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05-12-09, 06:30 PM
Most commandos begin as general duties marines and become riflemen who serve within an operational commando unit for their first tour. Commando units are on standby to deploy to any emergencies around the world. After their first tour, they are then encouraged to train for one of 28 different specialisations. Specialisations range from aircrewman to mountain leader and assault engineer to driver.
Commandos generally work an eight-hour day when not on operations or operational training. They are, however, on call 24 hours a day. They may be required to work long hours when on operations or operational training. Commandos work either on a shore base or at sea on board a ship. They can be deployed all over the world, sometimes in dangerous situations.
Royal Marines commandos earn 13,013 a year on entry and can earn up to 44,588 a year as a warrant officer 1.
A Royal Marines commando should:

have courage and determination
work well as part of a team and be able to live and work closely with other people
have self-discipline and the ability to react quickly under pressure
be decisive and ready for responsibility
have a high level of physical fitness
be prepared for combat and to work anywhere in the world
have a strong interest in physically-challenging work
enjoy the Armed Forces' lifestyle.

There are currently around 5,880 Royal Marines commandos. There is a shortage, as the full working strength should be around 6,400.
There are no formal entry qualifications, but only men can serve as commandos. Entrants must be at least 16 years old and be British, Irish or Commonwealth citizens. They must be at least 151.5 centimetres in height, with their weight in proportion to their height. Applicants take entry tests, an interview, a medical check and a pre-joining fitness test. They must be successful on the three-day Potential Royal Marines Course at Lympstone, near Exeter in Devon. Entrants must begin training no later than their 33<sup>rd</sup> birthday.
Basic Royal Marines commando training takes place at the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone and lasts 32 weeks. It is one of the longest and toughest training courses in the world. It includes training in such skills as map reading, use of weapons and combat and survival. It also includes physical training, training on assault courses and military exercises.
Promotion is on merit. Those with the necessary qualifications and potential can apply for a commission as an officer.


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