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The Corps of Royal Marines (RM) is an
amphibious Amphibious means able to use either land or water. In particular it may refer to: * ''Amphibious'' (film), a 2010 film * Amphibious aircraft An amphibious aircraft or amphibian is an aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fl ...
light infantry Light infantry is a designation applied to certain types of foot soldiers () throughout history, typically having lighter equipment or or a more mobile or fluid function than other types of infantry, such as or . Historically, light infantry ...
and also one of the five fighting arms of the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were foug ...
. The marines can trace their origins back to the formation of the
English Army The E ...
's "Duke of York and Albany's maritime regiment of Foot" at the grounds of the
Honourable Artillery Company The Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) was incorporated by royal charter in 1537 by King Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The King ...
on 28 October 1664. As a highly specialised and adaptable elite light infantry force, the Royal Marines are trained for rapid deployment worldwide and capable of dealing with a wide range of threats. The Royal Marines are organised into a light infantry brigade ( 3 Commando Brigade) and a number of separate units, including
47 Commando (Raiding Group) Royal Marines 47 Commando (Raiding Group) Royal Marines, formerly 1 Assault Group Royal Marines (2001-2019), provides the Royal Marines The Corps of Royal Marines (RM) is an amphibious warfare, amphibious light infantry and also one of the :Fighting Arms of ...
, and a company strength commitment to the Special Forces Support Group. The Corps operates in all environments and climates, though particular expertise and training is spent on
amphibious warfare Amphibious warfare is a type of offensive Offensive may refer to: * Offensive, the former name of the Dutch political party Socialist Alternative (Netherlands), Socialist Alternative * Offensive (military), an attack * Offensive language ** Fi ...
,
arctic warfare Cold-weather warfare, also known as Arctic warfare or winter warfare, encompasses military operations affected by snow, ice, thawing conditions or cold, both on land and at sea. Cold-weather conditions occur year-round at high elevation or at h ...
,
mountain warfare Mountain warfare refers to warfare in the mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, ...
,
expeditionary warfare Expeditionary warfare is a military invasion of a foreign territory, especially away from established bases. Expeditionary forces were in part the antecedent of the modern concept of rapid deployment forces. Traditionally, expeditionary forces we ...
, and its commitment to the UK's
Rapid Reaction A rapid reaction force is a military or police unit designed to respond in very short time frames to emergencies. When used in reference to police forces such as SWAT, SWAT teams, the time frame is minutes, while in military applications, such as wi ...
Forces. Throughout its history, the Royal Marines have seen action in a number of major wars often fighting beside the
British Army The British Army is the principal of the , a part of the . , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,020 personnel. The modern British Army traces back to 1707, with an antecedent in the that was created duri ...
 – including the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest c ...
, the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major global conflicts pitting the French Empire#REDIRECT French Empire {{Redirect shell , {{R from ambiguous page {{R from other capitalisation ... and its allies, led by Napoleon I ...
, the
Crimean War The Crimean War, , was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. ...
,
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
and
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
. In recent times the Corps has been largely deployed in expeditionary warfare roles such as the
Falklands War The Falklands War ( es , link=no, Guerra de las Malvinas) was a ten-week undeclared war An undeclared war is military conflict War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or para ...
, the
Gulf War The Gulf War was a war waged by Coalition of the Gulf War, coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States against Ba'athist Iraq, Iraq in response to Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait, invasion and annexation of Kuwait arising from oil pr ...
, the
Bosnian War The Bosnian War ( sh, Rat u Bosni i Hercegovini / Рат у Босни и Херцеговини) was an international armed conflict War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or ...
, the
Kosovo War The Kosovo War was an armed conflict in Kosovo Kosovo, or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово officially the Republic of Kosovo,; sr, / is a international recognition of Kosovo, partially recognised state in Southeast Europe. It lies at ...
, the
Sierra Leone Civil War The Sierra Leone Civil War (1991–2002) was a civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same state or country A country is a distinct territory, territo ...
, the
Iraq War The Iraq WarThe conflict is also known as the Second Gulf War or the Third Gulf War by those who consider the Iran–Iraq War the first Gulf War. The war was also called the Second Iraq War referring to the Gulf War as the first Iraq war. The p ...
and the
War in Afghanistan War in Afghanistan, Afghan war, or Afghan civil war may refer to: * Conquest of Afghanistan by Alexander the Great (330 BC – 327 BC) *Muslim conquests of Afghanistan The Muslim conquests of Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari languag ...
. The Royal Marines have close international ties with allied marine forces, particularly the
United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the of the responsible for conducting and through , implementing its own , , , and forces. The U.S. Marine Corps is one of the eight . The Marine ...
and the
Netherlands Marine Corps The Netherlands Marine Corps ( nl, Korps Mariniers) is the elite naval infantry corps of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The marines trace their origins back to the establishment of the on 10 December 1665, by the then grand pensionary of the Dutch ...
( nl, Korps Mariniers, links=no).Royal Marines Train In Californian Desert
, mod.uk
Royal Netherlands Marine Corps
, royalnavy.mod.uk
Today, the Royal Marines are an elite fighting force within the British Armed Forces, having undergone many substantial changes over time.


History

The Royal Marines traces its origins back to 28 October 1664 when at the grounds of the
Honourable Artillery Company The Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) was incorporated by royal charter in 1537 by King Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The King ...
"the Duke of York and Albany's maritime regiment of foot" was formed.


Early British Empire

On 5 April 1755, ''His Majesty's Marine Forces'', fifty Companies in three Divisions, headquartered at Chatham,
Portsmouth Portsmouth ( ) is a and island with status in the of , southern . It is the most densely populated city in the , with a population last recorded at 238,800. The city forms part of the , which also incorporates , , , , , and . Located mainly ...

Portsmouth
, and
Plymouth Plymouth () is a port and in . It is located on the south coast of , approximately south-west of and south-west of . It is bordered by to the west and south-west. Plymouth's early history extends to the when a first settlement emerged ...

