Royal Marines Officer age limits?



Am sticking my neck out here, but here goes....

Is there any point in applying for a commission in the RM aged 30? (cue gales of laughter and cries of ‘How old?!’).

I should point out that the reason I am only thinking in these terms now is that I had been due to start at Sandhurst in May '04, but a knee condition prevented me from starting. That was the last intake for which I was under the age limit, and my subsequent and lengthy attempts to gain an age waiver have so far been unsuccessful. A few months ago I sent away to the Officer Careers Liaison Centre in London for information on RM careers, and from this source and the RM website, it strikes me that there is a certain amount of leeway in terms of the age limit for admission - I was surprised to see that recruits to the RM can join up to their 33rd birthdays. I explained my position to the above-mentioned place in London, and how I was interested in a commission in the RM, but they still sent me the information, but then perhaps there is no significance in this?

So, before I waste both my own time and more importantly that of the powers-that-be in applying, is there any chance that someone in my position (university graduate due to turn 31 in August '06) would have their application considered? (on top of this I'm Irish :roll: )

I’d appreciate any help or suggestions as to whom I should approach.

Good to see this site up and running.

redshank (refugee from ARRSE)


War Hero
You mention a "Knee Condition".Just be aware that your knee will take a SEVERE pounding during training.I just hope that it was only a transient thing and not too much of a problem,if it was then it WILL flare up on RM training,count on it.


regarding injury i has an injury at lympstone almost 15 years ago ...and thus spent only ashort time at a unit ..muck or nettles cooks clerks or sigs :( will be pounding your knee for 15 months and thats before the hard work starts in norway - the corps is made up of broken men :)


Lantern Swinger
I think you've missed it, what about RMR
I've no idea what their age limits are but they may be a little wider

just a thought

PS Biffa is right about the knees, if you have a Hx of knees issues Lympstone may not be the place for you


Thanks for the replies gentlemen. Yes, what you advise re. my knee injury (or more specifically a knee condition) rings true. I have absolutely no illusions about even the suggestion of a 'dodgy knee'. I spent some six months and quite a bit of money getting my knee fixed, and more importantly I now know how not to incur such a condition again; I have been working on building up the 'cage' of muscle around the knee joint which is necessary to prevent such a recurrence, and have ironically resumed training at a more intense level than before.

However, even were Sandhurst to call on me now (hope springs eternal) I confess that I would only go forward if I were completely satisfied that my knee was up to the task - the same holds true for the Royal Marines.

Unfortunaely, the RMR isn't really a viable option for me at present, on account of my being based in the Republic of Ireland.

Although I was aware of the age limit of 26 years for RM officers, the information literature I was sent would seem to indicate otherwise, and certainly points to a degree of leeway in terms of older candidates (that said, I appreciate that I am not currently in the system, so therefore may be automatically outside the terms of such a provision).

Is there some office I can write to in order to have my original question definitively answered yes or no 'officially'. Might it also be possible that my having passed RCB could be taken into consideration if only to allow me apply at 30? - on account of the RM being a different service I think I already know the answer, but I ask anyway.

Apologies for all the questions, but you might appreciate that my situation means that I am anxious to explore any and all possibilities that may be open to me.



i note that RMR has extended its age limit to 30 and 35 with mil experience ..used to be 28 years old ..furthermore 21 SAS (v) takes older lads as well possibly up to early 30's ...maybe its a recruitment problem or maybe they recognise that some chaps are more motivated in their 30's than their 20's????


Apologies for breathing life into this again (or flogging a dead horse... :oops: ).

Am about to write off and see if it is viable for me to apply for a Commission in the RM. However, can anyone here tell me if I should also be looking at the option of joining the RM as a recruit and holding out for a Commission? (age-wise I am within the eligibility requirements for joining as a recruit).

Whilst leaving aside questions of physical fitness etc at the age of 30+, your main dis-advantage will in the career stakes, i.e.:

Join at 30
Finish CTC 31 (assuming you're not back trooped)
Troop Commander (as a 2nd Lt) 31 - 32
[At this age, a graduate who joined at 22 would be expected to be completing ICSC(L) and picking up his Major's slides]
SO3 (Capt RM) jobs (depending on your specialisation) 32 - 38
[At this age, the aforementioned graduate would be pushing hard for a SO1 (Lt Col RM) command]

So, as you can see, you're a long way behind the curve, with no realistic chance of catching up. I'm afraid the Corps doesn't employ people just for fun, they have a certain number of posts to be filled, and any-one who isn't within the "standard career model" will have a very hard time even joining.

As for commisioning from the Ranks, there are 2 routes available: CC (Corps Commision) and SCC (Senior Corps Commision). The former is available to Junior Marines, under the age of 25 and places them in the frame for the same jobs etc as a Direct Entrant Officer; the latter is for Senior NCOs (CSgt - WO), and employs them in roles such as QM and MT Officer, or "Subject Matter Experts" - mainly due to their experience, and the pointlessness as employing them as Troop Commanders. (This is not to say that they could not carry out the role of Trp Cmdr; however as they've probably been a Troop Sgt, and trained more than one sprog 2 Lt, there is little practical value in them doing this job.) so, as you can see, there is little or no mileage in going down this route.

In summary, I'm afraid you've gotten too old, for whatever reason. This is not to say you couldn't not make a damn good go of it, however, due to the needs of the service, you would be taking up a billet that could be better be filled up a 21 year old. Sorry to be harsh and rain on your parade, but it's better some-one fed you the unvarnished dit!

On the other hand this lot will take you upto 32.....


Thank you for the reply a_t_g, and what you say is a reflection of what the Army has told me. That said, I will write and see what the Royal Marines say; perhaps they might suggest a number of career options for me in the wider RN?

As for your link to UKSF, that is something that has been suggested to me previously, but I am currently hampered by the fact that I am on the wrong side of the Irish Sea to pursue that option at present, though a move across in the near future is a possibility.


Hello again after a long spell away from Rum Ration. Am breathing life back into this issue on account of recently recieving a definitive and final 'no' answer from Sandhurst regarding my request to be allowed go forward to the Commissioning Course after my false start in 2004.

Subsequent to this most recent communication from the RMAS I have contacted the DNR office in London - having received no reply from Belfast for some reason - and am told that I am eligible to apply as a RM Commando (though I am ruled out of applying for a commission). After this, I completed the online 'Expression of Interest Form' and am awaiting whatever I am to be sent.

Although 31, I am in pretty good shape and health for my age, and have recently begun a regular and incremental fitness regime, as I am very much aware that this is going to be the determining factor if I am to have any chance in relation to the Royal Marines.

Has anyone got any particular advice as to who I should be talking to or what steps I should be taking in advance of formally entering the application/selection process?

Thanks in advance.

*Since I'm now ruled out of the RM Officer route, should this thread be moved?

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