Royal Marines commando

Green beret

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Royal Marines commandos take part in frontline combat, and are sent at short notice to deal with emergency situations.

Salary range: £15,700 to £48,000

How to become a Royal Marines commando

You can get into this job through:

  • applying directly

Volunteering and experience

You can join the Royal Marines Reserve to get some experience of what life is like in the service and to learn new skills at the same time. You’ll do the same commando training as the regulars, but over a longer period.

If you’re between 13 and 18 years old, you can join the Royal Marines Cadets.

Direct application

You can apply directly to join the Royal Navy as a commando. You don’t need any specific qualifications, but you will need to meet the Navy’s eligibility requirements. For example, you must:

  • be aged between 16 and 32
  • be at least 151.5cm tall (no limit for women)
  • pass fitness tests

If your application is accepted, you’ll be invited to talk to someone at your local armed forces careers office about what you want to do. You’ll then attend an interview and assessment.

More information

Further information

You’ll find more details about how to become a commando from the Royal Navy.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • physical fitness and endurance
  • persistence and determination
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • concentration skills and quick reactions
  • active listening skills and the ability to work in a team
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • thinking and reasoning skills for making quick decisions
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

You’ll have a specialism like:

  • landing craft officer, planning and leading beach assaults
  • signals officer, overseeing radio communications
  • heavy weapons officer, in charge of weapons deployment and tactics
  • weapons training officer, advising on the use of small arms and training snipers
  • Special Boat Service (SBS) officer, carrying out special missions
  • mountain leader, leading and instructing commando troops in mountain exercises
  • intelligence officer, collecting, coordinating and interpreting intelligence reports
  • pilot officer, flying aircraft and helicopters
  • physical training and sports officer, developing and supervising training
  • staff duty officer, dealing with administration, training, planning and logistics

Working environment

You could work in a warzone, at a military base or on a ship.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear a uniform and protective clothing.

Career path and progression

With training and experience you could move up through the ranks and get a commission to become an officer.

You could go into a wide range of careers after leaving the marines. The Career Transition Partnership, Quest and Troops to Teachers have more information on careers outside the armed forces.

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