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Careers Reserves Royal Marines

Royal Marines Commando

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When you join the Royal Marine Commandos you join the Royal Navy’s elite amphibious (landing from the sea) force. Nothing stands in our way. Because our training allows us to operate in some of the most extreme environments.

Most Royal Marines Commandos start their career as General Duty Marines, before going on to train for one of the many specialist jobs available. After you’ve earned your green beret, you can pick from a range of 27 specialist jobs available to you. And as you reach a particular rank or you get certain qualifications or experience, even more jobs open to you – from Mountain Leader to Combat Intelligence.

And if you show the right commitment, skills and academic ability, you could become a Commissioned Officer at anytime during your career.

General Duties Marine


Type Level

  • Action: 4
  • Leadership: 3
  • Hands on: 4
  • Technical:
  • Admin: 1
  • Teamwork: 4

Eligibility and qualifications

What are we looking for

People with who push through when things get tough. Who never lose sight of the mission – no matter what they’re faced with. People who thrive on adrenaline and know the value of teamwork.

And the following qualifications

No specific qualifications are needed for this job but you must be aged between 16 and 32 years.

Skills and interests

You should like:

  • A Sense of Adventure
  • Working in Challenging Environments
  • Working as Part of a Team
  • Outdoor Activities

You should have these skills:

  • Good Physical and Mental Stamina
  • Reliable
  • Honesty and Integrity 

Career Progression

Skills for life

We give you all the specialist skills you’ll need to excel at your job. But you can also build on this knowledge throughout your career. And because you will have the chance to gain qualifications that are recognised and valued by both the Royal Navy and civilian employers – like NVQs, GCSEs, BTWC awards or even university degrees – you will develop an enviable set of transferrable skills.

Development as a Royal Marines Commando
All Royal Marine Commandos go through a key-skills programme, which will earn you a Public Services Apprenticeship. When you’re chosen for a command course, you can find all the reference material you need in our library.


Like all careers in the Royal Navy, where and how far you go during your time as an officer is up to you – and depends on your choices and achievements.

During your training you will be known as a Royal Marines Recruit. When you complete it you’ll become a General Duties Marine and go on to serve with a commando unit. During this time you will be deployed in operations around the world.

After two years as General Duties Marine developing a range of commando skills, you will then train in one of the specialist jobs. These include Metalsmith, Assault, Engineer or Mountain Leader. Display your leadership potential and you’ll start moving up the ranks. And when you show the right commitment, skills and academic ability you could also have the chance to become a Commissioned Officer at any point in your career.

Pay and benefits

Joining the Royal Marines means more than just travel being part of one of the most elite fighting forces in the world. It also gives you job security that is hard to come by in civilian life.

You’ll also benefit from free medical care, help with housing and discounts on living costs. And if you’re interested in getting qualifications, we can fund you through your studies.

Pay for each role depends on the job you’ve chosen and on whether you have any previous qualifications. But your starting salary as a Royal Marines commando will be £14,349 a year, rising to £17,767 a year after you’ve finished your initial training at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines.


Case study

Commando training :
"You never know what to expect, so you always have to stay switched on, listen to what you've been told and work at 100% speed."

How to join

Joining process

1. Get in Touch by filling out a simple form or calling 08456 00 14 44.
2. Attend an Initial Careers Presentation (ICP) at a careers office near you.
3. If you’re still interested, then fill out a short application form.
4. We'll book you in for the Royal Navy Recruitment Test (RT). Find out more (PDF).
5. Next you will have a formal interview with a career adviser.
6. Take the medical tests and the Royal Navy pre-joining fitness test. Take a look at our fitness programme.
7. Pass the Pre Royal Marines Course (PRMC).
8. Join the Royal Marines.

Find out more about the joining process

Training overview

The Commando basic training at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) lasts 32 weeks. You’ll start with the basics You can be sure these nine weeks will test your mind and body.  There will be exams to study for and physical challenges to tackle. But you will also have plenty of opportunities to relax and socialise with your fellow recruits. And at the end of the day, not many experiences can match the feeling of marching in your passing-out parade – and the sense of achievement that goes with it.

Find out more

Related Roles

Royal Marines Officer

You will command the Marines of the Royal Navy’s elite amphibious (landing from the sea) force.

Royal Marines Reserve

As a Royal Marines Reservist, you'll be one of about 600 people who combine their civilian day jobs with serving part-time as fully-trained Commandos.

Royal Marines Reserve (ex-Regular Forces)

The Royal Marines Commando Reserves are a highly trained, specialised team, which works alongside the Regular Royal Marines.


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