Plymouth
, were formed by Order of Council under
Admiralty Admiralty usually refers to: * Admiralty (United Kingdom), military department in command of the Royal Navy from 1707 to 1964 *The rank of admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank ...
control. Initially Marine
field officer A field officer, field-grade officer, or senior officer is an Army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the br ...
ranks were honorary
sinecure A sinecure ( or ; from Latin ''sine'' 'without' and ''cura'' 'care') is an office, carrying a salary or otherwise generating income, that requires or involves little or no responsibility, labour, or active service. The term originated in the medi ...
positions awarded to senior Royal Navy officers. This meant that the furthest a Marine officer could advance was to lieutenant colonel. It was not until 1771 that the first Marine was promoted to colonel. This attitude persisted well into the 1800s. During the rest of the 18th century, they served in numerous landings all over the world, the most famous being the landing at Belle Île on the
Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo language, Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula and cultural region in the west of France, covering the western part of what was known as Armorica during the period of Roman occup ...
coast in 1761. They also served in the
American War of Independence The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from thirteen American colonies of British America British America comprised the colonia ...
, notably in the
Battle of Bunker Hill The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought on June 17, 1775, during the Siege of Boston The siege of Boston (April 19, 1775 – March 17, 1776) was the opening phase of the American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775 ...
led by Major
John Pitcairn Major Major is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world. Background When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicators, major is one rank s ...

John Pitcairn
. In 1788 a detachment of four companies of marines, under Major
Robert RossRobert Ross may refer to: Academia * Robert Ross (entrepreneur) (1918–2011), founder of Ross University * Robert J. S. Ross (born 1943), American professor of sociology and activist * Robert S. Ross (born 1954), American professor of political sc ...
, accompanied the
First Fleet The First Fleet was a fleet of 11 ships A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying goods or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, r ...
to protect a new colony at
Botany Bay Botany Bay (: ''Kamay''), an open ic embayment, is located in , , , south of the . Its source is the of the at and the at , which flows to the east before meeting its at the , midpoint between the suburbs of and . The northern headland ...
(
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
). Due to an error the Fleet left Portsmouth without its main supply of ammunition, and were not resupplied until the Fleet docked in Rio de Janeiro midway through the voyage. Scholars such as Christopher Warren and Seth Carus argue that the Marines deliberately spread smallpox among Australia's indigenous population in order to protect the settlement and respond to an overwhelming strategic threat. This incident does not appear in contemporaneous Marine or government records. Major Ross lost his papers during the shipwreck of . Some researchers associate the indigenous smallpox outbreak with other causes. In 1802, largely at the instigation of Admiral the
Earl St VincentImage:Johnjervis.jpg, The Earl of St Vincent Viscount St Vincent, of Meaford, Staffordshire, Meaford in the County of Stafford, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 27 April 1801 for the noted naval commander John Jervis ...
, they were titled the ''Royal Marines'' by
King George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the ...

King George III
. The ''Royal Marines Artillery'' (RMA) was formed as a separate unit in 1804 to man the artillery in
bomb ketch A bomb vessel, bomb ship, bomb ketch, or simply bomb was a type of wooden sailing naval ship. Its primary armament was not cannons (Naval long gun, long guns or carronades) – although bomb vessels carried a few cannons for self-defence – but M ...
es. These had been manned by the Army's
Royal Regiment of Artillery The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery (RA) and colloquially known as "The Gunners", is the artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far be ...
, but a lawsuit by a Royal Artillery officer resulted in a court decision that Army officers were not subject to Naval orders. As RMA uniforms were the blue of the Royal Regiment of Artillery they were nicknamed the "Blue Marines" and the infantry element, who wore the scarlet uniforms of the British infantry, became known as the "Red Marines", often given the semi-derogatory nickname "Lobsters" by sailors. A fourth division of the Royal Marines, headquartered at
Woolwich Woolwich () is a district in southeast The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydros ...
, was formed in 1805. During the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major global conflicts pitting the French Empire#REDIRECT French Empire {{Redirect shell , {{R from ambiguous page {{R from other capitalisation ... and its allies, led by Napoleon I ...
the Royal Marines participated in every notable naval battle on board the Royal Navy's ships and also took part in multiple amphibious actions. Marines had a dual function aboard ships of the Royal Navy in this period; routinely, they ensured the security of the ship's officers and supported their maintenance of discipline in the ship's crew, and in battle, they engaged the enemy's crews, whether firing from positions on their own ship, or fighting in boarding actions. In the Caribbean theatre volunteers from freed French slaves on
Marie-Galante Marie-Galante ( gcf, label=Antillean Creole, Mawigalant) is one of the islands that form Guadeloupe, an overseas department of France. Marie-Galante has a land area of . It had 11,528 inhabitants at the start of 2013, but by the start of 2018 the ...

Marie-Galante
were used to form 's first
Corps of Colonial Marines #REDIRECT Corps of Colonial Marines The Corps of Colonial Marines were two different British Marine (military), Marine units raised from former black people, black slavery, slaves for service in the Americas, at the behest of Alexander Cochran ...
. These men bolstered the ranks, helping the British to hold the island until reinforcements arrived. This practice was repeated during the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It ...
, where escaped American slaves were formed into 's second
Corps of Colonial Marines #REDIRECT Corps of Colonial Marines The Corps of Colonial Marines were two different British Marine (military), Marine units raised from former black people, black slavery, slaves for service in the Americas, at the behest of Alexander Cochran ...
. These men were commanded by Royal Marines officers and fought alongside their regular Royal Marines counterparts at the
Battle of Bladensburg The Battle of Bladensburg was a battle of the Chesapeake campaign of the War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the and its against and its allies in , with limited participation by in ...
. Throughout the war Royal Marines units raided up and down the east coast of America including up the
Penobscot River , Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast; and the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian provinces of New Brunsw ...
and in the
Chesapeake Bay The Chesapeake Bay ( ) is the largest in the United States. The Bay is located in the and is primarily separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the (including the parts: the / and the state of ) with its mouth of the Bay at the south end located ...
. They fought in the
Battle of New Orleans The Battle of New Orleans was fought on January 8, 1815 between the British Army under Major General Sir Edward Pakenham and the United States Army under Brevet Major General Andrew Jackson, roughly 5 miles (8 km) southeast of the French ...

Battle of New Orleans
and later helped capture
Fort Bowyer Fort Bowyer was a short-lived earthen and stockade A stockade is an enclosure of palisade A palisade, sometimes called a stakewall or a paling, is typically a fence or defensive wall A defensive wall is a fortification usually used to pr ...
in Mobile Bay in what was the last action of the war. In 1855 the infantry forces were renamed the ''Royal Marines Light Infantry'' (RMLI). During the
Crimean War The Crimean War, , was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. ...
in 1854 and 1855, three Royal Marines earned the
Victoria Cross The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award of the Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom, British honours system. It is awarded for valour "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed For ...

