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Joining at 16

Discussion in 'General Royal Marines Joining Chit Chat' started by AverageJoe, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe Member

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    I thought about joining the Royal Marines strait after my GSCEs. Is this a good idea or should I wait till I have done my a levels?
     
  2. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    GCSE 'A' Levels are not a requirement for Other Rank entry into the Royal Marines.

    Your stated age is fifteen years so the world really is your lobster. :)
    Just by asking the question suggests that you are having a good think about planning and that's a good thing.

    Others will hopefully chip in with their own comments so I will just make the observation that statistically the age 'sweet spot' for successfully completing RT lies in the early twenties. Candidates at the younger and the older extremes of the age spectrum are statistically less likely to do so. This doesn't mean that it can't be done but it's worth knowing so that one can make an informed decision. Best of luck.
     
  3. stumpylegs

    stumpylegs Valuable Contributor

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    Honestly it’s up to you, I didn’t enjoy education and dropped out of A levels to work, I’d say give them a go, won’t hurt having them, also a few more years on you should help, 16 year olds aren’t always mature enough in RT, however I knew a 16 year old who passed out, he was in marine cadets so was squared away.
     
  4. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    @john smith I just took a squiz at your previous questions on the topic of university degrees and Officer entry. Just to clarify, my post above is in the context of Other Rank entry.
     
  5. sharpe

    sharpe Veteran Contributor

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    Perhaps stay in education until you can spell straight ;)
     
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  6. sharpe

    sharpe Veteran Contributor

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    Joking aside my son initially applied just before his 16th birthday. He had an opportunity to do something else that combined his favourite sport plus an opportunity to gain some academic qualifications and ended up starting Recruit Training at 18. He feels that bit of extra time helped enormously in terms of fitness and maturity plus having those extra few bits of paper behind him can’t hurt.
     
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  7. kirbymorgan17

    kirbymorgan17 Active Member

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    i have to agree with sharpe above.my own son applied before his sixteenth birthday.he had gained very good exam results and his school fully expected him to stay to attain highers.he was only interested in becoming a soldier.this was 2010 b.c before capita.the staff in the recruitment office advised he would benefit in so many ways if he embarked on a sports science course on a campus at a local university run by the armed forces,for one year,whilst being enlisted,with a qualification after completion.he went straight onto recruit training and he and i believe this course was instrumental and invaluable in teaching him in the values of training and eating in the correct way to achieve his goals.good luck in whatever path you choose.
     
  8. Cheezy hammy eggy

    Cheezy hammy eggy Valuable Contributor

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    My son joined RT at 17 years old, we wanted him to stay at college for an extra year so his body could develop, but he was adamant that he was joining, to which he did.
    He joined CTC in November 2018 and passed out of training having just turned 18, so fair play to him, however, his younger brother wants to follow suit and is only 16, my RM son told him to wait until he’s at least 19 as he himself struggled with certain aspects of training due to being such a young age. With hindsight my RM son said that he wouldn’t have joined until 19/20 if he knew what was in store for him in RT.
    Whatever your choice, you need to be both physically and mentally focused.
    Best of luck.
     
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  9. Powder Monkey

    Powder Monkey Valuable Contributor

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    My son is hopefully going in this year and he's 17. We had spoken to the careers office last year and he had decided to try for officer training so was going to stay on at school and get some more highers. By the time school went back after summer, he'd changed his mind and decided to go other rank. Since then, school (in his mind) has been a waste of time. Given his dislike for it, he would have been better starting his application sooner.
    Personally, I'd like him to finish school, do his last exams and then start training. Talk to people whose opinion you value. They should have what is best for you at heart.
     
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  10. Essex Badger

    Essex Badger Member

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    May I suggest reading Going Commando by Mark Time. A very entertaining read about recruit training from a 16 year old's perspective.
     
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  11. physiomum

    physiomum Valuable Contributor

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    My son started training 3 weeks after turning 17. Now, after 42 weeks, 2 x eight weeks and now a 10 week backtroop later he’s still hanging in there. He has always passed the physical tests first time and got the marksman award but his admin and attention to detail have been his main problem. He’s a different lad to the one that left home 11 months ago but I wish he’d started when he was older. He has put up with the thrashings and continuous training but it has definitely taken its toll. I can’t believe his mental strength but after this last backtroop he had a major struggle and handed his chit in. At the 11th hour he retracted it and has knuckled down again but I’m still worried for the weeks ahead.
    I don’t think they should start training until they are 18. I know there are some exceptional lads out there but out of the 5 troops my nod’s been in most of the under 18s have gone.
     
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  12. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Many agree. The UK is unusual in recruiting what many European nations categorise as 'child soldiers'.
    Some interesting reading here:

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news...d-stop-recruiting-children-health-experts-say

    I enlisted as a Junior. My schools had been so strict and the pupils subjected to so many random acts of violence by 1970's teachers that in comparison the Army was surprisingly genteel. :confused:
     
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  13. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe Member

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    Thanks everyone for all your help
     
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  14. Caversham

    Caversham Former RM Commando, Moderator

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    Back in mine and @Chelonian's day Junior soldiers/Marines were trained separately until they were old enough to join an adult troop. At CTC there were some Junior Troops that went all the way through to King's Squad. The overall training for Juniors was about 12 months long and included a more "gentler" approach in the early months of training.

    My Squad/Troop had about 15 Juniors join us just before we left for CTC and they were superb. Their kit was immaculate and streets ahead of ours. They made an absolute fortune bringing our boots and brasses up to an acceptable standard.

