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The Fleet



    How long will a recruit have to sign up for?

    The length of service will depend on the role your son or daughter is doing and which part of the Royal Navy or Royal Marines they are working in, but they always have the option to request to leave. They will then need to work their notice period of 12 months. They are normally required to serve for around two and a half years after training.

    If your son or daughter has serious concerns that the Royal Navy or Royal

    Marines isn’t the right career for them, in certain circumstances we’ll allow

    them time off to give them the space to review what they want to do.

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    What if they want to try the Royal Navy out before committing?

    That’s fine. The Royal Navy runs a four-day Acquaint course in Scotland every week that gives prospective candidates a taste of what life will be like during initial training and on a ship or submarine. It also gives your son or daughter a chance to ask questions and find out more about the different options available to them.

    It’s free to attend and the Royal Navy pays for their travel costs. For more details, speak to a Royal Navy Careers Advisor, or Visit the Royal Naval Acquaint Course website

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    What about joining the Royal Marines?

    Your son can go on The Potential Royal Marines Course (PRMC). It is three days long and is held at the Commando Training Centre (CTC), Lympstone.

    It is a chance for the Royal Marines to assess whether your son is ready, physically and mentally, to enter training, and for him to find out about the Royal Marines and life at CTC. He will learn about Commando training and meet some recruits and talk to them. If he is not successful in passing the PRMC, the selection staff can give him further support. 
    Find out more about the PRMC Course

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    Why are women not allowed to serve in the Royal Marines?

    It is Government policy that females cannot serve in a front-line unit, such as the Royal Marines. But we do have women who serve in the Royal Marines Band Service, and there has been a female who passed the All Arms Commando Course. This allows her to serve in support of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines.

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    Can women join the Royal Navy?

    Women can join the Royal Navy and serve in all branches except Mine Clearance Diver Branch, as a member of the Submarine Service or as a Royal Marines Commando. These exclusions are for medical reasons. Discrimination on the grounds of gender is not tolerated.

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    How much leave do recruits get?

    Depending on when they do their training, they will get two weeks at Easter and Christmas and three weeks in the summer. All weekends that are non-working will also be given as time off.

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    How long is the training?

    It varies, depending on the branch being entered. For a Royal Naval Rating, initial training takes eight weeks, and professional training can take between five weeks and four years. Training for Officers varies according to specialisation.

    Initial training for Royal Marines Commandos is 32 weeks long, and for Royal Marines Officers is 54 weeks.

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    Can they buy themselves out?

    Generally, no, though if they leave before serving their minimum service time for any sponsorship money, they may be asked to pay some or all of it back.

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    How long are they away for?

    Most deployments are about six months in length, though this can vary.

    Ships generally only deploy once every two or three years. though. Between deployments they will have some periods alongside (in port) and some time doing trials and training, when they are often at sea for just 1-2 weeks at a time.

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    If there is an emergency, how can I get in touch with my son or daughter?

    Ships at sea and units ashore, both in the UK and abroad, have satellite phones, which can be used in an emergency. Everyone who is deployed abroad is also given 20 minutes’ worth of free satellite calls a week. Email is the most popular way of staying in touch and all ships have email access. Mobile phones are also allowed on ships – though there may be some restrictions about when they can be used. You can also write letters or send a telegram to a ship.

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    What’s your policy on bullying?

    Complaints about bullying and mistreatment are not seen as a weakness. Bullying in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines is not tolerated. All complaints are thoroughly investigated, and anyone found guilty of bullying will be dealt with accordingly.

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    What about harassment?

    It is Ministry of Defence policy that all military or civilian personnel, regardless of rank, grade or status, have a right to protection from harassment. The MoD is responsible for ensuring that their working environment is comfortable and non-threatening, and that their dignity is respected.

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    What is the policy on drug taking?

    Drugs in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines are not tolerated. Those found guilty of drug usage are usually discharged from the Service.

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    More Information

    PDF fileParent and Guardian PDF

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