Victoria Cross
, two in the Crimea and one in the
Baltic Baltic may refer to: Geography Northern Europe * Baltic Sea, a sea in Europe * Baltic region, an ambiguous term referring to the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea * Baltic states (also Baltics, Baltic nations, Baltic countries or Baltic rep ...

Baltic
. In 1862 the name was slightly altered to ''Royal Marine Light Infantry''. The Royal Navy did not fight any other ships after 1850 and became interested in landings by Naval Brigades. In these Naval Brigades, the function of the Royal Marines was to land first and act as skirmishers ahead of the sailor infantry and artillery. This skirmishing was the traditional function of
light infantry Light infantry is a designation applied to certain types of foot soldiers () throughout history, typically having lighter equipment or or a more mobile or fluid function than other types of infantry, such as or . Historically, light infantry ...
. For most of their history, British Marines had been organised as
fusilier Fusilier is a name given to various kinds of soldier A soldier is one who fights as part of a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare ...
s. In the rest of the 19th Century the Royal Marines served in many landings especially in the
First First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill ...
and
Second Opium War The Second Opium War (), also known as the Second Anglo-Chinese War, the Second China War, the Arrow War, or the Anglo-French expedition to China, was a war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A gov ...
s (1839–1842 and 1856–1860) against the Chinese. These were all successful except for the landing at the Mouth of the
Peiho The Hai River (海河, lit. "Sea River"), also Also or ALSO may refer to: *Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO) is a program that was developed by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). This ...
in 1859, where Admiral Sir James Hope ordered a landing across extensive mud flats. The Royal Marines also played a prominent role in the
Boxer Rebellion The Boxer Rebellion, Boxer Uprising or Yihetuan Movement, was an armed and violent , , and insurrection in China between 1899 and 1901, towards the end of the . It was initiated by the Militia United in Righteousness (''Yìhéquán''), kno ...

Boxer Rebellion
in China (1900), where a Royal Marine earned a
Victoria Cross The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award of the Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom, British honours system. It is awarded for valour "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed For ...

Victoria Cross
.


Status and roles

Through much of the 18th and 19th centuries Marine officers had a lower standing status than their counterparts in the Royal Navy. A short-lived effort was made in 1907, through the common entry or " Selborne scheme", to reduce the professional differences between RN and RM officers through a system of common entry that provided for an initial period of shared training. By the early twentieth century the Royal Marines had achieved a high professional status, although there was a serious shortage of junior officers. Numbering about 15,000 during the Edwardian era, enlistment for other ranks was for at least 12 years, with entitlement to a pension after 21 years of service. After basic training new recruits were assigned to one of three land-based divisions and from there to warships as vacancies arose. From 1908 onwards one gun turret on each battleship was manned by RMA gunners. The RMLI continued their traditional role of providing landing parties and shore-based detachments. Specialist positions on board ship, such as postmen, barbers, lamp trimmers and butchers, were reserved for Royal Marines. After 1903 the Royal Marines provided bands for service on board battleships and other large vessels.


World wars


First World War

During the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...
, in addition to their usual stations aboard ship, Royal Marines were part of the
Royal Naval Division The 63rd (Royal Naval) Division was a United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for ...
which landed in
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
in 1914 to help defend
Antwerp Antwerp (; nl, Antwerpen ; french: Anvers ) is a city in Belgium and the capital of Antwerp (province), Antwerp province in the Flemish Region. With a population of 520,504,
Antwerp
and later took part in the in 1915. It also served on the
Western FrontWestern Front or West Front may refer to: Military frontiers *Western Front (World War I), a military frontier to the west of Germany *Western Front (World War II), a military frontier to the west of Germany *Western Front (Russian Empire), a major ...

Western Front
. The Division's first two commanders were Royal Marine Artillery Generals. Other Royal Marines acted as landing parties in the Naval campaign against the Turkish fortifications in the Dardanelles before the Gallipoli landing. They were sent ashore to assess damage to Turkish fortifications after bombardment by British and French ships and, if necessary, to complete their destruction. The Royal Marines were the last to leave Gallipoli, replacing both British and French troops in a neatly planned and executed withdrawal from the beaches. The Royal Marines also took part in the
Zeebrugge Raid The Zeebrugge Raid ( nl, Aanval op de haven van Zeebrugge; ) on 23 April 1918, was an attempt by the Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the m ...

Zeebrugge Raid
in 1918. Five Royal Marines earned the Victoria Cross in the First World War, two at Zeebrugge, one at Gallipoli, one at Jutland and one on the Western Front.


Between the wars

After the war Royal Marines took part in the allied intervention in Russia. In 1919, the 6th Battalion RMLI mutinied and was disbanded at Murmansk. The Royal Marine Artillery (RMA) and Royal Marine Light Infantry (RMLI) were amalgamated on 22 June 1923. Post-war demobilisation had seen the Royal Marines reduced from 55,000 (1918) to 15,000 in 1922 and there was
Treasury A treasury is either *A government department Ministry or department, also less commonly used secretariat, office, or directorate are designations used by a first-level executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive ( ...

Treasury
pressure for a further reduction to 6,000 or even the entire disbandment of the Corps. As a compromise an establishment of 9,500 was settled upon but this meant that two separate branches could no longer be maintained. The abandonment of the Marine's artillery role meant that the Corps would subsequently have to rely on Royal Artillery support when ashore, that the title of Royal Marines would apply to the entire Corps and that only a few specialists would now receive gunnery training. As a form of consolation the dark blue and red uniform of the Royal Marine Artillery now became the full dress of the entire Corps. Royal Marine officers and SNCO's however continue to wear the historic scarlet in
mess dress Mess dress uniform is the most formal (or semi-formal wear, semi-formal, depending on the country) type of uniforms used by military personnel, Police officer, police personnel, and other uniformed services members. It frequently consists of a ...
to the present day. The ranks of
private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two decades from the charts. Both "In Pri ...
, used by the RMLI, and
gunner Gunner, the Gunner, Gunners or the Gunners may refer to: Places * Gunner Bay, Bermuda * Gunner River, New Zealand * Gunners Park and Shoebury Ranges, a nature reserve in Essex, England * Gunners Pond, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada * Mount Gunn ...
, used by the RMA, were abolished and replaced by the rank of Marine.


