Royal Marines
Overview
 
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines (RM), are the marine corps and amphibious
Amphibious warfare
Amphibious warfare is the use of naval firepower, logistics and strategy to project military power ashore. In previous eras it stood as the primary method of delivering troops to non-contiguous enemy-held terrain...

 infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and, along with the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 and Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Royal Fleet Auxiliary
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary is a civilian-manned fleet owned by the British Ministry of Defence. The RFA enables ships of the United Kingdom Royal Navy to maintain operations around the world. Its primary role is to supply the Royal Navy with fuel, ammunition and supplies, normally by replenishment...

, form the Naval Service. They are also the United Kingdom's specialists in amphibious warfare
Amphibious warfare
Amphibious warfare is the use of naval firepower, logistics and strategy to project military power ashore. In previous eras it stood as the primary method of delivering troops to non-contiguous enemy-held terrain...

, including the operation of landing craft
Landing craft of the Royal Marines
The landing craft of the Royal Marines consist of a varied fleet of transport craft maintained by the Royal Navy and designed to transport the Royal Marines from ship to shore as well as conduct river or estuary patrols. The craft are generally classified according to their role...

; mountain warfare
Mountain warfare
Mountain warfare refers to warfare in the mountains or similarly rough terrain. This type of warfare is also called Alpine warfare, named after the Alps mountains...

; and Arctic warfare
Arctic warfare
Arctic warfare or winter warfare is a term used to describe armed conflict that takes place in an exceptionally cold weather, usually in snowy and icy terrain, sometimes on ice-covered bodies of water...

. A core component of the country's Rapid Deployment Force
Rapid Deployment Force
A rapid deployment force is a military formation capable of quick deployment of its forces. Such forces typically consist of elite military units and may receive priority in equipment and training to prepare them for their mission....

, the 3 Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade is a commando formation of the British Armed Forces and the main manoeuvre formation of the Royal Marines. Its personnel are predominantly Royal Marines, supported by units of Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery, The Rifles, and the Fleet Air Arm, together with other Commando...

 is capable of operating independently and is highly trained as a commando force.
Encyclopedia
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines (RM), are the marine corps and amphibious
Amphibious warfare
Amphibious warfare is the use of naval firepower, logistics and strategy to project military power ashore. In previous eras it stood as the primary method of delivering troops to non-contiguous enemy-held terrain...

 infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and, along with the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 and Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Royal Fleet Auxiliary
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary is a civilian-manned fleet owned by the British Ministry of Defence. The RFA enables ships of the United Kingdom Royal Navy to maintain operations around the world. Its primary role is to supply the Royal Navy with fuel, ammunition and supplies, normally by replenishment...

, form the Naval Service. They are also the United Kingdom's specialists in amphibious warfare
Amphibious warfare
Amphibious warfare is the use of naval firepower, logistics and strategy to project military power ashore. In previous eras it stood as the primary method of delivering troops to non-contiguous enemy-held terrain...

, including the operation of landing craft
Landing craft of the Royal Marines
The landing craft of the Royal Marines consist of a varied fleet of transport craft maintained by the Royal Navy and designed to transport the Royal Marines from ship to shore as well as conduct river or estuary patrols. The craft are generally classified according to their role...

; mountain warfare
Mountain warfare
Mountain warfare refers to warfare in the mountains or similarly rough terrain. This type of warfare is also called Alpine warfare, named after the Alps mountains...

; and Arctic warfare
Arctic warfare
Arctic warfare or winter warfare is a term used to describe armed conflict that takes place in an exceptionally cold weather, usually in snowy and icy terrain, sometimes on ice-covered bodies of water...

. A core component of the country's Rapid Deployment Force
Rapid Deployment Force
A rapid deployment force is a military formation capable of quick deployment of its forces. Such forces typically consist of elite military units and may receive priority in equipment and training to prepare them for their mission....

, the 3 Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade is a commando formation of the British Armed Forces and the main manoeuvre formation of the Royal Marines. Its personnel are predominantly Royal Marines, supported by units of Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery, The Rifles, and the Fleet Air Arm, together with other Commando...

 is capable of operating independently and is highly trained as a commando force. It is trained to deploy quickly and fight in any terrain. The Royal Marines have the longest basic infantry training course of any NATO combat troops.

Manpower

The Royal Marines have a regular manpower of 7,420 personnel. In addition the Royal Marines have a part time volunteer reserve force (RMR) of 970 personnel, giving a total of 8,390 Royal Marines. This makes the Royal Marines the largest force of its type in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, and it is the only European force capable of carrying out amphibious operations at brigade
Brigade
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment...

 level. The Royal Marines are the second largest force of its type in NATO.

History

The Royal Marines were formed as part of the Naval Service in 1755. However, it can trace its origins back as far as 28 October 1664 when at the grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company
Honourable Artillery Company
The Honourable Artillery Company was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1537 by King Henry VIII. Today it is a Registered Charity whose purpose is to attend to the “better defence of the realm"...

 "the Duke of York and Albanys maritime regiment of foot" was first formed up, when English
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 soldiers first went to sea to fight the Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and prevent them from reaching the fortress of Gibraltar.
The Royal Marines served throughout the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 in every notable naval battle on-board the Royal Navy's ships and participated in multiple amphibious actions. The marines continued in their on-board function after the war, taking a prominent part in the navy's anti-piracy and anti-slavery actions. In 1855 they were newly designated as the Royal Marines Light Infantry, serving in the Crimean war
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

 in numerous amphibious raids on Russian forces.
The Corps underwent a notable change after 1945 however, when the Royal Marines took on the main responsibility for the role and training of the British Commandos
British Commandos
The British Commandos were formed during the Second World War in June 1940, following a request from the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, for a force that could carry out raids against German-occupied Europe...

. The Royal Marines have an illustrious history, and since their creation in 1942 Royal Marines Commandos have engaged on active operations across the globe, every year, except 1968.
Notably they were the first ever military unit to perform an air assault insertion by helicopter, during the Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

 in 1956.

Role

The Royal Marines are a maritime-focused, amphibious, highly specialised Light
Light infantry
Traditionally light infantry were soldiers whose job was to provide a skirmishing screen ahead of the main body of infantry, harassing and delaying the enemy advance. Light infantry was distinct from medium, heavy or line infantry. Heavy infantry were dedicated primarily to fighting in tight...

 - medium force of commandos
Commandos
Commandos is a stealth-oriented real-time tactics game series, available for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. The game is set in the Second World War and follows the escapades of a fictional British Commandos section. It leans heavily on historical events during WWII to carry the plot...

 capable of deploying at short notice in support of the United Kingdom Government's military and diplomatic objectives overseas and are optimised for expeditionary warfare: operational situations requiring highly manoeuvreable, normally amphibious, forces. As the United Kingdom Armed Forces'
British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services, the Royal Navy, the...

 specialists in cold weather warfare
Arctic warfare
Arctic warfare or winter warfare is a term used to describe armed conflict that takes place in an exceptionally cold weather, usually in snowy and icy terrain, sometimes on ice-covered bodies of water...

 the Corps provide lead element expertise in the NATO Northern Flank and are optimised for high altitude operations, with jungle training still carried out when deployments allow.

In common with the other armed forces, the Royal Marines can provide resources for Military Aid to the Civil Community
Military Aid to the Civil Community
Military Aid to the Civil Community is a phrase referring to the armed forces providing a service to the civilian community. It is used in many countries, particularly the United Kingdom.-United Kingdom:...

 and Military Aid to the Civil Power
Military Aid to the Civil Power
Military aid to the civil power is assistance by the armed forces to the civil authorities of the state with the provision of specialist equipment or trained personnel...

 operations and have done so.

