We recognise people for their ability, not their gender, so any person with the right skills to be a Commando is welcome in the Royal Marines.

Major-General Charlie Stickland

“So I am delighted that from today, for the first time in its history, our armed forces will be determined by ability alone and not gender.

“Opening all combat roles to women will not only make the armed forces  a more modern employer but will ensure we recruit the right person for the right role."

Major-General Charlie Stickland, Commandant General Royal Marines said: “The Royal Marines have welcomed the opportunity for women to serve in ground close combat roles and I am proud that we are now in a position to accept women on to our Royal Marines training courses from next year.

“My aim is very quickly to make this normal business.

“We are committed to giving women the same opportunities as men and we already have a number of women working closely with the Royal Marines in supporting roles.

“We recognise people for their ability, not their gender, so any person with the right skills to be a Commando is welcome in the Royal Marines.

“There will be absolutely no changes to the Commando standards, training will be the same for men and women, so I wholeheartedly encourage any interested men or women to give it a go; it’s simply about a State of Mind.”

A number of women have already started the recruiting process to join the Royal Marines. Successful applicants will be able to join the Royal Marines pre-selection courses in the New Year, and, if successful, could be joining the Royal Marines Commando Course at CTC RM Lympstone in 2019.

Royal Marine recruiter Lieutenant Colonel Mike Scanlon said: “The recruiting process is exactly the same for women and it is designed to ensure potential recruits are physically and mentally ready to take on the challenge of the Commando Course.

“Men and women have to complete the same tests, there are no differences in the pre-joining standards.

“The tests are physically demanding, but they need to be so to ensure candidates are prepared and have the required skills to complete the Commando Course.”

To join the Royal Marines you need to be aged 16-32 and have a BMI between 18 and 28 for a male and a BMI of 23 and above or 65kg for a female.

To become a Royal Marines officer you need to be aged 18-25 and have a minimum of 72 UCAS points.

If you pass the initial recruiting tests, candidates are invited onto the three-day Potential Royal Marine Course, or three-day Potential Officer course. Successful candidates are invited to join the Royal Marines Commando Course.

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