Second World War

During the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, a small party of Royal Marines were first ashore at Namsos in April 1940, seizing the approaches to the Norwegian town preparatory to a landing by the
British Army The British Army is the principal of the , a part of the . , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,020 personnel. The modern British Army traces back to 1707, with an antecedent in the that was created duri ...
two days later. The Royal Marines formed the Royal Marine Division as an amphibiously trained division, parts of which served at Dakar and in the capture of Madagascar. After the assault on the French naval base at Antsirane in Madagascar was held up, fifty Sea Service Royal Marines from commanded by Captain Martin Price were landed on the quay of the base by the destroyer after it ran the gauntlet of French shore batteries defending Diego Suarez Bay. They then captured two of the batteries, which led to a quick surrender by the French. In addition the Royal Marines formed Mobile Naval Base Defence Organisations (MNBDOs) similar to the
United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the of the responsible for conducting and through , implementing its own , , , and forces. The U.S. Marine Corps is one of the eight . The Marine ...
Defense Battalions. One of these took part in the . Royal Marines also served in Malaya and in
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...
, where due to losses they were joined with remnants of the 2nd Battalion of
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's) was a line infantry Line infantry was the type of infantry that composed the basis of European land armies from the late 17th century to the middle of the 19th century. Maurice of Nassa ...
at Tyersall Park to form the "Plymouth Argylls". The Royal Marines formed one Commando (A Commando) which served at
Dieppe Dieppe (; Norman language, Norman: ''Dgieppe'') is a coastal community in the Arrondissement of Dieppe in the Seine-Maritime Departments of France, department in the Normandy (French region), Normandy region of northern France. The population stoo ...
. One month after Dieppe, most of the 11th Royal Marine Battalion was killed or captured in an ill staged amphibious landing at Tobruk in
Operation Agreement Operation Agreement was a ground and amphibious operation carried out by British, Rhodesian and New Zealand forces on Axis-held Tobruk Tobruk or Tobruck ( grc, Αντίπυργος, Antipyrgus) (; ar, طبرق, Tubruq ''Ṭubruq''; also Transl ...
. Again, the Marines were involved with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, this time the 1st Battalion. In 1942 the Infantry Battalions of the Royal Marine Division were re-organised as
Commando Royal Marines from 40 Commando on patrol in the Sangin">40_Commando.html" ;"title="Royal Marines from 40 Commando">Royal Marines from 40 Commando on patrol in the Sangin area of Afghanistan are pictured A commando (etymologically derive ...

Commando
s, joining the British Army Commandos. The Division command structure became a
Special Service Brigade The Special Service Brigade was a formation of the British Army during the Second World War British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown ...
command. The support troops became
landing craft Landing craft are small and medium seagoing watercraft, such as boats and barges, used to convey a landing force (infantry and vehicles) from the sea to the shore during an Amphibious warfare, amphibious assault. The term excludes landing ships, wh ...

landing craft
crew and saw extensive action on
D-Day The Normandy landings were the landing operation Allied invasion of Sicily, 1943 A landing operation is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended fo ...

D-Day
in June 1944. A total of four Special Service Brigades (redesignated Commando brigades in December 1944 as the "SS" abbreviation was unpopular) were raised during the war, and Royal Marines were represented in all of them. A total of nine RM Commandos (
Battalion A battalion is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intend ...

Battalion
s) were raised during the war, numbered from 40 to 48. 1 Commando Brigade had just one RM Battalion, No 45 Commando. 2 Commando Brigade had two RM battalions, Nos 40 and 43 Commandos. 3 Commando Brigade also had two, Nos 42 and 44 Commandos. 4 Commando Brigade was entirely Royal Marine after March 1944, comprising Nos 41, 46, 47 and 48 Commandos. 1 Commando Brigade took part in first in the Tunisia Campaign and then assaults on Allied invasion of Sicily, Sicily and Normandy landings, Normandy, campaigns in the Rhineland and Operation Plunder, crossing the Rhine. 2 Commando Brigade was involved in the Salerno landings, Battle of Anzio, Anzio, Operation Roast, Comacchio, and operations in the Gothic Line#The Allied attack, Argenta Gap. 3 Commando Brigade served in Sicily and Burma Campaign 1944–45, Burma. 4 Commando Brigade served in the Operation Overlord, Battle of Normandy and in the Battle of the Scheldt on the island of Walcheren during the clearing of
Antwerp Antwerp (; nl, Antwerpen ; french: Anvers ) is a city in Belgium and the capital of Antwerp (province), Antwerp province in the Flemish Region. With a population of 520,504,
Antwerp
. In January 1945, two further RM Brigades were formed, 116th Brigade and 117th Brigade. Both were conventional Infantry, rather than in the Commando role. 116th Brigade saw some action in the Netherlands, but 117th Brigade was hardly used operationally. In addition one Landing Craft Assault (LCA) unit was stationed in Australia late in the war as a training unit. In 1946 the Army Commandos were disbanded, leaving the Royal Marines to continue the Commando role (with supporting Army elements). A number of Royal Marines served as pilots during the Second World War. It was a Royal Marines officer who led the attack by a formation of Blackburn Skuas that sank the German cruiser Königsberg, Königsberg. Eighteen Royal Marines commanded Fleet Air Arm squadrons during the course of the war, and with the formation of the British Pacific Fleet were well represented in the final drive on Japan. Captains and Majors generally commanded squadrons, whilst in one case Lt Colonel R.C. Hay on HMS Indefatigable (R10), HMS ''Indefatigable'' was Air Group Co-ordinator from HMS Victorious (R38), HMS ''Victorious'' of the entire British Pacific Fleet. Throughout the war Royal Marines continued in their traditional role of providing ships detachments and manning a proportion of the guns on Cruisers and Capital Ships. They also provided the crew for the UK's Minor Landing craft, and the Royal Marines Armoured Support Group manned Cromwell tank, Centaur IV tanks on Normandy landings, D Day; one of these is still on display at Pegasus Bridge. Only one Marine (Corporal Tom Hunter (VC), Thomas Peck Hunter of 43 Commando) was awarded the
Victoria Cross The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award of the Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom, British honours system. It is awarded for valour "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed For ...

Victoria Cross
in the Second World War for action at Lake Comacchio in Italian Campaign (World War II), Italy. Hunter was the most recent RM Commando to be awarded the medal. The Royal Marines Boom Patrol Detachment under Blondie Haslar carried out Operation Frankton and provided the basis for the post-war continuation of the Special Boat Service, SBS.


Post-colonial era

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. , since their creation in 1942 Royal Marines Commandos had 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 in 1956. They were also part of the land element during the 1982
Falklands War The Falklands War ( es , link=no, Guerra de las Malvinas) was a ten-week undeclared war An undeclared war is military conflict War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or para ...
. 43 Commando was active as amphibious infantry from 1961-68, and 41 Commando was disbanded in 1981.