Command, control and organisation

The overall head of the Royal Marines is Her Majesty
Majesty
Majesty is an English word derived ultimately from the Latin maiestas, meaning "greatness".- Origin :Originally, during the Roman republic, the word maiestas was the legal term for the supreme status and dignity of the state, to be respected above everything else...

 Queen Elizabeth II, in her role as Commander-in-Chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

 of the British Armed Forces
British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services, the Royal Navy, the...

.

The ceremonial head of the Royal Marines is the Captain General Royal Marines
Captain General Royal Marines
The Captain General Royal Marines is the ceremonial head of the Royal Marines. The current incumbent is HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.The uniform and insignia are those of a Field Marshal....

 (equivalent to the Colonel-in-Chief
Colonel-in-Chief
In the various Commonwealth armies, the Colonel-in-Chief of a regiment is its patron. This position is distinct from that of Colonel of the Regiment. They do not have an operational role. They are however kept informed of all important activities of the regiment, and pay occasional visits to its...

 of a British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

). The current Captain-General is Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....

.

Full Command of the Royal Marines is vested in the Commander-in-Chief Fleet
Commander-in-Chief Fleet
Commander-in-Chief Fleet is the admiral responsible for the operation, resourcing and training of the ships, submarines and aircraft, and personnel, of the British Royal Navy...

 (CINCFLEET) with the Commandant-General Royal Marines, a Major-General, embedded within the CINCFLEET staff as Commander UK Amphibious Force
Amphibious warfare
Amphibious warfare is the use of naval firepower, logistics and strategy to project military power ashore. In previous eras it stood as the primary method of delivering troops to non-contiguous enemy-held terrain...

 (COMUKAMPHIBFOR).

The operational capability of the Corps comprises a number of Battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

-plus sized units, of which three are designated as "Commandos":
  • 40 Commando
    40 Commando
    40 Commando RM is a battalion sized formation of the British Royal Marines and subordinate unit within 3 Commando Brigade, the principal Commando formation, under the Operational Command of Commander in Chief Fleet....

     (known as Forty Commando) based at Norton Manor Barracks, Taunton
    Taunton
    Taunton is the county town of Somerset, England. The town, including its suburbs, had an estimated population of 61,400 in 2001. It is the largest town in the shire county of Somerset....

    , Somerset
    Somerset
    The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

    , England
    England
    England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

  • 42 Commando
    42 Commando
    42 Commando Royal Marines is a battalion sized formation of the British Royal Marines and a subordinate unit within 3 Commando Brigade, the principal Commando formation, under the Operational Command of Commander in Chief Fleet....

     (known as Four Two Commando) based at Bickleigh Barracks, Plymouth
    Plymouth
    Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

    , Devon
    Devon
    Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

    , England
  • 45 Commando
    45 Commando
    45 Commando Royal Marines is a battalion sized unit of the British Royal Marines and subordinate unit within 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, the principal Commando formation, under the Operational Command of Commander in Chief Fleet....

     (known as Four Five Commando) based at RM Condor
    RM Condor
    RM Condor is a large Royal Marines base located near Arbroath in East Angus, Scotland. The base has been home to 45 Commando, which is part of 3 Commando Brigade, since 1971, although it was first constructed as a Fleet Air Arm base in 1938, when it was known as HMS Condor...

    , Arbroath
    Arbroath
    Arbroath or Aberbrothock is a former royal burgh and the largest town in the council area of Angus in Scotland, and has a population of 22,785...

    , Angus
    Angus
    Angus is one of the 32 local government council areas of Scotland, a registration county and a lieutenancy area. The council area borders Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross and Dundee City...

    , Scotland
    Scotland
    Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...


  • Commando Logistic Regiment
    Commando Logistic Regiment
    The role of the Commando Logistic Regiment , Royal Marines is to provide second line Combat Service Support to Headquarters 3 Commando Brigade and Royal Marines Commandos in peace, war and operations other than war....

     based at Chivenor, Devon
  • 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group based at Stonehouse Barracks
    Stonehouse, Plymouth
    East Stonehouse is one of three towns that were amalgamated into modern-day Plymouth. West Stonehouse was a village that is within the current Mount Edgcumbe Country Park in Cornwall...

    , Plymouth
  • Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines
    Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines
    The Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines , formerly Comacchio Company Royal Marines and Comacchio Group Royal Marines , is a commando-sized specialist unit of the Royal Marines responsible for guarding the United Kingdom's Naval nuclear weapons and other security-related duties.-History:On 1 May...

     based at HM Naval Base Clyde, Helensburgh
    Helensburgh
    Helensburgh is a town in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It lies on the north shore of the Firth of Clyde and the eastern shore of the entrance to the Gareloch....

    , Argyll and Bute
    Argyll and Bute
    Argyll and Bute is both one of 32 unitary council areas; and a Lieutenancy area in Scotland. The administrative centre for the council area is located in Lochgilphead.Argyll and Bute covers the second largest administrative area of any Scottish council...

     (Previously Comacchio Group).
  • Special Boat Service
    Special Boat Service
    The Special Boat Service is the special forces unit of the British Royal Navy. Together with the Special Air Service, Special Reconnaissance Regiment and the Special Forces Support Group they form the United Kingdom Special Forces and come under joint control of the same Director Special...

     based at Royal Marines Base Poole, Dorset
    Dorset
    Dorset , is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. The Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch joined the county with the reorganisation of local government in 1974...

     (although Full Command is retained by CINCFLEET, Operational Command of SBS RM is assigned to Director Special Forces).
  • 1 Assault Group Royal Marines
    1 Assault Group Royal Marines
    1 Assault Group Royal Marines provides the Royal Marines expertise and training in small boat operations both amphibious and riverine. In addition it trains and parents the Assault Squadrons of the Royal Marines and their Landing Craft detachments...

     based at Royal Marines Base Poole, Dorset
    Dorset
    Dorset , is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. The Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch joined the county with the reorganisation of local government in 1974...

    .


With the exception of the Fleet Protection Group and Commando Logistic Regiment, which are each commanded by a full Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

, each of these units is commanded by a Lieutenant-Colonel of the Royal Marines, who may have sub-specialised in a number of ways throughout his career.

There is also a Mountain Leader Training Cadre
Mountain Leader Training Cadre
The Mountain Leader Training Cadre is a training element of the British Royal Marines which provides instruction in Mountain Warfare, Arctic warfare, cold weather survival and operations, and cliff assault...

 based at Stonehouse Barracks, Plymouth.

3 Commando Brigade

Operational Command (OpCom) of the three Commandos and the Commando Logistics Regiment is delegated to 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines
3 Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade is a commando formation of the British Armed Forces and the main manoeuvre formation of the Royal Marines. Its personnel are predominantly Royal Marines, supported by units of Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery, The Rifles, and the Fleet Air Arm, together with other Commando...

, of which they are a part. Based at Stonehouse Barracks, the brigade exercises control as directed by either CINCFLEET or the Permanent Joint Headquarters
Permanent Joint Headquarters
The Permanent Joint Headquarters is the British tri-service headquarters from where all overseas military operations are planned and controlled. It is situated at Northwood Headquarters in Northwood, London....

. As the main combat formation of the Royal Marines, the brigade has its own organic capability to support it in the field, 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group, a battalion sized formation providing information operations capabilities, life support and security for the Brigade Headquarters.

