Royal Marines officer

Commando officer

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Royal Marines officers lead teams of commandos in combat situations, at sea and on land.

Salary range: £25,700 to £49,958

How to become a Royal Marines officer

You can get into this job through:

  • applying directly

Volunteering and experience

You can join the Royal Marines Reserve as an entry officer to get experience of life in the service and to learn new skills at the same time.

You’ll need to be aged between 16 and 42, or 16 and 56 if you’re an ex-regular.

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

Direct application

You can apply directly for marines officer training.

You’ll need to be:

  • aged between 18 and 25
  • at least 151.5cm tall (no limit for women)
  • physically fit

You’ll also usually need a minimum of:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
  • 2 A levels or equivalent

If your initial application is accepted, you’ll be invited to talk to someone at your local armed forces careers office about what you want to do. This is followed by assessments, which include medical and fitness checks.

If you get through the first stages, you may be offered a place on a 4-day Potential Officers Course that includes basic training and further assessments. If successful, you’ll go onto a full officer training programme.

More information

Further information

You’ll find more details about how to become an officer in the Royal Marines from the Royal Navy.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • leadership skills to manage and motivate commandos
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills for making quick decisions
  • persistence and determination
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • concentration skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could have a specialism like:

  • landing craft officer – planning and leading beach assaults
  • signals officer – overseeing radio communications
  • heavy weapons officer – 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 on a ship, in a warzone or at a military base.

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

You may need to wear protective clothing and a uniform.

Career path and progression

After 3 years as a lieutenant, you could progress to captain and then on to higher ranks.

You could move into other careers once you leave the marines, depending on the skills, training and qualifications you’ve developed during your service.

The Career Transition Partnership, Quest and Troops to Teachers have more information on careers outside the armed forces.

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