Cold War

During the Cold War the Royal Marines were earmarked to reinforce NATO's northernmost command Allied Forces North Norway. Therefore, 3 Commando Brigade began to train annually in Northern Norway and had large stores of vehicles and supplies pre-positioned there. At the end of the Cold War in 1989 the structure of the Royal Marines was as follows: * Commandant General Royal Marines, London ** 3 Commando Brigade,
Plymouth Plymouth () is a port and in . It is located on the south coast of , approximately south-west of and south-west of . It is bordered by to the west and south-west. Plymouth's early history extends to the when a first settlement emerged ...

Plymouth
*** 40 Commando, Taunton *** 42 Commando, Bickleigh, South Hams, Bickleigh *** 45 Commando, Arbroath *** 29th Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery, Plymouth, one battery in Arbroath, (18× L118 light guns) *** 4 Assault Squadron RM, 4 Assault Squadron, Plymouth (4× Landing Craft Utility#United Kingdom, LCU Mk.9, 4× LCVP (United Kingdom), LCVP Mk.4, 2× Beach armoured recovery vehicle#Centurion BARV, Centurion BARV), served aboard *** 539 Assault Squadron RM, 539 Assault Squadron, Plymouth (4× LCU Mk.9, 4× LCVP Mk.4, 2× Centurion BARV), served aboard *** 59 Independent Commando Squadron, Royal Engineers, Plymouth, one troop in Arbroath *** 3 Commando Brigade Air Squadron, RNAS Yeovilton, (12× Aérospatiale Gazelle, Gazelle AH.1, 6× Westland Lynx, Lynx AH.1) *** 2 Raiding Squadron, Royal Marines (Reserve), Plymouth *** 131 Commando Squadron Royal Engineers, 131 Independent Commando Squadron, Royal Engineers (V), Plymouth *** 289th Commando Battery Royal Artillery, 289 Commando Battery, Royal Artillery (V), Plymouth (6× L118 light guns) ** Special Boat Service, Poole, under operational control of United Kingdom Special Forces ** Comacchio Group, HMNB Clyde, guarded HMNB Clyde and the UK's naval nuclear weapons stored at RNAD Coulport ** Royal Marines Police, Plymouth ** Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, Lympstone ** Royal Marines Band Service RMSoM, Deal, Kent, Deal ** Royal Marines Reserve *** RMR Plymouth,
Plymouth Plymouth () is a port and in . It is located on the south coast of , approximately south-west of and south-west of . It is bordered by to the west and south-west. Plymouth's early history extends to the when a first settlement emerged ...

Plymouth
*** RMR Bristol, Bristol *** RMR London, Wandsworth *** RMR Merseyside, Liverpool *** RMR Scotland, Edinburgh *** RMR Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle Note: "(V)" denotes
British Army The British Army is the principal of the , a part of the . , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,020 personnel. The modern British Army traces back to 1707, with an antecedent in the that was created duri ...
reserve units.


Today


Personnel

The Royal Marines are part of the Naval Service and under the full command of Fleet Commander. The rank structure of the corps is similar to that of the
British Army The British Army is the principal of the , a part of the . , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,020 personnel. The modern British Army traces back to 1707, with an antecedent in the that was created duri ...
with officers and other ranks recruited and initially trained separately from other naval personnel. Since 2017 women have been able to serve in all roles in the Royal Marines, though so far none have passed the training. On average, 1,200 recruits attend training courses at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines every year. At its height in 1944 during the Second World War, more than 70,000 people served in the Royal Marines. Following the Allied victory the Royal Marines were quickly reduced to a post-war strength of 13,000. When Conscription in the United Kingdom, National Service was ended in 1960, the Marines were again reduced, but this time to an all British Commandos, Commando-trained force of 9,000 personnel. As of October 2014 the Royal Marines had a strength of 7,760 Regular and 750 Royal Marines Reserve, giving a combined component strength of around 8,510 personnel. The Royal Marines are the only European marine force capable of conducting amphibious operations at brigade level.


Equipment

; Light weapons: The basic personal weapon of the Royal Marines is the SA80#L85 Rifle, L85A2 assault rifle, sometimes fitted with the Heckler & Koch AG-C/GLM#Users, L123A3 underslung grenade launcher. Support fire is provided by the FN Minimi, L110A1 light machine gun, the L7 (machine gun), L7A2 General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and the M2 Browning machine gun, L111A1 heavy machine gun (which is often mounted on an armoured vehicle); indirect fire by the L16 81mm Mortar, L16A2 81mm mortar. Sniper rifles used include the L115A3, produced by Accuracy International. More recently the Lewis Machine and Tool Company#Notable products, L129A1 has come into service as the designated marksman rifle. Other weapons include the FGM-148 Javelin, Javelin Anti-Tank missile, the Glock 17#Users, L131A1 pistol and the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife. The Royal Marines will replace all their L85 rifles with a variant of the L119, a variant of the Colt Canada C7#C8SFW, C8SFW. ; Armour: The Royal Marines maintain no heavy armoured units, instead, they operate a fleet of lightly armoured and highly mobile vehicles intended for amphibious landings or rapid deployment. The primary armoured fighting vehicle operated by the Armoured Support Group is the BvS 10, BvS 10 Viking All Terrain Armoured Vehicle. Other, lighter vehicles include the Land Rover Wolf Armoured Patrol Vehicle, the Jackal (vehicle), Jackal (MWMIK) Armoured Vehicle and the Pinzgauer High Mobility All-Terrain Vehicle. ; Artillery: Field artillery support is provided by 29th Commando Regiment Royal Artillery of the British Army using the L118 Light Gun, a 105 mm towed howitzer. The regiment is British Commandos, Commando-trained. ; Aviation: The Commando Helicopter Force of the Fleet Air Arm provides transport helicopters in support of the Royal Marines. It currently uses both AgustaWestland AW101, Merlin HC4/4A medium-lift transport and AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat, Wildcat AH1 light transport/reconnaissance helicopters to provide direct aviation support for the Corps. In addition, the Royal Air Force provides Boeing Chinook (UK variants), Chinook heavy-lift and Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma, Puma HC2 medium-lift transport helicopters. ; Vessels: The Royal Marines operate a varied fleet of List of active Royal Marines military watercraft, military watercraft designed to transport troops and materiel from ship to shore or conduct river or estuary patrols. These include the 2000TDX LCAC (United Kingdom), Landing Craft Air Cushion, the Mk10 Landing Craft Utility#United Kingdom, Landing Craft Utility, the LCVP (United Kingdom)#LCVP Mk5, Mk5 Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel and the SEAL Delivery Vehicle, SDV Mk8 Mod 1 Swimmer Delivery Vehicle for special forces. Other smaller amphibious craft such as the Offshore Raiding Craft, Rigid Raider and Inflatable Raiding Craft are in service in much greater numbers. File:Royal Marines During Winter Training in Norway MOD 45152252.jpg, Royal Marines equipped for Arctic warfare during an exercise in Norway File:Viking Training MOD 45151364.jpg, BvS 10, BvS 10 Vikings of the Royal Marines Armoured Support Group on exercise File:Royal Marine Landing Craft MOD 45158374.jpg, Royal Marines Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk10 File:A Royal Marine LCVP Landing Craft MOD 45150169.jpg, A Royal Marines LCVP (United Kingdom)#LCVP Mk5, Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP) Mk5 File:Royal Marine LCAC(LR) Hovercraft MOD 45154442.jpg, Royal Marines Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC)