Independent elements

The independent elements of the Royal Marines are:
  • Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines
    Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines
    The Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines , formerly Comacchio Company Royal Marines and Comacchio Group Royal Marines , is a commando-sized specialist unit of the Royal Marines responsible for guarding the United Kingdom's Naval nuclear weapons and other security-related duties.-History:On 1 May...

     is responsible for the security of the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent and other security-related duties. It also provides specialist boarding parties and snipers for the Royal Navy worldwide, for roles such as embargo enforcement, counter-narcotics, counter-piracy and counter-insurgency activities of the Royal Navy. It is commando-sized, however the structure differs to reflect its role; it bears the colours, battle honour
    Battle honour
    A battle honour is an award of a right by a government or sovereign to a military unit to emblazon the name of a battle or operation on its flags , uniforms or other accessories where ornamentation is possible....

    s and customs of the former 43 Commando
    43 Commando
    No. 43 Commando or 43 Commando was a unit of Royal Marines trained as Commandos during the Second World War. They served in the 2nd Special Service Brigade in the Mediterranean, Italy and the Adriatic....

     Royal Marines.
  • Commando Training Centre
    Commando Training Centre Royal Marines
    Commando Training Centre Royal Marines is the principal military training centre for the Royal Marines of the British Armed Forces. It is situated near the village of Lympstone, between the city of Exeter, and the town of Exmouth in Devon...

    : This is the training unit for the entire corps, and consists of three separate sections:
    • Commando Training Wing: This is the initial basic commando training section for new recruits to the Royal Marines, and the All Arms Commando Course
      All Arms Commando Course
      The All Arms Commando Course lasts for 9 weeks and is run by the Royal Marines at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines , Lympstone. Members from any of the United Kingdom's Regular Armed Forces and overseas exchange personnel can attend in order to serve with 3 Commando Brigade...

      .
    • Specialist Wing: This provides specialist training in the various trades which Marines may elect to join once qualified and experienced in a Rifle Company.
    • Command Wing: This provides command training for both officer
      Officer (armed forces)
      An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

      s and NCO
      Non-commissioned officer
      A non-commissioned officer , called a sub-officer in some countries, is a military officer who has not been given a commission...

      s of the Royal Marines.

  • 1 Assault Group Royal Marines
    1 Assault Group Royal Marines
    1 Assault Group Royal Marines provides the Royal Marines expertise and training in small boat operations both amphibious and riverine. In addition it trains and parents the Assault Squadrons of the Royal Marines and their Landing Craft detachments...

    : Provides training in the use of landing craft
    Landing craft
    Landing craft are boats and seagoing vessels used to convey a landing force from the sea to the shore during an amphibious assault. Most renowned are those used to storm the beaches of Normandy, the Mediterranean, and many Pacific islands during WWII...

     and boats, and also serves as a parent unit for the three assault squadrons permanently-embarked on the Royal Navy's
    Royal Navy
    The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

     amphibious ships.
    • 4 Assault Squadron—
    • 6 Assault Squadron—
    • 9 Assault Squadron—

  • Special Boat Service
    Special Boat Service
    The Special Boat Service is the special forces unit of the British Royal Navy. Together with the Special Air Service, Special Reconnaissance Regiment and the Special Forces Support Group they form the United Kingdom Special Forces and come under joint control of the same Director Special...

     (SBS) are naval special forces
    Special forces
    Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

     and under operational command of Director Special Forces. It is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel qualified as a Swimmer Canoeist. SBS Responsibilities include water-borne operations, Maritime Counter-Terrorism and other special forces tasks.

  • Royal Marines Band Service
    Royal Marines Band Service
    The Royal Marines Band Service is the musical wing of the Royal Navy. It currently consists of five Bands and its headquarters is the Royal Marines School of Music at HMS Nelson in Portsmouth dockyard.-History:...

     provides regular bands for the Royal Navy and provides expertise to train RN Volunteer Bands. Musicians have a secondary role as field hospital
    Field hospital
    A field hospital is a large mobile medical unit that temporarily takes care of casualties on-site before they can be safely transported to more permanent hospital facilities...

     orderlies. Personnel may not be commando trained, wearing a blue beret instead of green; the band service is the only branch of the Royal Marines which admits women.

Structure of a Commando

The three Commandos are each organised into six companies
Company (military unit)
A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–225 soldiers and usually commanded by a Captain, Major or Commandant. Most companies are formed of three to five platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure...

, further organised into platoon
Platoon
A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two to four sections or squads and containing 16 to 50 soldiers. Platoons are organized into a company, which typically consists of three, four or five platoons. A platoon is typically the smallest military unit led by a commissioned officer—the...

-sized troop
Troop
A troop is a military unit, originally a small force of cavalry, subordinate to a squadron and headed by the troop leader. In many armies a troop is the equivalent unit to the infantry section or platoon...

s, as follows:
  • Command Company
    • Main HQ
    • Tactical HQ
    • Reconnaissance Troop (includes a sniper section)
    • Mortar Troop (9 Barrels of 81 mm)
    • Anti-Tank (AT) Troop (Javelin
      FGM-148 Javelin
      The FGM-148 Javelin is a United States-made man-portable third generation anti-tank missile fielded to replace the Dragon antitank missile.-Overview:Javelin is a fire-and-forget missile with lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance...

       ATGW)
    • Medium Machine Gun Troop
  • One Logistic Company
    • A Echelon 1 (A Ech1)
    • A Echelon 2 (A Ech2)
    • FRT
    • RAP
    • B Echelon (B Ech)
  • Two Close Combat Companies
    • Company Headquarters (Coy HQ)
    • Three Close Combat Troops (Troop HQ, 3 Rifle Sections, Manoeuvre Support Section)
  • Two Stand Off Companies
    • Company Headquarters (Coy HQ)
    • Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) Troop (0.5" heavy machine guns)
    • AT Troop
    • Close Combat Troop


In general a rifle company Marine will be a member of a four-man fire team
Fireteam
A fireteam is a small military unit of infantry. It is the smallest unit in the militaries that use it and is the primary unit upon which infantry organization is based in the British Army, Royal Air Force Regiment, Royal Marines, United States Army, United States Marine Corps, United States Air...

, the building block of commando operations. A Royal Marine works with his team in the field and shares accommodation if living in barracks.

This structure is a recent development, formerly Commandos were structured similarly to British Army light Infantry Battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

s. During the restructuring of the United Kingdom's military services the Corps evolved from a Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 focus on NATO's Northern Flank towards a more expeditionary posture.

Amphibious Task Group

Formerly known as the Amphibious Ready Group, the Amphibious Task Group (or ATG) is a mobile, balanced amphibious warfare
Amphibious warfare
Amphibious warfare is the use of naval firepower, logistics and strategy to project military power ashore. In previous eras it stood as the primary method of delivering troops to non-contiguous enemy-held terrain...

 force, based on a Commando Group and its supporting assets, that can be kept at high readiness to deploy into an area of operations. The ATG is normally based around specialist amphibious ships, most notably , the largest ship in the British fleet. Ocean was designed and built to accommodate an embarked commando and its associated stores and equipment. The strategy of the ATG is to wait "beyond the horizon" and then deploy swiftly as directed by HM Government. The whole amphibious force is intended to be self-sustaining and capable of operating without host-nation support. The concept was successfully tested in operations in Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone , officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of and has an estimated population between 5.4 and 6.4...

.

Commando Helicopter Force

The Commando Helicopter Force
Commando Helicopter Force
The Commando Helicopter Force is a part of the Fleet Air Arm, and is an element of the Joint Helicopter Command of the British Armed Forces; which provides Rotary-Wing support to 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines and other elements...

 forms part of the Fleet Air Arm
Fleet Air Arm
The Fleet Air Arm is the branch of the British Royal Navy responsible for the operation of naval aircraft. The Fleet Air Arm currently operates the AgustaWestland Merlin, Westland Sea King and Westland Lynx helicopters...

