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The following is a general breakdown of the Young Officers (YO) training course which covers fifteen and a half months.
The initial period whilst the Officers are training at Lympstone is referred to as Phase One.
Phase Two of training will commence once the Officer is in a Commando Unit doing the job of a Troop Commander.
On completion of Phases One and Two the Officer will have completed all of his training.

  • Phase One

    This 15½ month period encompasses the initial period of Young Officer training at Lympstone

  • Month 1

    Month 1

    • Joining routine
    • Issuing of all kit and equipment
    • Briefings on YO course and general etiquette in the mess and around camp
    • Introduction to the gym and Physical Training
    • Introduction to drill (marching)
    • Introduction to the SA80 A2 rifle
    • Overview of the Royal Marines
    • Kit husbandry – Including the folding, ironing and laying out kit and clothing
    • Introduction to map reading
    • A visit to the Royal Marines Museum
    • Packing a military Bergan (standard issue rucksack)
  • Month 2

    Month 2

    • Exercise First Stop – learning basic fieldcraft including hygiene, navigation and moving at night
    • Signals Training
    • Field exercise – learning about camouflage and concealment skills, section attacks and night navigation
    • Live firing on the ranges.
  • Month 3

    Month 3

    • Introduction and training on the General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG)
    • First Aid training
    • Exercise Lost Tribe – a Dartmoor navigation exercise
    • Chemical Biological Radioactive and Nuclear training
    • Visit to Dartmouth Naval College for one week of military studies
    • Further weapons training
  • Month 4

    Month 4

    • Exercise Eye Opener – a navigation based exercise
    • Map Reading exams
    • Grenade lessons
    • Leadership lessons
    • Introduction to the 9mm pistol
    • Complete physical training in the gym and on to the Lympstone assault course in the Bottom Field
  • Month 5

    Month 5

    • Exercise Quick Draw – an exercise with the Artillery units of the Royal Marines
    • Introduction to Orders
    • Education on the Geneva Convention
  • Month 6

    Month 6

    • Start of Offensive Operations package
    • Introduction to Basics Tactics package - observation Posts, patrolling and battle drills
    • Confirmatory exercise
  • Month 7

    Month 7

    • Exercise Early Bird at Okehampton – covering orders, troop attacks and vehicle anti-ambush drills
    • A visit to Royal Marines facilities at Poole – an introduction to the Corps' amphibious asset, and boat drills in both daytime and night time scenarios
    • A visit to a Commando Unit
    • Underwater and Helicopter Escape drills
  • Month 8

    Month 8

    • Exercise Dragon Storm in Wales – covering patrols and troop attacks
    • Introduction to mines and munitions
    • Continuation of training on assault course
    • Various speed marches
  • Month 9

    Month 9

    • The start of the Defensive Operations package
    • Fighting In Built Up Areas
    • Fighting In Built Up Areas exercise
    • Artillery and mortar live firing
    • Introduction to the Endurance Course and Tarzan Assault Course
    • Lessons on Organisation and Role of the Army
  • Month 10

    Month 10

    • Lessons on Battlefield Technologies
    • Exercise Crash Action – a three week exercise prior to start of the Commando Course. The exercise will involve the use of amphibious assets, helicopters and simulated attacks on Dartmoor and in Wales.
  • Month 11

    Month 11

    • The start of the Commando Course
    • Four Commando tests to be completed in consecutive order, including; Endurance Course, Nine Mile Speed March, Tarzan Assault Course and finishing off with the Thirty Mile Run.
    • Continuation of Tactics and Doctrine training
    • Anti-Armour training
    • Urban and Rural patrolling
  • Month 12

    Month 12

    • Exercise Swiftfoot – Fighting In Built Up Areas exercise
    • Thrity minute presentations given by the Young Officers
    • Deployment for three weeks to the USA on Exercise Virginia Tempest
  • Month 13

    Month 13

    • Lessons on organisation and roles of the Commando Units
    • Introduction to life in a Commando Unit
    • Adventurous Training
    • Introduction and training with the Viking, the Corps' all-terrain vehicle
  • Month 14

    Month 14

    • A tour of Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst
    • Conduct live fire shooting packages
    • One week at Dartmouth Naval College for military studies
    • Battlefield Tour
  • Month 15

    Month 15

    • Lessons on report writing
    • Introduction to recruit training
    • Exercise Final Nail – the culmination of everything that has been taught throughout training
  • Month 15½

    Month 15½

    • Conduct Sword Drill
    • Conduct Drill practice
    • Receive final reports
    • Take part in the King’s Squad Pass Out Parade
  • Phase Two

    This period of active service as a Troop Commander will ensure your training is put to use

  • Phase 2

    Phase 2

    • Having successfully passed out of Young Officer training, your first job will be as a Troop Commander at either one of the Commando Units (40, 42 or 45); or a Troop Commander at Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines; or the Commando Logistics Regiment.

      All roles will require you to use every bit of your Phase 1 training, and you will also be faced with a whole host of new and rewarding challenges.

      You will be in charge of a troop of around thirty men, most of whom will have several years experience in the Corps. You should not be daunted by this as you will have a Troop Sergeant as your second in command who will offer you advice and support throughout this period.

      The Troop Sergeant will have seen many YO’s coming through and will be a valuable source of information. You will also have three very capable Corporals who will be your link to the Marines under your command. They play an important part in the day to day running of the troop and as such you should ensure that you work closely together.

      Throughout your time as a Troop Commander you may be deployed on military operations to Iraq or Afghanistan. Your training will have fully prepared you for this and you and the men in your troop will have undergone a period of training before the deployment to ensure that you are trained to the highest standards.

      If you do not deploy on military operations you will still need to lead your troop whether on training exercises or on camp. You will work with your Troop Sergeant and Company Commander to develop a robust and rewarding exercise programme to ensure your men remain highly trained.

      During your time you may deploy on several exercises to Norway, America, the Caribbean or Europe, and have the chance to work with other multi-national forces. All environments will bring with them a new challenge and a new experience, all of which will ensure you become a better Officer.

      As a Troop Commander you will work directly to the Company Commander (a Major) who will direct you as to how he wants training to be conducted. There will be another two of your batch mates in the same Company so you will never be alone - and sharing your successes and problems over a drink in the Officers’ Mess will help all.

      Your time as a Troop Commander will be one of the many highlights of your career. The men you command will be highly motivated, highly capable and will respect your decisions and abilities as an Officer in the Royal Marines.