The Royal Marines are the UK’s elite amphibious force, going where others won’t and doing things others can’t. First on the scene where we’re needed, anywhere in the world. It’s our ethos. It’s in our DNA. It’s a state of mind.


The birth of the royal marines

At the outbreak of the Second Dutch War, a special regiment of 1,200 men was raised and trained for service. Known as the Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot, these famously loyal soldiers were the Royal Navy’s earliest form of raiding force.


The capture of gibraltar

Six Royal Marines regiments were raised for the War of Spanish Succession. They were among a brigade soldiers who successfully attacked Gibraltar, before holding its fortress under constant siege from the enemy. It has since been written that: “The garrison did more than could be humanly expected and the British Marines gained immortal honour.”


Battle of trafalgar

On October 21st, Lord Nelson defeated the combined French and Spanish troops off Cape Trafalgar. More than a tenth of his force were Royal Marines. One officer, Second Lieutenant Roteley, described the scene as being “like a hailstorm of bullets passing over our heads on the poop, where we had forty Marines with small arms.”


World War I

Turkey entered the war in 1915. The Gallipoli Campaign followed, with Royal Marines part of the force tasked with opening up the Dardanelles. Royal Marines detachments landed from two battleships, fighting in Europe and Asia simultaneously, before accomplishing their tasks and re-embarking.

Source photography courtesy of The Imperial War Museum


World War I

St George’s Day, 1918. German U-boats were based in Bruges. To deny them access to the Channel, British Naval Forces launched a daring raid on Zeebrugge. A force of Royal Marines was landed onto the mile-long Zeebrugge Mole, destroying German gun batteries. That enabled three ships to be sunk, blocking the canal.

Source photography courtesy of The Imperial War Museum


World War II

Commandos came into existence in 1942, on the orders of Winston Churchill as Britain tried to find new ways of achieving a greater effect from fewer resources. These highly trained personnel played a key role in the Arakan campaign, the Allied landings on Sicily and Operation OVERLORD in North West Europe.

Source photography courtesy of The Imperial War Museum



Royal Marines were engaged in all phases of the Falklands campaign. In a final operation, M Coy Gp landed from a small task group to recover Southern Thule in the South Sandwich Islands. The professionalism and resilience of these Commandos were major factors in the success of this unique amphibious operation.

Source photography courtesy of The Imperial War Museum



The British engagement in Afghanistan was the longest and most enduringly intense combat operation mounted by UK armed forces since the Korean War. The Corps was at the vanguard of what became a 13-year-long counter-insurgency campaign in Afghanistan.



40 Commando deployed to North West Iraq. After securing its initial targets, it advanced towards Basra, coming under repeated attack for three days before capturing Saddam Hussein’s palace. Within hours, Commandos were diffusing local tensions and distributing vital humanitarian aid.


Operation RUMAN

Following Hurricane IRMA in September 2017, personnel from 3 Commando travelled to the Caribbean to take part in an international relief operation. More than 400 men and women deployed in the first 72 hours. They repaired 22 schools and five hospitals; and distributed 30 tons of food and 60,000 litres of water.

modern commando

Earning the green beret and embarking on some of the British military’s toughest operations takes a unique set of personal qualities and skills. Royal Marines Commandos are the ultimate Swiss Army Knife soldier and take influences from a proud heritage, developing through an unflinching commitment to our ethos.

Lance Corporal Greenway Specialist skills


Each Commando spends two years as a General Duties Marine, learning the essential skills needed to become an elite amphibious soldier. After that, they start a specialisation in anything from mortars to signals. Over the course of a career they will complete multiple training courses, constantly expanding their skillset.

Captain Brown Royal Marines life


Life in the Royal Marines is unique. There’s a bond between Commandos which comes from living, working and socialising together. Supporting each other is at the heart of our ethos and is why we’re able to be the first to understand, the first to adapt and respond, and the first to overcome.

Marine Wood Sporting opportunities


Many of the attributes required to be successful on the sports field are the same as those required on the battlefield, from the physical and mental strength it takes to win, to the all-important determination and teamwork. That’s why each Commando is actively encouraged to pursue sporting interests and is supported with training facilities and time off to compete.


It’s not just the extreme cold that makes operating in the Arctic so challenging. It’s the harsh and unforgiving nature of the terrain. That’s why training inside the Arctic Circle is so vital, because if we can adapt to handle those brutal conditions, we can handle anything.


We’re among the most skilled at desert warfare on the planet. Whether we’re combatting hostile forces, training partner troops, or deploying on a peacekeeping operation, we have the skills and experience to get the job done.


Our unique state of mind is put to the test in a jungle environment. It’s where we blend in, patiently waiting for the right moment, whatever the operation. As soon as we land, it becomes our habitat, where we don’t just survive; we thrive.

The work of the Royal Marines is normally hidden from the public eye. They're on operations, held at high readiness to deploy or on exercise preparing for operations. Their flexibility enables them to undertake numerous roles from conflict prevention to specialist amphibious operations. It's a great working environment, enjoyable and challenging with a sense of belonging to something very special.

- Lieutenant Colonel Green