. The force comprises four helicopter squadrons and is commanded by the Joint Helicopter Command
Joint Helicopter Command
Joint Helicopter Command is a tri-service organisation uniting military helicopters of the British Armed Forces for command and coordination purposes...

. It consists of both Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 (RN) and Royal Marines personnel. RN personnel need not be commando trained. The Commando Helicopter Force is neither under the permanent control of 3 Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade is a commando formation of the British Armed Forces and the main manoeuvre formation of the Royal Marines. Its personnel are predominantly Royal Marines, supported by units of Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery, The Rifles, and the Fleet Air Arm, together with other Commando...

 nor that of the Commandant General Royal Marines but rather is allocated to support Royal Marines units as required. It uses both Sea King
Westland Sea King
The Westland WS-61 Sea King is a British licence-built version of the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter of the same name, built by Westland Helicopters. The aircraft differs considerably from the American version, with Rolls-Royce Gnome engines , British made anti-submarine warfare systems and a...

 transport and Lynx
Westland Lynx
The Westland Lynx is a British multi-purpose military helicopter designed and built by Westland Helicopters at its factory in Yeovil. Originally intended as a utility craft for both civil and naval usage, military interest led to the development of both battlefield and naval variants...

 Light lift helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

s to provide aviation support for the Royal Marines.

Training and selection

Royal Marines recruit training is the longest basic modern infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 training programme of any NATO combat troops. The Royal Marines are the only part of the British Armed Forces
British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services, the Royal Navy, the...

 where officers and other ranks are trained at the same location, the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines
Commando Training Centre Royal Marines
Commando Training Centre Royal Marines is the principal military training centre for the Royal Marines of the British Armed Forces. It is situated near the village of Lympstone, between the city of Exeter, and the town of Exmouth in Devon...

 (CTCRM) at Lympstone
Lympstone
Lympstone is a village and civil parish in East Devon in the English county of Devon. It has a population of 1,754. There is a harbour on the estuary of the River Exe, lying at the outlet of Wotton Brook between cliffs of red breccia...

, Devon
Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

. Much of the basic training is carried out on the rugged terrain of Dartmoor
Dartmoor
Dartmoor is an area of moorland in south Devon, England. Protected by National Park status, it covers .The granite upland dates from the Carboniferous period of geological history. The moorland is capped with many exposed granite hilltops known as tors, providing habitats for Dartmoor wildlife. The...

 and Woodbury Common
Woodbury Common, Devon
Woodbury Common in East Devon is an area of common land that is predominantly heathland adjacent to the village of Woodbury, Devon.Within the common is Woodbury Castle, an Iron Age hill fort situated on a viewpoint overlooking westwards the villages of Woodbury and Woodbury Salterton and across the...

 with a significant proportion taking place at night.

Selection

Initially all potential recruits are required to attend a series of entrance/aptitude tests and interviews at the Armed Forces Careers office (AFCO) to assess the suitability of all applicants. A series of physical assessments are also conducted including a hearing test, sight test and drug test in the form of a urine sample. As well as two 1.5 mile runs (2.4 km) the first to be completed within 12 minutes 30 seconds with 1 minute break before another 1.5 mile run to be completed at best effort but under 10 minutes 00 seconds, both set at a 2 degree incline on a running machine. For Potential Officers the times are 12 minutes 30 seconds and 10 minutes 30 seconds respectively.

Then, before beginning Royal Marines recruit training the potential recruit must attend a Potential Royal Marine Course
Potential Royal Marine Course
The Potential Royal Marines Course, often abbreviated to PRMC, is the Royal Marines selection course for Potential Recruits. The course is held at CTCRM, and is designed to assess a candidate's suitability for entry into the Royal Marines...

 (PRMC) or Potential Officer Course (POC) held at CTCRM. PRMC lasts three days and assesses physical ability and intellectual capacity to undertake the recruit training. Officer candidates must also undertake the Admiralty Interview Board
Admiralty Interview Board
The Admiralty Interview Board is the instrument of Officer selection for the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve, and Royal Fleet Auxiliary...

.

Officers and Marines undergo the same training up to the commando tests, thereafter Marines go on to employment in a rifle company while Officers continue training. Officer candidates are required to meet higher standards in the Commando tests.

Basic training

The first weeks of training are spent learning basic skills that will be used later. This includes much time spent on the parade ground and on the rifle ranges. The long history of the Royal Marines is also highlighted through a visit to the Royal Marines Museum
Royal Marines Museum
The Royal Marines Museum is located in Eastney , England, and is open to the public every day of the week throughout the year apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day...

 in Southsea
Southsea
Southsea is a seaside resort located in Portsmouth at the southern end of Portsea Island in the county of Hampshire in England. Southsea is within a mile of Portsmouth's city centre....

, Hampshire
Hampshire
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

.
Physical training at this stage emphasizes all-round physical strength
Physical strength
Physical strength is the ability of a person or animal to exert force on physical objects using muscles. Increasing physical strength is the goal of strength training.-Overview:...

, endurance
Endurance
Endurance is the ability for a human or animal to exert itself and remain active for a long period of time, as well as its ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to trauma, wounds, or fatigue. In humans, it is usually used in aerobic or anaerobic exercise...

 and flexibility
Flexibility (anatomy)
Flexibility or limberness refers to the absolute range of movement in a joint or series of joints, and length in muscles that cross the joints. Flexibility is variable between individuals, particularly in terms of differences in muscle length of multi-joint muscles...

 in order to develop the muscle
Muscle
Muscle is a contractile tissue of animals and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell. They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles. Their function is to...

s necessary to carry the heavy equipment a marine will use in an operational unit. Key milestones include a gym passout at week 9 (not carried out with fighting order), a battle swimming test, and learning to do a "regain" (i.e. climb back onto a rope suspended over a water tank). Most of these tests are completed wearing fighting order of 32 lb (14.5 kg) of Personal Load Carrying Equipment
Personal Load Carrying Equipment
Personal Load Carrying Equipment is the current tactical webbing system of the British Army. It consists of a belt, yoke and a number of pouches. Associated with PLCE webbing is a series of other similar load carrying equipment and rucksacks .The purpose of PLCE is to hold everything a soldier...

. Individual fieldcraft
Fieldcraft
Fieldcraft is a term used especially in American, Canadian and British military circles to describe the basic military skills required to operate stealthily and the methods used to do so, which can differ during day or night and due to weather or terrain...

 skills are also taught at this basic stage.

The Commando course

The culmination of training is the Commando course. Following the Royal Marines taking on responsibility for the Commando role
British Commandos
The British Commandos were formed during the Second World War in June 1940, following a request from the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, for a force that could carry out raids against German-occupied Europe...

 with the disbandment of the Army Commandos at the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, all Royal Marines, except those in the Royal Marines Band Service
Royal Marines Band Service
The Royal Marines Band Service is the musical wing of the Royal Navy. It currently consists of five Bands and its headquarters is the Royal Marines School of Music at HMS Nelson in Portsmouth dockyard.-History:...

, complete the Commando course as part of their training (see below). Key aspects of the course include climbing
Climbing
Climbing is the activity of using one's hands and feet to ascend a steep object. It is done both for recreation and professionally, as part of activities such as maintenance of a structure, or military operations.Climbing activities include:* Bouldering: Ascending boulders or small...

 and ropework
Ropework
Ropework or Marlinespike Seamanship is the set of processes and skills used to make, repair, and use rope. This includes tying knots, splicing, making lashings, and proper use and storage of rope...

 techniques, patrol
Patrol
A patrol is commonly a group of personnel, such as police officers or soldiers, that are assigned to monitor a specific geographic area.- Military :...

ling and amphibious warfare
Amphibious warfare
Amphibious warfare is the use of naval firepower, logistics and strategy to project military power ashore. In previous eras it stood as the primary method of delivering troops to non-contiguous enemy-held terrain...

 operations.

