Officer Progression

J.Wilkes

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I was wondering if anyone had any ideas how long it took you to work your way up the scale.
I know my main priority is getting in the corps in the first place, however i was wondering what the typical career path would be for a officer in the marines. All i can seem to find on the net is "you could go onto be :-captain etc etc"
Obviously it depends on individual merits but how long before your eligible to be promoted after completion of initial training period.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated as i want to be fully aware of what im letting myself in for.
cheers :cool:
 

Point

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Hey im sure ninja will have more to say, but i think you looking at between 4-8yrs before you are promoted to capt, this wil depend upon your merits or a graduate or not also. Have you done a POC yet? You should get a lecture and they cover career progression in that.
 

ChrisCN

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You are a 2nd Lt throughout your training (including phase 2 training as a troop commander). After this, if you have a degree, you get promoted to Capt. If you don't have a degree, you spend sometime at the rank of Lt. Promotion beyond the rank of Capt is competetive and based on merit. Generally, I think you can look at promotion to Major after about 8 yrs.

For more info, try the link below.

http://www.royalmarines.mod.uk/server/show/nav.6904
 

Skanza

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Quick question, as a captain, would that be the highest rank that would see combat on the front lines?

Would a major see combat?

Cheers
 

Ninja_Stoker

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Pending a reply off RMRO, there is a recurring theme with regard the perception of RM Officers and their supposed propensity to sit behind desks.

Royal Marines Officers are very much "Hands On" in all aspects of soldiering and can be assured of seeing operational "action". They are involved very much in the "big picture" of Command, Control and Communication to ensure the effective use of their deployed manpower and assets. They are responsible for & held to account for the success of a mission and the wellbeing of their troops. Responsibility cannot be delegated.

The higher up the Command Chain you go, the more valuable your experience and knowledge becomes, so naturally those above major are less likely to be put on the ground at the sharp end because they are very high value assets and are far more potent directing than shooting.

That said, some senior officers (Colonel H Jones VC amongst them) do actively lead on the ground, but the risk factor to the operation is often better managed, judged & controlled by someone who isn't being bugged or distracted by "lead wasps" pinging at his feet.

If you want to spend an entire 18 year military career being on the receiving end of armed conflict throughout, then you should join as an Other Rank.

I spent 10 consecutive days under constant attack, below decks on a warship during the Falklands Conflict on HMS Argonaut. Believe me, you really don't want to spend all your career on the very sharp end.
 

AdmiralAwesome

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Is there any reason that progression through the ranks takes such a long time? Nelson was a full post Captain at the age of 20, and Blair Mayne of SAS fame, took four years to go from Lt. to Lt. Col, and most astonishingly of all, Enoch Powell went from Private to Brigadier during WW2, just six years. Obviously, these are extreme examples, but what is the reason that it takes so long? Is it inevitable in peace time armed forces?
 

Ninja_Stoker

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In most cases rank is based on time served experience and merit.

Promotion in wartime is literally dictated by "Dead Man's Shoes" hence there were many young wartime senior officers with hardly any experience and many errors of judgement were understandably made at horrendous cost.

An RM Pilot can take 3 years to train fully for example but in WWII pilots went into combat with very few hours flying experience and paid the bitter price. A newly qualified serving Officer pre-war would be ripe for rapid promotion in the event of all-out war as they had the full training package and were better prepared than those hastily trained.
 

AdmiralAwesome

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Would you not agree that rapid promotion is good in some cases? While there were officers that shouldn't have been promoted so rapidly, there are officers that shined brilliantly, who's influence on the war might have not been so great had they not been promoted quickly - Paddy Mayne comes to mind. If David Stirling hadn't recognised his genius, and got him promoted, then the SAS would probably have died in North Africa.

I think promotion should be solely upon merit, no consideration at all for time served.
 

Duffy1

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Remember though that if a graduate joined the corps as a YO at 21, and were successful in Phase 1 and 2 training they would be a Captain by the age of 24
 
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A Major can be a Company Commander and he would see front line service if his Company was deployed forward. Currently Royal Marines Majors who are Company Commanders are on the frontline.
AdmiralAwesome, you don't know what you are talking about. The Modern Military is a lot more complicated than it was in Nelson's day or even in WW2. You cannot command a unit with a few years experience, that is a fact.
 

AdmiralAwesome

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I'm afraid I disagree, but I don't believe this is the place for a debate.

Apologies for going off topic.
 

Ninja_Stoker

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I'm afraid I disagree, but I don't believe this is the place for a debate.

Apologies for going off topic.
You are absolutely entitled to your opinion, but you may well revise it after you have experienced it first hand.

It's a very good topic for debate on the discussion forum, pre-AIB. My personal, rather than professional, opinion is experience is what you need to be effective. Granted, if you listen & act on other peoples experience (SNCO's & Senior Officers) then possibly rapid promotion has it's merit.

BUT, and it's a big BUT, if you are rapidly promoted at the cost of life or injury of those under your charge, you will be rightly held to account both legally & morally. Likewise those that promote anyone that makes a huge error of judgement will be bitterly condemned & in all likelihood, prosecuted for negligence.
 

FletchPRMC

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I think both factors here have to be bought into the equation. Although I can see admiral awesomes point, and an extremly intelligent officer going up quickly will have its pros, I agree that experence is needed in order to use that intelligence effectivly.
For example and taking things to the extreme, a child genius will most likely not make better life decisions, than a 50 year old adult of average intelligence.
 
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Ninja Stoker is correct, from my experience I have served with some extremely talented and highly capable Captains but they simply would not be able to command a Unit. The years of experience required to do such a job mean it can not be done adequately by an Officer of Capt rank.
I think that your point of view depends on whether you are in the military or not and have had exposure to what is required of a Unit CO in the current Operational Climate.
 
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