Royal Marines act as the emergency strike force of the Royal Navy. They are trained to very high standards for front-line combat on land and at sea, and are sent at short notice to deal with emergency situations. These may include military operations or natural disasters.
Those who join as musicians or buglers are not commando-trained and serve only with the Royal Marines Band Service.
When training is completed, most Royal Marines join a commando unit of around 700 men, where they serve as a rifleman in a troop. Some may join a ship’s detachment. Newly trained recruits join the General Duties specialism. Later, they can specialise in one of 26 trades, a full list is available on the Royal Navy website (see Further Information). It is possible to specialise in some roles directly after commando training through the Direct Specialisation Scheme (DSS), for example:
Royal Marines commandos usually work shifts and are on call at all times. During exercises and operations, hours may be long and irregular.
Marines must be prepared to go wherever they are needed around the world, which may mean long periods away from home.
Marines will work in a very wide variety of conditions and weather extremes.
As a Royal Marines commando, you should:
The Royal Marines recruit new commandos and band members each year. Suitable applicants are always in demand, but entry is very competitive.
Marines typically advance to the rank of corporal after a few years of service and then on to sergeant. It is possible to gain a commission to become an officer from the ranks (see Royal Marines Officer profile).
Marines usually obtain qualifications as part of their work which are acceptable to civilian employers.
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