This intense phase ends with a series of tests which have remained virtually unchanged since World War II. Again, these tests are done in full fighting order of 32 lb (14.5 kg) of equipment.

The Commando tests are taken on consecutive days and all four tests must be successfully completed within a seven day period; they include;
  • A nine mile (14.5 km) speed march
    Marching
    See also: Loaded marchMarching refers to the organized, uniformed, steady and rhythmic walking forward, usually associated with military troops.Marching is often performed to march music, and often associated with military parades....

    , carrying full fighting order, to be completed in 90 minutes; the pace is thus 10 minutes per mile (9.6 km/h or 6 mph).

  • The Endurance course is a six mile (9.65 km) course across rough moorland
    Moorland
    Moorland or moor is a type of habitat, in the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome, found in upland areas, characterised by low-growing vegetation on acidic soils and heavy fog...

     and woodland
    Woodland
    Ecologically, a woodland is a low-density forest forming open habitats with plenty of sunlight and limited shade. Woodlands may support an understory of shrubs and herbaceous plants including grasses. Woodland may form a transition to shrubland under drier conditions or during early stages of...

     terrain at Woodbury Common
    Woodbury Common, Devon
    Woodbury Common in East Devon is an area of common land that is predominantly heathland adjacent to the village of Woodbury, Devon.Within the common is Woodbury Castle, an Iron Age hill fort situated on a viewpoint overlooking westwards the villages of Woodbury and Woodbury Salterton and across the...

     near Lympstone
    Lympstone
    Lympstone is a village and civil parish in East Devon in the English county of Devon. It has a population of 1,754. There is a harbour on the estuary of the River Exe, lying at the outlet of Wotton Brook between cliffs of red breccia...

    , which includes tunnels, pipes, wading pools, and an underwater culvert. The course ends with a four mile (6 km) run back to CTCRM
    Commando Training Centre Royal Marines
    Commando Training Centre Royal Marines is the principal military training centre for the Royal Marines of the British Armed Forces. It is situated near the village of Lympstone, between the city of Exeter, and the town of Exmouth in Devon...

    . Followed by a marksmanship test, where the recruit must hit 6 out of 10 shots at a 25m target simulating 200 m. To be completed in 73 minutes (71 minutes for Royal Marine officers). Originally 72 minutes, these times were recently increased by one minute as the route of the course was altered.

  • The Tarzan Assault Course. This is an assault course
    Assault course
    An assault course is a special sort of trail that combines running and exercising. It was more popular in the 1970s than it is now. It is heavily used in military training...

     combined with an aerial confidence test. It starts with a death slide
    Zip-line
    A zip-line consists of a pulley suspended on a cable mounted on an incline...

     (now known as the Commando Slide) and ends with a rope climb up a thirty foot near-vertical wall. It must be completed with full fighting order in 13 minutes, 12 minutes for officers. The Potential Officers Course also includes confidence tests from the Tarzan Assault Course, although not with equipment.

  • The 30 miler. This is a 30-mile (48-km) march across upland
    Highland (geography)
    The term highland or upland is used to denote any mountainous region or elevated mountainous plateau. Generally speaking, the term upland tends to be used for ranges of hills, typically up to 500-600m, and highland for ranges of low mountains.The Scottish Highlands refers to the mountainous...

     Dartmoor
    Dartmoor
    Dartmoor is an area of moorland in south Devon, England. Protected by National Park status, it covers .The granite upland dates from the Carboniferous period of geological history. The moorland is capped with many exposed granite hilltops known as tors, providing habitats for Dartmoor wildlife. The...

    , wearing full fighting order, and additional safety equipment carried by the recruit in a daysack
    Backpack
    A backpack is, in its simplest form, a cloth sack carried on one's back and secured with two straps that go over the shoulders, but there can be exceptions...

    . It must be completed in eight hours for recruits and seven hours for Royal Marine officers, who must also navigate the route themselves, rather than following a DS (a trained Royal Marine) with the rest of a syndicate and carry their own equipment.


After the 30 miles (48.3 km) march, any who failed any of the tests may attempt to retake them up until the seven day window expires. If a recruit fails two or more of the tests, however, it is unlikely that a chance to re-attempt them will be offered.

Normally the seven to eight day schedule for the Commando Tests is as follows:
  • Saturday - Endurance Course
  • Sunday - Rest
  • Monday - Nine Mile Speed March
  • Tuesday - Tarzan Assault Course
  • Wednesday - 30 Miler
  • Thursday - Failed test re-runs
  • Friday - Failed test re-runs
  • Saturday - 30 Miler re-run if required


Completing the Commando course successfully entitles the recruit or officer to wear the green beret
Green beret
The green beret was the official headdress of the British Commandos of World War II. It is still worn with pride by members of the Royal Marines after passing the Commando Course and any member of the British Military who has passed the All Arms Commando Course.There are certain other military...

 but does not mean that the Royal Marine has finished his training. That decision will be made by the troop or batch training team and will depend on the recruit's or young officer's overall performance. Furthermore, officer training still consists of many more months.

Training to be a Royal Marine takes 32 weeks. The last week is spent mainly on administration and preparing for the pass out parade. Recruits in their final week of training are known as the King's Squad and have their own section of the recruits' galley at Lympstone
Lympstone
Lympstone is a village and civil parish in East Devon in the English county of Devon. It has a population of 1,754. There is a harbour on the estuary of the River Exe, lying at the outlet of Wotton Brook between cliffs of red breccia...

.

After basic and commando training, a Royal Marine Commando will normally join a unit of 3 Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade is a commando formation of the British Armed Forces and the main manoeuvre formation of the Royal Marines. Its personnel are predominantly Royal Marines, supported by units of Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery, The Rifles, and the Fleet Air Arm, together with other Commando...

. There are three Royal Marines Commando infantry units in the Brigade: 40 Commando
40 Commando
40 Commando RM is a battalion sized formation of the British Royal Marines and subordinate unit within 3 Commando Brigade, the principal Commando formation, under the Operational Command of Commander in Chief Fleet....

 located at Norton Manor Camp near Taunton
Taunton
Taunton is the county town of Somerset, England. The town, including its suburbs, had an estimated population of 61,400 in 2001. It is the largest town in the shire county of Somerset....

 in Somerset
Somerset
The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

, 42 Commando
42 Commando
42 Commando Royal Marines is a battalion sized formation of the British Royal Marines and a subordinate unit within 3 Commando Brigade, the principal Commando formation, under the Operational Command of Commander in Chief Fleet....

 at Bickleigh
Bickleigh, South Hams
Bickleigh is a small village on the southern edge of Dartmoor in Devon, England. It has a population of about 50 people. It is in the South Hams district, and is about seven miles north of Plymouth city centre...

 Barracks, near Plymouth
Plymouth
Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

, Devon
Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

 and 45 Commando
45 Commando
45 Commando Royal Marines is a battalion sized unit of the British Royal Marines and subordinate unit within 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, the principal Commando formation, under the Operational Command of Commander in Chief Fleet....

 at RM Condor, Arbroath
Arbroath
Arbroath or Aberbrothock is a former royal burgh and the largest town in the council area of Angus in Scotland, and has a population of 22,785...

 on the coast of Angus
Angus
Angus is one of the 32 local government council areas of Scotland, a registration county and a lieutenancy area. The council area borders Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross and Dundee City...

.

