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How to become a Royal Marines Officer

royal marines officer careers

What does a Royal Marines Officer do?

Royal Marines (RM) officers lead teams of commando-trained soldiers in combat situations, at sea or on shore. Today, RM officers are more and more involved in leading peace-keeping and humanitarian missions.

RM officers are responsible for the day-to-day welfare and discipline of the marines under their command. The first appointment would normally be as a troop officer in charge of 28 men. Daily responsibilities would involve running the troop and making decisions about their training and deployment.

After training as an officer, you can specialise in one of ten roles:

  • landing craft officers - plan and lead beach assaults
  • signals officers - plan and oversee all radio communications
  • heavy weapons officers - decide on the tactics and deployment of weapons such as anti-tank missiles and mortars
  • weapons training officers - advise on the use of small arms and train snipers
  • Special Boat Service (SBS) officers - carry out special missions from both ships and aircraft as part of the special forces unit
  • mountain leaders - lead and instruct commando troops in mountain exercises, and are experts in Arctic survival (you would serve in a special forces unit)
  • intelligence officers - collect, co-ordinate and interpret intelligence reports
  • helicopter or harrier pilots - fly the full range of aircraft used by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines
  • physical training and sports officers - develop and supervise all types of physical training in commando units and training centres
  • staff duty officers - deal with administration, training, planning and logistics.

What's the working environment like working as a Royal Marines Officer?

Royal Marines officers usually work shifts and are on call at all times. During exercises and operations, hours may be long and irregular.

Royal Marines must be prepared to go wherever they are needed around the world, and may spend long periods away from home.

Marines will work in a very wide variety of conditions and weather extremes.

What does it take to become a Royal Marines Officer?

As a Royal Marines officer, you should:

  • be a resilient, resourceful leader, able to inspire and motivate your troops
  • be self-disciplined, confident and determined
  • be able to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the men in your command
  • think and react quickly
  • accept responsibility and make decisions
  • be able to communicate with people at all levels
  • be physically very fit with a good level of stamina
  • be prepared to operate in dangerous combat situations.

Royal Marines Officer Career Opportunities

The Royal Marines recruit new officers each year. However, competition is fierce and you will be expected to prove a good level of physical fitness.

After three years' development as a lieutenant, you can expect promotion to captain. Subsequent promotion is by selection based on your performance record, qualifications and aptitude. It is possible to become a major by the age of 30, a lieutenant colonel by your late 30s, and there are opportunities to achieve the rank of colonel and general.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Royal Marines Officer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Free leaflets and advice are available from all local armed forces careers offices (AFCOs). The addresses of these can be found in telephone directories listed under Naval Establishment.

The Royal Navy
Careers Enquiries: 0845 607 5555

Armed Forces Careers Office (NI)
Royal Navy and Royal Marines
Palace Barracks
Co Down
BT18 9RF
Tel: 028 9042 7040

Facts and Stats:

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  • Every year, civil servants are responsible for public spending of around £300bn
  • If every MP turned up at the chambers of the House of Commons at the same time, there would not be enough seats for them all to sit down