Marines Commando

Job Description:

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

Job Category:
Aerospace & Defence

What you will do:

Depending on your specialism, you could:

  • plan and lead beach assaults
  • oversee radio communications
  • be in charge of weapons deployment and tactics
  • advise on the use of small arms and train snipers
  • carry out special missions
  • lead and instruct commando troops in mountain exercises
  • collect, co-ordinate and interpret intelligence reports
  • fly aircraft and helicopters
  • develop and supervise training
  • deal with administration, planning and logistics


You’ll need:

  • concentration skills and quick reactions
  • thinking and reasoning skills for making quick decisions
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • physical fitness and endurance
  • persistence and determination
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • active listening skills and the ability to work in a team (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Marines Commando in the Armed Forces, you’ll need to meet certain educational and physical fitness requirements. While there are no specific GCSE (or equivalent) subjects required, strong academic qualifications can enhance your application and provide you with valuable skills. Here are some recommended subjects and other considerations:

  1. Physical Fitness: Physical fitness is paramount for Marines Commandos. Prepare by participating in sports, physical education classes, and fitness training. Consider joining local sports clubs or organisations to build your fitness and endurance.
  2. Mathematics and English: While there are no specific subjects required, good grades in mathematics and English can enhance your overall application. Effective communication and problem-solving skills are essential in military roles.
  3. Science: Some knowledge of science, particularly biology and physics, can be helpful for understanding physical fitness and equipment use in the military.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • volunteering
  • applying directly to the Navy


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

Direct Application

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

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

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

You will complete an Apprenticeship during recruit training.

You may take other qualifications depending on which specialism you choose to follow.

Career tips

You will need to pass physical fitness assessment, including swimming, in order to be accepted.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of variable hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends/bank holidays away from home.

You could work in a warzone, at a military base or on a ship. Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and outdoors in all weathers. You may need to wear a uniform and protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

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

You could go into a wide range of careers after leaving the marines.