Non-Royal Marine volunteers for Commando
Commando
In English, the term commando means a specific kind of individual soldier or military unit. In contemporary usage, commando usually means elite light infantry and/or special operations forces units, specializing in amphibious landings, parachuting, rappelling and similar techniques, to conduct and...

 training undertake the All Arms Commando Course
All Arms Commando Course
The All Arms Commando Course lasts for 9 weeks and is run by the Royal Marines at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines , Lympstone. Members from any of the United Kingdom's Regular Armed Forces and overseas exchange personnel can attend in order to serve with 3 Commando Brigade...

.

There is also a Reserve Commando Course run for members of the Royal Marines Reserve
Royal Marines Reserve
The role of the Royal Marines Reserve of the United Kingdom is to support the regular Royal Marines in times of war or national crisis. The RMR consists of some 600-1000 trained ranks distributed among the five RMR Centres within the UK...

 and Commando units of the Territorial Army.

Specialist training

Royal Marines after a period as a General Duties Rifleman may then go on to undertake specialist training in a variety of skills:

Commando Specialisations
  • Aircrewman
  • Assault Engineer
    Assault Pioneer
    An Assault Pioneer is an infantry soldier who is responsible for:* The construction of tools for infantry soldiers to cross natural and man-made obstacles as well as breaching of enemy fortifications;...

  • Armoured Support Group
    Royal Marines Armoured Support Group
    The current Royal Marines Armoured Support Group is an element of the Royal Marines which operates the Viking BvS 10, All Terrain Vehicle. It is the successor to the Royal Marines Armoured Support Company, and is in effect on permanent loan from operational command of 3 Commando Brigade to the...

     (Viking
    BvS 10
    The BvS 10 is an All Terrain Armoured Vehicle produced by BAE Systems Land Systems Hagglunds of Sweden. This vehicle, referred to as the All Terrain Vehicle - ATV or VIKING by the UK forces, was originally developed as a collaboration between industry - Hägglunds Vehicle AB - and the UK Ministry...

    )
  • Armourer
  • Chef
    Chef
    A chef is a person who cooks professionally for other people. Although over time the term has come to describe any person who cooks for a living, traditionally it refers to a highly skilled professional who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation.-Etymology:The word "chef" is borrowed ...

  • Clerk
  • Combat Intelligence
  • Communications Technician
  • Drill Instructor
  • Driver
  • Heavy Weapons – Air Defence
  • Heavy Weapons – Anti-Tank
    FGM-148 Javelin
    The FGM-148 Javelin is a United States-made man-portable third generation anti-tank missile fielded to replace the Dragon antitank missile.-Overview:Javelin is a fire-and-forget missile with lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance...

  • Heavy Weapons – Mortars
    L16 81mm Mortar
    The United Kingdom's L16 81 mm mortar is the standard mortar used by the British armed forces. It originated as a joint design by UK and Canada. The version produced and used by Australia is named the F2 81mm Mortar, whilst the version used by the U.S...

  • Information Systems
  • Landing Craft
    Landing craft of the Royal Marines
    The landing craft of the Royal Marines consist of a varied fleet of transport craft maintained by the Royal Navy and designed to transport the Royal Marines from ship to shore as well as conduct river or estuary patrols. The craft are generally classified according to their role...

     Coxswain
    Coxswain
    The coxswain is the person in charge of a boat, particularly its navigation and steering. The etymology of the word gives us a literal meaning of "boat servant" since it comes from cox, a coxboat or other small vessel kept aboard a ship, and swain, which can be rendered as boy, in authority. ...

  • Medical Assistant
  • Metalsmith
  • Military Police
  • Mountain Leader
    Mountain Leader Training Cadre
    The Mountain Leader Training Cadre is a training element of the British Royal Marines which provides instruction in Mountain Warfare, Arctic warfare, cold weather survival and operations, and cliff assault...

  • Platoon Weapons Instructor
  • Physical Training Instructor
    Physical Training Instructor
    Physical Training Instructor is a term used primarily in the British Armed Forces and British police, as well as some other Commonwealth countries, for an instructor in physical fitness.-United Kingdom:...

     (PTI)
  • Reconnaissance Operator
  • Signaller
    Bowman (communications system)
    Bowman is the name of the tactical communications system used by the British Armed Forces.The Bowman C4I system consists of a range of HF radio, VHF radio and UHF radio sets designed to provide secure integrated voice, data services to dismounted soldiers, individual vehicles and command HQs up to...

  • Swimmer Canoeist
    Special Boat Service
    The Special Boat Service is the special forces unit of the British Royal Navy. Together with the Special Air Service, Special Reconnaissance Regiment and the Special Forces Support Group they form the United Kingdom Special Forces and come under joint control of the same Director Special...

  • Stores Accountant
  • Telecommunications Technician
    Technician
    A technician is a worker in a field of technology who is proficient in the relevant skills and techniques, with a relatively practical understanding of the theoretical principles. Experienced technicians in a specific tool domain typically have intermediate understanding of theory and expert...

     (Tels Tech)
  • Vehicle Mechanic
    Mechanic
    A mechanic is a craftsman or technician who uses tools to build or repair machinery.Many mechanics are specialized in a particular field such as auto mechanics, bicycle mechanics, motorcycle mechanics, boiler mechanics, general mechanics, industrial maintenance mechanics , air conditioning and...

     (VM)
  • Yeoman of Signals


Commando Officer specialisations
  • Heavy Weapons Officer
  • Intelligence Officer
  • Landing Craft Officer
  • Mountain Leader
  • Pilot
  • Physical Training and Sports Officer
  • Signals Officer
  • Special Boat Service Officer
  • Staff Officer
  • Weapons Training Officer
  • Platoon Weapons


Training for these specialisations may be undertaken at CTCRM or in a joint environment, such as the Defence School of Transport
Defence School of Transport
The Defence School of Transport is situated in Leconfield, East Riding of Yorkshire, England on a former RAF base . The site is now called Normandy Barracks.-History:...

 at Leconfield
Leconfield
Leconfield is a village and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It is situated approximately north west of Beverley town centre and lies on the A614 road....

, The School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (SEME) based at Bordon or the Defence College of Policing and Guarding.

Some marines are trained in military parachuting
Parachute
A parachute is a device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere by creating drag, or in the case of ram-air parachutes, aerodynamic lift. Parachutes are usually made out of light, strong cloth, originally silk, now most commonly nylon...

 to allow flexibility of insertion methods for all force elements. Marines complete this training at RAF Brize Norton
RAF Brize Norton
RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, about west north-west of London, is the largest station of the Royal Air Force. It is close to the settlements of Brize Norton, Carterton and Witney....

 but are not required to undergo Pre-Parachute Selection Course (P-Company)
P company
Pegasus Company is the rigorous training and selection organisation based at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, North Yorkshire. P Coy run the 'pre-parachute selection' courses for trainee Parachute Regiment soldiers and officers as well as an all-arms course for Regular and Territorial...

 training due to the arduous nature of the commando course they have already completed.

Current weapons and equipment

The Royal Marines operate a diverse range of vehicles, weapons and landing craft.

Weapons

  • L85A2
    SA80
    The SA80 is a British family of 5.56mm small arms. It is a selective fire, gas-operated assault rifle. SA80 prototypes were trialled in 1976 and production was completed in 1994....

     Rifle - 5.56 x 45 mm
    5.56 x 45 mm NATO
    5.56×45mm NATO is a rifle cartridge developed in the United States and originally chambered in the M16 rifle. Under STANAG 4172, it is a standard cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries. It is derived from, but not identical to, the .223 Remington cartridge...