Formation and structure

The overall head of the Royal Marines is Queen Elizabeth II, in her role as Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces. The ceremonial head of the Royal Marines is the Captain General Royal Marines (equivalent to the Colonel-in-Chief of a
British Army The British Army is the principal of the , a part of the . , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,020 personnel. The modern British Army traces back to 1707, with an antecedent in the that was created duri ...
regiment). Full Command of the Royal Marines is vested in the Fleet Commander (FLTCDR) with the Commandant General Royal Marines, a major-general, embedded within the Navy Command Headquarters (NCHQ) as Commander UK Amphibious Force (COMUKAMPHIBFOR). The operational capability of the corps comprises a number of battalion-plus sized units, of which five are designated as "commandos": *Commando Units ** 40 Commando, 40 Commando, Royal Marines (known as ''Forty'' Commando) based at Norton Manor Camp, Norton Manor Barracks, Taunton, Somerset, England ** 42 Commando, 42 Commando, Royal Marines (known as ''Four Two'' Commando) based at Bickleigh Barracks,
Plymouth Plymouth () is a port and in . It is located on the south coast of , approximately south-west of and south-west of . It is bordered by to the west and south-west. Plymouth's early history extends to the when a first settlement emerged ...

Plymouth
, Devon, England ** 45 Commando, 45 Commando, Royal Marines (known as ''Four Five'' Commando) based at RM Condor, Arbroath, Angus, Scotland *Maritime Security ** 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines, 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group, Royal Marines based at HMNB Clyde, HM Naval Base Clyde, Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute (previously Comacchio Group). *Intelligence, Surveillance and Target Acquisition ** 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group, 30 Commando (Information Exploitation) Group, Royal Marines based at Stonehouse Barracks, Plymouth *** Brigade Patrol Troop *Raiding and Assault ** 47 Commando (Raiding Group) Royal Marines, 47 Commando (Raiding Group), Royal Marines based at RM Tamar, Devonport (previously 1 Assault Group RM) *** Royal Marines Armoured Support Group (RMASG) is an element of the Royal Marines that operates the Viking BvS 10 All Terrain Vehicle. It is based at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset, and is part of 539 Raiding Squadron RM, 539 Raiding Squadron. *Logistic Support ** Commando Logistic Regiment based at RM Chivenor, Devon *Special Forces **Special Boat Service based at RM Poole, Dorset (although Full Command is retained by CINCFLEET, Operational Command of SBS RM is assigned to Director Special Forces). ** Royal Marines Vanguard Strike Company, forming up in 2020 as a strike reaction force With the exception of the 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group and Commando Logistic Regiment, which are each commanded by a full colonel, each of these units is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel (United Kingdom), lieutenant-colonel of the Royal Marines, who may have sub-specialised in a number of ways throughout their career.


3 Commando Brigade

Operational command of the five commandos and the Commando Logistics Regiment is delegated to 3 Commando Brigade, 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, of which they are a part. Based at Stonehouse Barracks, the brigade exercises control as directed by either CINCFLEET or the Permanent Joint Headquarters. As the main combat formation of the Royal Marines, the brigade has its own organic capability to 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. 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines, responsible for the security of the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent and other security-related duties was originally outside the brigade, but was incorporated into it from April 2012. 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 the largest unit in the brigade, at 790 strong.


Independent elements

The independent elements of the Royal Marines are: * Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, Commando Training Centre: This is the training unit for the entire corps, and consists of three separate sections: ** Commando Training Wing: This is the initial basic commando (military), commando training section for new recruits to the Royal Marines, and the UK Forces All Arms Commando Course. ** 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 (armed forces), officers and non-commissioned officer, NCOs of the Royal Marines. *
47 Commando (Raiding Group) Royal Marines 47 Commando (Raiding Group) Royal Marines, formerly 1 Assault Group Royal Marines (2001-2019), provides the Royal Marines The Corps of Royal Marines (RM) is an amphibious warfare, amphibious light infantry and also one of the :Fighting Arms of ...
: Provides training in the use of
landing craft Landing craft are small and medium seagoing watercraft, such as boats and barges, used to convey a landing force (infantry and vehicles) from the sea to the shore during an Amphibious warfare, amphibious assault. The term excludes landing ships, wh ...

landing craft
and boats, and also serves as a parent unit for the three assault squadrons permanently embarked on the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were foug ...
's amphibious ships. ** 4 Assault Squadron— * Special Boat Service (SBS) are naval special forces and under operational command of UK Special Forces, Director Special Forces, UK Special Forces Group. 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 provides regular bands for the Royal Navy and provides expertise to train RN Volunteer Bands. Musicians have an important secondary roles as medics, field hospital orderlies, CBRN specialists and any other roles that may be required of them. Personnel may not be commando trained, usually wearing the dark blue beret instead of green; until 2017, the band service was the only branch of the Royal Marines to admit women.


Structure of a commando

40 and 45 Commando are each organised into six company (military unit), companies, further organised into platoon-sized troops, as follows: * Command company ** Main HQ ** Tactical HQ ** Reconnaissance Troop with a sniper section ** Mortar Troop ** Anti-Tank (AT) Troop ** Medium Machine Gun Troop * 2× Close Combat Companies ** Company Headquarters ** 3× Close Combat Troops * 2× Stand Off Companies ** Company Headquarters ** Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) Troop ** AT Troop ** Close Combat Troop. * Logistic Company ** A Echelon 1 ** A Echelon 2 ** FRT (Forward Repair Team) ** RAP (Regimental Aid Post) ** B Echelon In general a rifle company Marine will be a member of a four-man fireteam, fire team, the building block of commando operations. A Royal Marine works with their 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 battalions.


