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Careers / Royal Marines / Joining process

Initial training

Intense and highly challenging, demanding your peak physical fitness

What is it?

One of the longest and most arduous programmes in the world. You’ll need to be in the best condition of your life to make it through.

Once you’ve passed all aspects of the recruiting process, including a security check, you’ll then be given a date to commence Initial Training at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM), Lympstone. Your AFCO will buy your train ticket to help you get there, provide some joining instructions and tell you what kit you need.

If successful through the entire course, you’ll spend 32 weeks at CTCRM and learn the skills you need to become an elite amphibious soldier. The course is made up of four sections: Individual Skills (weeks 1 to 10), Team and Section Skills (weeks 11 to 15), Troop and Urban Skills with Skills Consolidation and Test Exercise (weeks 16 to 23) and the Commando Phase (weeks 24 to 32).


What will I do?

If you‘re to succeed gaining your place as a Royal Marines Commando, you will complete:

Individual Skills (weeks 1 to 10):

  • Physical Training (PT) gym work and swimming sessions 
  • Drill
  • Weapon handling
  • Map reading and navigation
  • Fieldcraft
  • Live firing
  • Marksmanship training

Team and Section Skills (weeks 11 to 15):

  • Reconnaissance and Surveillance (RS)
  • Small team tactics 
  • Tactical navigation and signals training 
  • Medic training 
  • Section tactics 
  • Continued PT and swimming sessions

Troop and Urban Skills, with Skills Consolidation and Test Exercise (weeks 16 to 23):

  • General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) 
  • Pistol handling and live firing 
  • Troop tactics 
  • Tactical night navigation 
  • Royal Marines close combat training 
  • Close quarter battle 
  • Strike Operations (Strike Ops)

Commando Phase (weeks 24 to 32):

  • Live firing tactical training - at section and troop level 
  • Day and night manoeuvre training 
  • Amphibious foundation training 
  • Final exercise 
  • Commando tests 
  • King Squad pass out

Where is it?

The Commando Training Centre, also known as CTCRM, is the principal training centre for the Royal Marines.

Based at Lympstone in Devon CTCRM selects and trains all Royal Marines Officers, recruits and reserves.

CTCRM is unique in that it also provides all Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) command training as well as training 70% of all Royal Marines specialists. On average, 1,300 recruits, 2,000 potential recruits and 400 potential officers attend training courses and acquaint courses at CTCRM every year. In addition the Training Wings run upwards of 320 courses a year for a further 2,000 students.


Exmouth Road, Lympstone, Exmouth EX8 5AR

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