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Royal Marines

The Royal Marines are the amphibious commando force of the Royal Navy. In recent times, the Royal Marine Commandos have been deployed to Afghanistan and played a major part in the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

royal marines
Royal Marines snipers armed with L115 rifles
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Elite UK Force's section on the Royal Marines features:

3 Commando Brigade

The Royal Marines (or 'Bootnecks' as they call themselves), in the form of 3 Commando Brigade, are a key element of the UK's Rapid Reaction Force.

The Commandos

The primary fighting elements of the Royal Marines are the battalion-sized Commando units.

  • 40 Commando
    (based at Norton Manor Barracks, Taunton, Somerset)
  • 42 Commando
    (based at Bickleigh Barracks, Plymouth, Devon)
  • 45 Commando
    (based at Condor Barracks, Arbroath, Angus, Scotland)

Each Commando is organised into 6 companies. Each company is made up of platoon-sized Troops:

  • 1 Command Company:
  • 1 Logistic Company:
    • A Echelon 1 (A Ech1)
    • A Echelon 2 (A Ech2)
    • Forward Repair Team (FRT)
    • Regimental Aid Post (RAP)
    • B Echelon (B Ech)
  • 2 Close Combat Companies :
    • Company Headquarters
      (Coy HQ)
    • 3 Close Combat Troops
      (Troop HQ, 3 Rifle Sections, Manoeuvre Support Section)
  • 2 Stand Off Companies
    (1 x tracked, 1 x wheeled)
    consisting of :
    • Company Headquarters (Coy HQ)
    • Heavy Machine Gun Troop
      (6 x HMG / GMG)
    • AT Troop
      (6 x Javelin)
    • 1x Close Combat Troop
      (5 officers + 78 other ranks)

Royal Marines Operational History

The Royal Marines have a long history, beginning as ship-borne troops, evolving into Commandos during World War 2, to the elite fighting force of today.

more info : Royal Marines Operations

Special Forces Support

1 company (F Coy) of Royal Marines are assigned to the Special Forces Support Group (SFSG).

Mountain Leaders

Each commando battalion contains specialists in mountain and arctic warfare, known as Mountain Leaders (MLs). Mountain Leaders are proficient in cliff assaults, high altitude warfare and skiing.

more info : Mountain Leaders


The Royal Marines employ some specialised vehicles. These include:

  • MWMIK - armoured 4x4 all-terrain vehicles used in the fire support and recon roles
  • Land Rover WMIKs - heavily armed but lightly armoured vehicles used for long range reconnaissance and fire support (largely replaced by the new MWMIK)
  • Pinzgauer 4x4s - rugged and nimble troop carriers in use in Afghanistan
  • all-terrain-vehicles (ATV)s - tracked vehicles designed to transport men and equipment over all kinds of ground. These include the BVS 10 Viking and BV206D.


The Royal Marines operate a range of watercraft:

Royal Marines Selection & Training

The Royal Marines go through extensive training. An initial selection period is followed by a 32 week training program.

more info : initial Royal Marines selection »

want to pass selection for the Royal Marines? Click here to find out how »

Royal Marines Special Units

There are several specialised RM sub units :

Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines

A special cadre of Royal Marines tasked with fleet and nuclear security.

more info : Fleet Protection Group »

Brigade Patrol Troop (Brigade Reconnaissance Force)

3 Commando Brigade's elite reconnaissance force.

more info : Brigade Patrol Troop »

The Special Boat Service (SBS)

Drawn mostly from RM ranks, but technically under the command of the Directorate of Special Forces and part of UKSF, the SBS is a special forces unit on a par with the army's SAS.

Roles of the SBS include Maritime Counter-Terrorism, beach and shore reconnaissance, drug smuggling interdiction and behind the lines reconnaissance and sabotage missions.

more info : Special Boat Service »

Royal Marines Reserves (RMR)

The regular Commandos are augmented by fully trained civlian volunteers from 5 RMR units

more info : Royal Marines Reserves »

Other Royal Marines Units

1 Assault Group Royal Marines (1 AGRM)

Royal Marines Related Items


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Royal Marines Fitness Guide

Get fit the Royal Marines way! This excellent guide will get you to a level of fitness required by the Royal Marines. Great for potential RM recuits and as a general fitness regime.

Royal Marines Fitness Guide
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42 Commando Vikings
42 Commando
42 Commando Royal Marines and Viking APCs
view: 42 Commando
3 PARA armed with L110A2 Light Machine Gun (LMG)
view: 3 PARA - LMG
Sniper Team
British Army sniper team (shooter/spotter)
view: Sniper Team
SAS Pink Panther
SAS 'Pink Panther' Land Rover
(click image for fullsize view & more info)
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