     (Individual Weapon)
  • L110A1
    FN Minimi
    The Minimi is a Belgian 5.56mm light machine gun developed by Fabrique Nationale in Herstal by Ernest Vervier. First introduced in 1974, it has entered service with the armed forces of over thirty countries...

     Light Machine Gun 5.56 x 45 mm
    5.56 x 45 mm NATO
    5.56×45mm NATO is a rifle cartridge developed in the United States and originally chambered in the M16 rifle. Under STANAG 4172, it is a standard cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries. It is derived from, but not identical to, the .223 Remington cartridge...

     belt or magazine.
  • L115A3 Sniper Rifle
    Sniper rifle
    In military and law enforcement terminology, a sniper rifle is a precision-rifle used to ensure more accurate placement of bullets at longer ranges than other small arms. A typical sniper rifle is built for optimal levels of accuracy, fitted with a telescopic sight and chambered for a military...

     - .338 Lapua Magnum Accuracy International
    Accuracy International AWM
    The AWM is a sniper rifle manufactured by Accuracy International. It is also known as the AWSM , which typically denotes the .338 Lapua Magnum version.-The Arctic Warfare Magnum system:...

     bolt-action sniper rifle
  • L7A2 GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun) - the FN MAG
    FN MAG
    The FN MAG is a Belgian 7.62 mm general-purpose machine gun, designed in the early 1950s at Fabrique Nationale by Ernest Vervier. It has been used by more than 80 countries, and it has been made under licence in countries such as Argentina, Egypt, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the...

     7.62 x 51 mm belt-fed machine gun.
  • L1A1 Heavy Machine Gun .50 inch (12.7 mm) BMG (Browning Machine gun)
    .50 BMG
    The .50 Browning Machine Gun or 12.7×99mm NATO is a cartridge developed for the Browning .50 caliber machine gun in the late 1910s. Entering service officially in 1921, the round is based on a greatly scaled-up .30-06 cartridge...

  • Javelin Anti-Tank missile
    FGM-148 Javelin
    The FGM-148 Javelin is a United States-made man-portable third generation anti-tank missile fielded to replace the Dragon antitank missile.-Overview:Javelin is a fire-and-forget missile with lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance...

  • L16A2 81 mm Mortar (High Explosive, Smoke and Illuminating ammunition)
  • L107A1 - 9 x 19 mm Parabellum
    9 mm Luger Parabellum
    The 9×19mm Parabellum cartridge was designed by Georg Luger and introduced in 1902 by the German weapons manufacturer Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken for their Luger semi-automatic pistol...

     semi-automatic pistol
  • L17A2 UGL (Under-slung Grenade Launcher)
    Under-slung Grenade Launcher
    - Examples : M203 AG36 GP-25/30 wz. 1974 GL1/ M320...

     - Attachment to L85A2
  • Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife
    Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife
    The Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife is a double-edged fighting knife resembling a dagger or poignard with a foil grip developed by William Ewart Fairbairn and Eric Anthony Sykes in Shanghai based on concepts which the two men initiated before World War II while serving on the Shanghai Municipal...


Vehicles

  • Viking BvS 10
    BvS 10
    The BvS 10 is an All Terrain Armoured Vehicle produced by BAE Systems Land Systems Hagglunds of Sweden. This vehicle, referred to as the All Terrain Vehicle - ATV or VIKING by the UK forces, was originally developed as a collaboration between industry - Hägglunds Vehicle AB - and the UK Ministry...

     All Terrain Armoured Vehicles
  • Land Rover Wolf
    Land Rover Wolf
    The Land Rover Wolf is a military utility vehicle in service with UK Armed Forces and the Dutch Marine Corps. The vehicle is famous for being the primary utility vehicle of the British Army....

  • Jackal (MWMIK)
  • Pinzgauer
    Pinzgauer High Mobility All-Terrain Vehicle
    The Pinzgauer is a family of high-mobility all-terrain 4WD and 6WD military utility vehicles. They were manufactured in Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom, by BAE Systems Land & Armaments. The vehicle was originally developed in the late 1960s by Steyr-Daimler-Puch of Graz, Austria, and was named...

     High Mobility All-Terrain Vehicle

Traditions and insignia

The Royal Marines have a proud history and unique traditions. Their colours (flags) do not carry individual battle honours in the manner of the regiments of the British Army but rather the "globe itself" as the symbol of the Corps.

The badge of the Royal Marines is designed to commemorate the history of the Corps. The Lion and Crown denotes a Royal regiment. King George III
George III of the United Kingdom
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death...

 conferred this honour in 1802 "in consideration of the very meritorious services of the Marines in the late war."

The "Great Globe itself" surrounded by laurels was chosen by King George IV
George IV of the United Kingdom
George IV was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also of Hanover from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later...

 as a symbol of the Marines' successes in every quarter of the world. The laurels are believed to honour the gallantry they displayed during the investment and capture of Belle Isle
Capture of Belle Île
The Capture of Belle Île was a British amphibious expedition to capture the French island of Belle Île off the Brittany Coast in 1761, during the Seven Years War. After an initial British attack was repulsed, a second attempt under General Studholme Hodgson forced a beachhead...

, off Lorient
Lorient
Lorient, or L'Orient, is a commune and a seaport in the Morbihan department in Brittany in north-western France.-History:At the beginning of the 17th century, merchants who were trading with India had established warehouses in Port-Louis...

, in April–June 1761.

The word Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

refers to the Siege of Gibraltar
Capture of Gibraltar
The Capture of Gibraltar by the Anglo-Dutch forces of the Grand Alliance occurred between 1–3 August 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. Since the beginning of the war the Allies had been looking for a harbour in the Iberian Peninsula to control the Strait of Gibraltar and facilitate...

 in 1704. It was awarded in 1827 by George IV as a special distinction for the services of four of the old Army Marine regiments (Queen's Own Marines, 1st Marines, 2nd Marines, 3rd Marines). All other honours gained by the Royal Marines are represented by the "Great Globe". As a consequence, there are no battle honours displayed on the colours
Colours, standards and guidons
In military organizations, the practice of carrying colours, standards or Guidons, both to act as a rallying point for troops and to mark the location of the commander, is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt some 5,000 years ago...

 of the four battalion-sized units in the corps.

When referring to individual Commandos: 45 Commando is referred to as "four-five" rather than "forty-five commando" as is 42 Commando, 40 Commando is "forty".

The only units which carry colours are 40 Commando, 42 Commando, 45 Commando, and the Fleet Protection Group (which is the custodian of the colours of 43 Commando).

The fouled anchor, incorporated into the emblem in 1747, is the badge of the Lord High Admiral
Admiralty
The Admiralty was formerly the authority in the Kingdom of England, and later in the United Kingdom, responsible for the command of the Royal Navy...

 and shows that the Corps is part of the Naval Service.

Per Mare Per Terram ("By Sea By Land"), the motto of the Marines, is believed to have been used for the first time in 1775.

The regimental quick march of the Corps is "A Life on the Ocean Wave
A Life on the Ocean Wave
"A Life on the Ocean Wave" is a song by Henry Russell published in 1838. The song originated from the poet Epes Sargent. One day he and Russell were walking on The Battery in New York City watching the ships enter the harbour. This scene inspired Sargent to write a poem, which Russell then put to...

", while the slow march is the march of the Preobrazhensky Regiment
Preobrazhensky regiment
The Preobrazhensky Regiment was one of the oldest and elite regiments of the Russian army. Along with the Semenovsky regiment also served as a gendarmie unit for the state Secret Chancellery in the 18th century, headed by the Prince Fyodor Romodanovsky.It was formed by Peter the Great in the late...

