Royal Marine

Royal Marine Image

The Royal Marines or Commandos are the Royal Navy's frontline fighting force. They operate from the sea, from the air and on land. They specialise in combat in hostile environments, from the jungles of Sierra Leone to the mountains of Afghanistan. The Royal Marines also includes the Royal Marines Band Service, which represents the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at home and abroad.

The Work

After their initial training course commandos start out as General Duties Marines, usually as riflemen in a commando unit. After one to two years they can go on to train in one of 27 specialisations, including: aircrew, assault engineer, heavy weapon specialist, swimmer canoeist, medical assistant or mountain leader. Some recruits specialise at the end of their initial training.

As a Royal Marines Commando you could be:

As a member of the Royal Marines Band Service (RMBS), which has 5 different bands, you could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

The starting salary for a Royal Marine is £15,600 during basic training. After completing 32 weeks of training, this rises to over £20,000. Salaries increase as you could up the ranks. Potential earnings can reach up to £51,000.

You get extra allowances in some jobs and for being overseas. The Royal Marines service provides subsidised food and accommodation, uniforms and protective clothing, free healthcare and a pension.


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Getting In

The selection process involves a series of interviews, plus mental and physical tests.

If you are accepted, you are offered a career for 12 years, but on first promotion this is extended to 20 years or to the age of 40, whichever is longer. In some cases you can serve to the age of 50.

The conditions on leaving and how much notice is required varies depending on which branch or specialism you are in. The Royal Navy recruitment offices would advise on this.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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What Does it Take?

You should be:

You should have:


Getting On

More Information

For detailed information about the Royal Marines visit the Royal Marines website. The Band of the Royal Marines Scotland is based at the Royal Naval Support Establishment HMS Caledonia, Rosyth. Visit the Royal Marine Bands Online for more information.


Courtesy of Royal Navy


The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

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