Amphibious Task Group

Formerly known as the Amphibious Ready Group, the Amphibious Task Group (ATG) is a mobile, balanced
amphibious warfare Amphibious warfare is a type of offensive Offensive may refer to: * Offensive, the former name of the Dutch political party Socialist Alternative (Netherlands), Socialist Alternative * Offensive (military), an attack * Offensive language ** Fi ...
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 until she was decommissioned and sold to Brazil in 2018. ''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.


Commando Helicopter Force

The Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) forms part of the Fleet Air Arm. It comprises three helicopter squadrons and is commanded by the Joint Helicopter Command. It consists of both
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were foug ...
(RN) and Royal Marines personnel. RN personnel need not be commando trained. The CHF is neither under the permanent control of 3 Commando Brigade nor that of the Commandant General Royal Marines, but rather is allocated to support Royal Marines units as required. It uses both AgustaWestland AW101, Merlin HC4/4A medium-lift and AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat, Wildcat AH1 light transport/reconnaissance helicopters to provide aviation support for the Royal Marines.


Commando Forces 2030, Maritime Operations Commando & Future Commando Force

On 11 April 2017 the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones, announced that the Royal Marines were to be restructured. The Royal Marines will be able to deploy a specialist Maritime Operations Commando from the three combat units as part of the Commando Forces 2030 strategy. A Future Commando Force (FCF) programme has been set up under Navy Command to create the staff and intellectual horsepower for a land littoral strike division programme. An example of the FCF was depicted by young engineering graduates from the UK Naval Engineering Science and Technology forum (UKNEST). There will be two Littoral Response Groups: One based East of Suez, one based in the High North. On 27 June 2020, the Royal Marines announced they will adopt a new uniform with the MultiCam camouflage instead of the MTP camo.


Selection and training

Royal Marines are required to undergo one of the longest and most physically demanding specialist infantry training regimes in the world. Recruit training lasts for 32 weeks for Marines and 60 weeks for officers. Potential recruits must be aged 16 to 32 (18 to 25 for Commissioned Officers) and must undertake a series of interviews, medical tests, an eye/sight test, psychometric tests and a PJFT (Pre-joining fitness test).Recruitment Process Royal Marines
, royalnavy.mod.uk
As of late 2018 there is no restriction on women joining the Royal Marines, though so far none have passed the gruelling training. Once a potential recruit passes these, enlisted recruits undertake a 3-day selection course called PRMC (Potential Royal Marine Course) and potential officers undertake POC (Potential Officer Course) – both take place at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) in Lympstone, Devon. Officers must also take the Admiralty Interview Board (AIB). Upon passing the 3-day course, recruits then start basic recruit training (RT) at CTCRM. A large proportion of training is carried out on Dartmoor's inhospitable terrain and Woodbury Common, Devon, Woodbury Common woodland. Throughout the recruit training, Royal Marines learn and develop many military skills such as weapons handling, marksmanship and proficiency with different firearms, personal administration, marching and parade ground skills, map reading and navigation, physical fitness and mental toughness development, fieldcraft skills such as camouflage and stalking, basic survival techniques, patrolling and sentry duty development, unarmed and armed Close combat, close quarters combat (CQC), first aid, underwater escape, chemical biological radiological nuclear (CBRN) training, military communications and signals, teamwork skills, amphibious landings training, and leadership skills for officers to name a few. The best recruit to finish training is awarded the Kings Badge. King George V directed that his Royal Cypher, surrounded by a laurel wreath, would be known as the King's Badge, and would be awarded to the best all round recruit in the King's Squad, provided that he was worthy of the honour. The badge was to be carried on the left shoulder, and worn in every rank. The King's Badge is not awarded to every squad, and is only presented if a recruit measures up to the very exacting standards required. Throughout their career, a Marine can specialise in a number of different roles upon completion of their respective courses after spending 1–2 years as a general duties (GD) Marine. Examples of some specialisations and different courses includes the mountain leader (ML), physical training instructor (PTI), Assault Engineer (AE), Royal Marines police (RMP), sniper (S), medical assistant (MA), pilot, reconnaissance operator (RO), drill instructor (DL), driver (D), clerk (C), signaller (SI), combat intelligence (CI), armourer (A), and heavy weapons (HW). Royal Marines can also apply for swimmer canoeist/Special Boat Service selection (SBS) or any other branch of the UKSF. All Royal Marines will also conduct training exercises on differing military skills on a regular basis including development in mountain, arctic, jungle, amphibious and desert warfare. They can also be involved in exchange training programs with other countries' forces – particularly the
United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the of the responsible for conducting and through , implementing its own , , , and forces. The U.S. Marine Corps is one of the eight . The Marine ...
and the
Netherlands Marine Corps The Netherlands Marine Corps ( nl, Korps Mariniers) is the elite naval infantry corps of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The marines trace their origins back to the establishment of the on 10 December 1665, by the then grand pensionary of the Dutch ...
/Korps Mariniers.


Museum

The Royal Marines Museum (established in October 1958) is an institution dedicated to the history of the Royal Marines. In 2011, it became part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, which has since been the executive public body of the museum in the Ministry of Defence (UK), Ministry of Defence. It will soon be moving from Eastney Barracks to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth Dockyard.


Customs and traditions

The Royal Marines have a proud history and unique traditions. With the exceptions of "Gibraltar" and the laurel wreath for the Battle of Belle Island, their colours (flags) do not carry battle honours in the manner of the regiments of the British Army or of the US Marine Corps, but rather the "globe itself" as a symbol of the Corps. The heraldic crest of the Royal Marines commemorates the history of the Corps. The Lion and Crown denotes a Royal regiment.
King George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the ...

