Careers > The People
Becoming an Officer in the Royal Marines is one of life's greatest achievements. Getting to the stage where you become privileged to command a Troop of Royal Marines Commandos takes courage, determination, intelligence, endurance and above all, a powerful 'State of Mind'.
These five men are currently in the middle of their Young Officer training at the world-class Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, in Lympstone Exmouth.
Alex Hibbert - A truly accomplished explorer, Alex led the longest, fully-unsupported polar expedition in history. He achieved this aged just 23 years old. A biology graduate, Alex has a number of hobbies one being photography. This private passion, gave rise to the opportunity of photographing Grey Wolves in the wilds of the USA.
Nick Hill - It wasn't until Nick was studying engineering at university that he first considered a military career. The physical challenge appealed to Nick who has played competitive sport at the highest level, representing Great Britain in under-23 rowing competition.
Luke Wheeler - A keen sportsman (rowing and rugby) with a Masters degree in Maths, Luke had his first taste of the military lifestyle in the Officers' Training Corp at university. He's an avid music fan and still plays the bass guitar.
Andy Jones - Andy has taken a commission from the General Duties ranks of the Royal Marines. Andy first joined the RM as an Ordinary Rank and has served around the world. After returning from Afghanistan, he decided to apply for a Commission within the Corps. He successfully passed his AIB and POC selection and is now in Officer Training. His travels have given him a real appetite for global adventure.
'Sandy' Sandiford - By the age of 15, Sandy was already certain that he wanted to become a Royal Marines Officer. This isn't surprising as Sandy grew up near the Commando Training Centre. Being part of the local community, he has had regular contact with members of the Corps, both old and new. He is a keen football fan and is hoping to convert the other Young Officers to his way of thinking.
Young Officers: in response to Question 1.
What do you think is the hardest aspect in the officers training?
Hi Josh, I'm Alex. From my point of view, the change of lifestyle is a major challenge. The amount of freetime and the intensity is very different to university!
Young Officers: in response to Question 2.
I have wanted to be in the marines for some time, and i was talking about it once at school. My teacher later approached me; serving as a reserve in the marines himself, he told me i had the grades, determination and leadership qualities,to be an officer, however he said that my physical fitness would have to be worked on. Would you agree that a career as an officer in the marines is the right choice for me?
Hi Toby. This is Alex. It certainly sounds like your teacher has seen some good potential. Physical fitness can always be improved and the nature of the training here is very progressive.
Young Officers: in response to Question 3.
Is there a waiting list to join the royals as an officer.
There isn't a waiting list as such. The way it works is that after every batch intake (once year in Spetember), the selection starts afresh. If you complete POC and AIB successfully then it is up to the MOD to decide how many YOs they need that year and then they select the most suitable candidates from those successful at POC and AIB. There are lots of applicants per place though so it is competitive.
I hope this has helped,
Young Officers: in response to Question 4.
I have heard from people, that if your an officer you do so many tours then your stuck behind a desk doing paper work, and then after a certain rank its the same. Is this true?
If not what is the general time line, in regards as what they do, for an officers carrier.
The time line is all dependant on your choice of career path within the Corps. After you pass for duty you'll spend a year as a Troop Commander, more than likely on Ops. In this time you'll be promoted to Captain and from there you'll go to a number of differnet jobs. Some are unfortunatell desk orienated, however you will still deoply on Ops and have a very important role such as oragnising the Operations that ground troops will conduct, or planning at a strategic level. Hope this answers your question
Young Officers: in response to Question 5.
How would you compare competitive sport at the highest level with the physical intensity of training to become a Royal Marines Officer?
Hi Glen. This is Alex. I think there are a great deal of parallels. In terms of team work, physical focus and in other respects it's definitely similar. The differences are mainly in terms of professionalism and operations.
Young Officers: in response to Question 6.
Once you pass out of your phase1 training, do you have any choice in where your next year will be.
During the last part of training at CTC (Phase 1) there is a member of staff known as 'the appointer' that decides where we go. We do get to fill in a preference sheet, but naturally not everyone gets primarily what they hoped for. The appointer gives jobs depending on your abilities as well as the specific requirements for each of the units it is possible to be posted to.
Young Officers: in response to Question 7.
good day young officers,
my name is mike and a ghanaian. i want to join the royal marine, but am in ghana at the moment. is there any way i can apply online and is there anything like "i should have stayed in uk for the past 1 or 2 years". thank you
Hi Mike, this is Alex. I believe that there is a requirement to have dual citizenship with the United Kingdom. There are people in the Corps dedicated to resolving this and we ask that you enquire through your British Embassy.
Young Officers: in response to Question 8.
Am I still in with a chance of being recruited as an officer if i do not have a degree.
Hi Vlad, this is Alex. Yes absolutely. There are a number of non-grads in my batch and they integrate extremely well.
Young Officers: in response to Question 9.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.
I know YO training places a huge toll on the individual physically and mentally, what have you found to be the toughest part of training so far.
Well it hard to say YO training is challenging in so many aspects. As long as you turn up fit to face all of the physical rigors of training then I would have to say the hardest aspect is settling into the routine of training, by this I simply mean the pace and the controlling environment. They were the biggest challenges for me as you will be absorbing information in a lecture on very little sleep the night before and you don't have as much freedom as you are used to. However you are surrounded by liked minded people and you soon settle into the routine and it becomes second nature, once you reach that stage you will become more confinent with the flow of things and almost dare I say begin to enjoy it.
It is different for everyone but that my experience. Hope that has been helpful in some form, good luck with your decision.
Young Officers: in response to Question 10.
When not on operations and your back at base, what does your job entail as an officer?
Hi Ben, I'm Alex. The job of an Officer is highly varied when not on ops. It can include taking a recruit troop through training, working in recruitment and selection or being a troop commander in a unit.