    Both my cousin, who went onto serve for 22 years and was a Staff PTI and my son in law were former Juniors and have both gone onto successful careers after their service.

    To this day former RM juniors have a reunion in Exeter and they are rightly proud of their status.

    Alan
     
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  15. Cookiemum

    Cookiemum Valuable Contributor

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    Hi @john smith.
    Well done on being focused and wanting to live your dream. :)
    My Nod has recently turned 18 and started his Recruit training shortly after his 17th birthday.
    He managed to complete 9 weeks before getting injured and then spent the Summer in Hunter (rehab) getting healed again before continuing his training.
    From his experience, it has appeared that virtually all Nods under 18 get injured or can't cope with the extreme lifestyle - both mentally and physically.
    Personally, I believe he is too young.
    He hadn't finished growing when he started training, which am sure is linked to risk of injury.
    I think if you can get chance to get a few more qualifications under your belt, travel or just have the opportunity to enjoy teenage life then that would be great!
    Wishing you every success in your decisions! :)
     
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  16. Trooper149

    Trooper149 Valuable Contributor

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    Thinking strategically, having A levels under your belt would be a good idea for the following reasons:

    -in my experience, A levels gave me an advantage as they allowed me to hone my ability to observe, analyse, deduce and make decisions which, in this growing internet age, I'd say is extremely important, otherwise you will get led up the pipe by anything. Specifically I did History, Geography and Business Studies. Other A Levels might develop different mental abilities.

    -A levels also open options up with regards to education and qualifications (degrees as well but any qualification worth having, typically requires some form of basic education i.e. GCSEs and A levels) which can enhance your industry and job prospects. (Trades are exception, but still very good to have).

    -extra time to train as well dude. Get looking at things such as flexibility, posture, different types of strength training and conditioning. These things will enhance your performance in the marines, reduce risk of injury and improve overall longevity throughout your life. (Personally, when I'm 70, I want to be that old jacked geezer, a veteran of life and experience, and goes running on the beach every morning) :cool:.

    -build some other options career wise. I'm not saying "have a back up in case you FAIL" but more like, get an idea of how other jobs work. Alot of jobs, industries, organisations and businesses operate along similar frameworks. Once you get a feel for this, you can make some very good decisions.

    -you can start practicing the Commando ethos right now. I'm 24 and I first became interested in the RM when I was 16. I put off joining when I was 18 because I wanted to pursue other goals (for the reasons mentioned above) but everything I did, I did it with a view of the Royal Marine ethos. Everything I did, I did thinking "how would a Royal Marine respond to this?"

    Hope these are some useful perspective dude, you got the world ahead of you right now :)
     
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  17. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    As mentioned by @Caversham the Juniors are a thing of the past.

    I don't know how the Royal Marines Juniors operated but the Junior Parachute Company was located at Depot Para in the same training environment as adult Recruits. Some lads joined at the earliest opportunity (age fifteen); others to fill in time before being old enough to be an adult Recruit at age seventeen.

    Life was a mixture of learning basic military field tactics, adventure training and school education. Unsurprisingly most didn't join for the academic opportunities. If one showed even a tiny hint of musical ability opportunities were available in the Junior Band and Drums. Others focused on the Junior Gymnastics Display team if they had a tin ear. :)

    After perhaps a couple of years as a Junior most were old enough to move across to an adult Recruit Platoon. They would join a Platoon which was already about one third of the way through RT because the 'foundation' and basics had already been addressed.

    Adult RT has a very time-compressed schedule. Once a lesson has been taught one is expected to understand and apply the skill competently. Juniors were more relaxed; there was much more time for, say, basic 'green skills' to be taught in depth and practiced with a reduced risk of injury.

    Although it didn't seem like it at the time there was a surprisingly good pastoral duty of care towards us. To be honest, Juniors were often an arrogant bunch and we definitely pushed the boundaries. Many adult Trained Ranks in Aldershot Garrison regarded Juniors as being cocky, semi-feral 'Hitler Youth' hooligans. Juniors wore a maroon beret with a pale blue backing behind the cap badge.

    I had a dig around t'internet and found this image of Junior Parachute Coy adult staff. It gives an idea of the scale of the Juniors in the late 1970s.

    junior_para.jpg
     
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  18. Fibonarchie

    Fibonarchie Venerated Contributor

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    To add my pennies worth, I was originally intending to join at 16 having got fed up with school. Now, as 17 going on 18, I realise that I was nowhere near as mature as I though I was - and I thought I was a pretty mature kid.

    The other thing to consider, which people often don’t, is that (if this is still up to date) that your PRMC is valid for 3 years, so you can take it while at school/college and you’ll be ready to go as soon as you finish.

    A further thing to consider is that, should you be unsuccessful (medically, for example) you’ll have some higher qualifications, and the increased earning potential of an 18 year old, and will be with others taking a gap year etc while you consider your next move. If you’re unsuccessful at 16, you’ll be making less money, and will likely end up a year “behind” all your mates.

    All that said, if you’re sure you want to join at 16, plenty have and were successful, so it’s very much a doable option.

    Fibo
     
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  19. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe Member

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    would an alevel in public services be worth taking?e
     
  20. HEF_RM

    HEF_RM Valuable Contributor

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    I first joined at 18 now 22 and doing RT for a 2nd time next week. I feel a lot more rounded, well knowledged and mature then I did the first time. so I would say definitely worth getting some life skills behind you before hand and getting out in the real world. However upto you! :)
     
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  21. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    PRMC is valid 12 months max, currently.

    The recruit test is valid 3 years.