King George III
conferred this honour in 1802 "in consideration of the very meritorious services of the Marines in the late war." The "Great Globe itself" was chosen in 1827 by George IV of the United Kingdom, King George IV in place of battle honours to recognise the Marines' service and successes in multiple engagements in every quarter of the world. The Laurel wreath, laurels are believed to honour the gallantry they displayed during the investment and capture of Capture of Belle Île, Belle Isle, off Lorient, in April–June 1761. The word ''Gibraltar'' refers to the Capture of Gibraltar by a force of Anglo-Dutch Marines in 1704 and the subsequent defence of the strategic fortress throughout a nine-month Twelfth Siege of Gibraltar, siege against a numerically superior Franco-Spanish force. Their determination and valour throughout the siege led to a contemporary report published in ''The Triumphs of Her Majesty's Arms'' in 1707 to announce: There are no other battle honours displayed on the colours, standards and guidons, colours of the four battalion-sized units of the current Corps. The Latin motto "Per Mare Per Terram" translates into English as "By Sea By Land". Believed to have been first used in 1775, this motto describes the Royal Marines ability in fighting both afloat on-board ships of the Royal Navy as well as ashore in their many land engagements. The fouled anchor, incorporated into the emblem in 1747, is the badge of the British Admiralty, Lord High Admiral, and shows that the Corps is part of the Naval Service (United Kingdom), Naval Service. The regimental quick march of the Corps is "A Life on the Ocean Wave", while the slow march is the march of the Preobrazhensky Regiment, 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. The Royal Marines are allowed by the Lord Mayor of the City of London to march through the City of London, City as a regiment in full array. This dates to the charter of Charles II of England, Charles II that allowed recruiting parties of the Admiral's Regiment of 1664 to enter the City with drums beating and colours flying.


Uniforms

Modern Royal Marines uniforms are broadly similar to British Army uniforms but include a number of distinctive uniform items. These include the green "Lovat" shade of service dress uniform; the green beret (for those who have passed the commando course) or navy blue beret (for those who have not) with a scarlet patch behind the badge; dark blue parade dress worn with either the white Wolseley Pattern Helmet (commonly referred to as "pith helmet") or white and red peaked cap; the scarlet and blue Mess dress uniform, mess dress for officers and senior non-commissioned officers; and the white hot-weather uniform of the Band Service. For historical information regarding Marine uniforms, see ''Uniforms of the Royal Marines''.


Ranks and insignia


Associations with other regiments and marine corps

; Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders: Early connections date from Balaclava in the
Crimean War The Crimean War, , was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. ...
and Lucknow during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, but the main association stems from World War II. In July 1940, after the fall of Dunkirk, the 5th Battalion,
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's) was a line infantry Line infantry was the type of infantry that composed the basis of European land armies from the late 17th century to the middle of the 19th century. Maurice of Nassa ...
served with the Royal Marine Brigade for over a year. When the battleships and were Sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse, sunk in December 1941, the Royal Marines survivors joined up with the remnants of the 2nd Battalion, in the Fall of Singapore, 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. ; Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment: The fore-bearer regiments of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, 31st (Huntingdonshire) Regiment of Foot was initially raised as amphibious troops. They served as Marines for a period. To this day one officer from the Royal Marines serves with the PWRR and Vice Versa. Also the Royal Marine Lanyard is worn by all ranks in Service Dress and Number 2 Dress uniform and barrack dress of PWRR. ; United States Marine Corps: The Royal Marines and the
United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the of the responsible for conducting and through , implementing its own , , , and forces. The U.S. Marine Corps is one of the eight . The Marine ...
have trained together or exchanged training on multiple occasions, sometimes as mixed units to further build cooperation. In 2018, the Royal Marines won a friendly boxing tournament contested by fighters from both corps at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London broadcast by Sky Sports. ; Barbados Defence Force: Close links have existed between the Royal Marines and the Barbados Defence Force since 1985 when a bond was established following a series of cross-training exercises in the Caribbean. The Alliance was approved by HM the Queen in 1992. ; Netherlands Marine Corps: The Royal Marines have close links with the Royal
Netherlands Marine Corps The Netherlands Marine Corps ( nl, Korps Mariniers) is the elite naval infantry corps of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The marines trace their origins back to the establishment of the on 10 December 1665, by the then grand pensionary of the Dutch ...
, with whom they conduct NATO exercises throughout the year. Formed during the Anglo-Dutch Wars in 1665, the Dutch Marines distinguished themselves in raids on the English coast, where it is likely they met their future counterparts.Second Anglo-Dutch War: Raid on the Medway
by Kennedy R. Hickman, About.com

Units of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps work in close co-operation with 3 Commando Brigade of the Royal Marines. Operational units of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps are fully integrated into this brigade. This integration is known as the Netherlands Marine Corps#UK/NL Landing Force, United Kingdom-Netherlands Landing Force and is a component of the United Kingdom-Netherlands Amphibious Force as a key strike force during the Cold War to strengthen the Nordic area. ; French 9th Marine Infantry Brigade (former 9th Light Armoured Marine Brigade): The 9th Marine Infantry Brigade (, 9e BIMa) is a Troupes de marine, Marine infantry brigade which is one of the two designated amphibious brigades in France. It is unique in being the only 'All Marine' Brigade in the French Army; the other amphibious brigade, 6th Light Armoured Brigade (France), 6th Light Armoured Brigade (, 6e BLB), is composed of a mix of cap badges. 9e BIMa is also a light armoured brigade, formed of two Marine infantry regiments (2nd Marine Infantry Regiment, 2e RIMa and 3rd Marine Infantry Regiment, 3e RIMa — ) and a tank battalion.


See also

* Royal Marines selection and training * Royal Marines Reserve * Royal Marines Museum * Royal Marines Cadets * Royal Marines Volunteer Cadet Corps * RM Turnchapel * List of active Royal Marines military watercraft * List of serving senior officers of the Royal Marines


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * * * *Dutton, Jim. "The Royal Marines Today," RUSI Journal, Vol. 145, No. 4, August 2000, 21-24. * * * * * * * * * *


External links

*
Royal Marines History
website
Royal Marines Band Service
website
Royal Marines Volunteer Cadet Corps (RMVCC) Portsmouth
website * Downloa
Royal Marines Registers of Service
(1842–1925). The National Archives official website
Potential Royal Marines Commando forum
(for men wishing to join)
"Rum Ration": The Navy Network
– unofficial website for the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, and Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Royal Marines Museum
website
Marine Society
website

* [http://www.naval-history.net/WW2CampaignsRNHons.htm Royal Navy Battle Honours including Royal Marine Corps Memorable Dates, 1939–1945] {{Use dmy dates, date=August 2014 Royal Marines, 1664 establishments in England 1755 establishments in Great Britain British Armed Forces Commandos (United Kingdom) Fighting Arms of the Royal Navy Military of the United Kingdom Military units and formations established in 1664 Military units and formations in Plymouth Military units and formations of Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom) Marines, United K