will be the foundation of your career. Life in the Royal Marines will always present you with challenges, but you’ll never experience anything like the 12 months that take you from civilian to proud owner of the green beret.

Your first year

Royal Marines Commando

By the time you’ve completed your basic training and passed out in front of your loved ones, you’ll have overcome more than most do in a lifetime. Every day will present something different, and you’ll need all the support you can get from your fellow recruits. That support will help get you through the Commando Course. After that you’ll join your unit for the first time, deploying all over the world on operations of the utmost importance.

Royal Marines Commando Officer

You might not see any active service in your first year as a Royal Marines Commando Officer, but you’ll see plenty of action. Your initial training lasts for 15 months and is the most rigorous of its kind in the world. You’ll be preparing to lead a team of the most elite amphibious soldiers in the world. And to lead the best, you’ve got to be the best. You’ll gain a set of skills that few possess, make friends for life, and prepare for your first command position.

"After I passed out of CTCRM Lympstone and earned my green beret, I was sent to Faslane in Scotland, where I joined up with 43 Commando.

“In the time I was there I did some incredible things, from mountain training across the Pecks, to going on exercise with Spanish and American Marines in Southern Spain. I also represented the Corps in its 350th birthday celebration and Remembrance Day Parade at the Cenotaph.

“It was one of the toughest years of my life, but definitely the most rewarding. In just 12 months I became a General Purpose Machine Gunner, a team medic and a driver for armoured personnel vehicles. I’ve gained so many new skills that will serve me well in my career, and in my life outside the military.”

Les, 26, Royal Marines Commando

“My first year as a Royal Marine was probably my most memorable. I was drafted to 539 Assault Squadron who provide the amphibious capability for 3 Commando Brigade. I joined a raiding troop where my role was Offshore Raiding Craft (ORC) Gunner. That involved firing twin general purpose machine guns (GPMG) at speed of 39 knots.

“We were straight into training for a firing package in the Falklands Islands. We spent two weeks in the Falklands firing from the ORCS, practicing riverine patrols and coming under contact from a beach head.

“Later in the year I deployed on operations in Somalia to help train the Somali coastguard fight piracy. I was part of the force protection and had to provide security for my colleagues and the coastguard throughout the day and night. I had plenty to be proud of by the end of my first 12 months as a Commando.”

Sam, 28, Royal Marines Commando

Ben, 23
Royal Marines Commando Officer

It’s an honour and privilege to wear the green beret.

Rob, 29
Royal Marines Commando Officer

Training is the hardest thing I’ve done, but the ‘hard’ makes it worthwhile.

Chris, 31
Royal Marines Commando Officer

I feel proud to follow in the footsteps of so many great men.