, awarded to the Corps by Admiral of the Fleet Earl Mountbatten of Burma on the occasion of the Corps's tercentenary in 1964. Lord Mountbatten was Life Colonel Commandant of the Royal Marines until his murder by the IRA in 1979.

Dress headgear is a white Wolseley pattern pith helmet
Pith helmet
The pith helmet is a lightweight cloth-covered helmet made of cork or pith...

 surmounted by a ball, a distinction once standard for artillerymen. This derives from the part of the Corps that was once the Royal Marine Artillery.

The Royal Marines are one of six regiments allowed by the Lord Mayor of the City of London to march through the City
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 as a regiment in full array. This dates to the charter of Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 that allowed recruiting parties of the Admiral's Regiment of 1664 to enter the City with drums beating and colours flying.

Their nickname "Bootneck" derives its origins from the leather 'stock' worn round the neck inside the collar by soldiers (cf. Leatherneck
Leatherneck
Leatherneck is a military slang term for a member of the United States Marine Corps. Now accepted by Webster as a synonym for Marine, the term "Leatherneck" was derived from a leather stock once worn around the neck by both American and British Marines—and soldiers also. Beginning in 1798, "one...

).

Uniforms

For historical information regarding Marine uniforms, see History of the Royal Marines
History of the Royal Marines
The Corps of Royal Marines, the infantry land fighting element of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy, was formed as part of the Naval Service in 1755. However, it can trace its origins back as far as 1664, when English soldiers first went to sea to fight the Dutch....

.

The modern Royal Marines retain a number of distinctive uniform items. These include the green "Lovat" service dress worn with the green beret
Green beret
The green beret was the official headdress of the British Commandos of World War II. It is still worn with pride by members of the Royal Marines after passing the Commando Course and any member of the British Military who has passed the All Arms Commando Course.There are certain other military...

, the dark blue parade dress worn with either the white Wolseley pattern helmet or white and red peaked cap, the scarlet and blue mess dress
Mess dress
Mess dress is the military term for the formal evening dress worn in the mess or at other formal occasions. It is also known as mess uniform and mess kit...

 for officers and senior non-commissioned officers and the white hot-weather uniform of the Band Service.

Order of precedence

As the descendant of the old Marine Regiments of the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

, the Royal Marines used to have a position in the order of precedence
British Army Order of Precedence
The regular army of the British Army is listed according to an order of precedence for the purposes of parading. This is the order in which the various corps of the army parade, from right to left, with the unit at the extreme right being highest. Under ordinary circumstances, the Household Cavalry...

 of the Infantry; this was after the 49th Regiment of Foot, the final lineal descendant of which was the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment
Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment
The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire was an infantry regiment of the British Army.It was formed in 1994 by the amalgamation of two English regiments.*The Gloucestershire Regiment...

. Therefore, the Royal Marines would have paraded after the RGBW. This is because the 49th Foot was the last Regiment raised prior to the formation of the Corps of Marines as part of the Royal Navy in 1755. In 2007, the RGBW was amalgamated into a large Regiment—this new Regiment is placed last in the order of precedence, as it is a regiment of rifles. However as a result of the new Army amalgamations the Royal Marines have now been removed from the Infantry order of precedence and will now always take post, as a constituent part of the Naval Service, at the head of the parade alongside the Navy, or alone if the Navy are not represented. Thus, if only the infantry is represented, the Royal Marines would parade before the Grenadier Guards
Grenadier Guards
The Grenadier Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards...

, the senior infantry regiment in the Army.

Affiliations

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland is an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland....



Early connections date from Balaclava in the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

 and Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny, but the main association stems from World War II. In July 1940, after the fall of Dunkirk, the 5th Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders served with the Royal Marine Brigade for over a year. When HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse were sunk in December 1941, the Royal Marines survivors joined up with the remnants of the 2nd Battalion, in the defence of Singapore. They formed what became known as 'The Plymouth Argylls', after the association football team, since both ships were Plymouth manned. Most of the Highlanders and Marines who survived the bitter fighting were taken prisoner by the Japanese. The Royal Marines inter-unit rugby football trophy is the 'Argyll Bowl', presented to the Corps by the Regiment in 1941. A message of greetings is sent to the Regiment each year on their Regimental Day, 25 October, the anniversary of the Battle of Balaclava in 1854.

Alliances

: Royal New South Wales Regiment
Royal New South Wales Regiment
The Royal New South Wales Regiment is a reserve infantry regiment of the Australian Army based in the state of New South Wales. The regiment consists of four battalions:-Organisation:*1st/19th Battalion*2nd/17th Battalion*4th/3rd Battalion...

 - (British Commonwealth): 1st Commando Regiment
1st Commando Regiment
1st Commando Regiment is a reserve commando regiment of the Australian Army with a contingent of full-time cadre staff. It is part of the Australian Special Operations Command .-Organisation:...

 - (British Commonwealth): Barbados Defence Force
Barbados Defence Force
The Barbados Defence Force is the name given to the combined armed forces of Barbados. The BDF was established August 15, 1979, and has responsibility for the territorial defence and internal security of the island. The headquarters for the Barbados Defence Force are located in the St...

 - (British Commonwealth): Falkland Islands Defence Force
Falkland Islands Defence Force
The Falkland Islands Defence Force is the locally maintained volunteer defence unit in the Falkland Islands. The FIDF works alongside the military units supplied by the United Kingdom to ensure the security of the islands.-History:...

- (British Overseas Territory - British Overseas Territories
British overseas territories
The British Overseas Territories are fourteen territories of the United Kingdom which, although they do not form part of the United Kingdom itself, fall under its jurisdiction. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not acquired independence or have voted to remain British territories...

): Special Service Group
Grup Gerak Khas
The Grup Gerak Khas is a special forces regiment of the Malaysian Army which conducts special operations missions for the Malaysian government, such as direct action, unconventional warfare, sabotage, counter-terrorism, and intelligence gathering...

 (Bond of Friendship, early formation with 40 Commando
40 Commando
40 Commando RM is a battalion sized formation of the British Royal Marines and subordinate unit within 3 Commando Brigade, the principal Commando formation, under the Operational Command of Commander in Chief Fleet....

 and Special Air Service
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

) and Special Naval Warfare Forces
PASKAL
The Royal Malaysian Navy PASukan Khas Laut , commonly known as the PASKAL compose the Special Operations Forces of the Royal Malaysian Navy, employed in direct action and special reconnaissance operations...

 (Bond of Friendship, early formation with Royal Marines and US Navy SEALs
United States Navy SEALs
The United States Navy's Sea, Air and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command as well as the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command.The acronym is derived from their...

): Korps Mariniers
Netherlands Marine Corps
The Korps Mariniers is the marine corps and amphibious infantry component of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The marines are trained to operate anywhere in the world in all environments, under any condition and circumstance, as a rapid reaction force. The Korps Mariniers can be deployed to a given...

 (Bond of Friendship): United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 (Bond of Friendship)

See also

  • Royal Marines Reserve
    Royal Marines Reserve
    The role of the Royal Marines Reserve of the United Kingdom is to support the regular Royal Marines in times of war or national crisis. The RMR consists of some 600-1000 trained ranks distributed among the five RMR Centres within the UK...

  • Royal Marines Museum
    Royal Marines Museum
    The Royal Marines Museum is located in Eastney , England, and is open to the public every day of the week throughout the year apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day...

  • Achnacarry
    Achnacarry
    Achnacarry is a small hamlet, private estate, and a castle in the Lochaber region of Highland, Scotland. It occupies a strategic position on an isthmus between Loch Lochy to the east, and Loch Arkaig to the west....

  • Royal Marines Volunteer Cadet Corps

:Category:Royal Marines personnel and its subcategories, for people who have served in the corps

External links

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