Featured Why are people still joining the royal marines?

Discussion in 'General Royal Marines Joining Chit Chat' started by CB05, Jul 14, 2018.

  1. CB05

    CB05 New Member

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    Hi all,
    Just a quick question for anyone who fancies responding. With the current climate of warfare within the british military, no Afghanistan, no Iraq, why are people so eager to join up? Surely your day to day is going to be 90% cleaning weapons and admin. For 32 weeks of hard training and average pay what is the point? P.s I’m not bashing anyone I would just like to hear some other opinions. Thanks.
     
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  2. stringer98

    stringer98 Member

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    joining the military is not just about going to war.
     
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  3. m2013

    m2013 Well-Known Member

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    Military pays my bills keeps a roof over my kids head
     
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  4. Illustrious

    Illustrious Royal Marines Commando - Moderator

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    The Military has given me multiple driving licences, HAZMAT qualifications, including petrol tankers. On top of that, it has given me qualifications useful in civvy street, including the first year of a degree qualification. I'm also on £29k a year, not counting home to duties fuel allowance, so hardly poorly paid.

    I've been exposed to multiple working environments, including those outside of Afghanistan, which have been equally dangerous.

    As for 90% of time spent cleaning weapons, not even close. I'd struggle to fit weapons cleaning into my working day.
     
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  5. CB05

    CB05 New Member

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    I appreciate your detailed response, and I’m sure there are many benefits to being in the military. Just curious are you still currently serving as I’m assuming you have risen through the ranks if you’re earning 29k/yr.
    I have just heard very little about operational deployments in recent years and assumed it would be a career path that would take a back seat for many.
     
  6. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Careers Adviser

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    Absolutely correct.

    I joined the Navy primarily for travel, camraderie, excitement and adventure. In that order.

    For me, war was an occupational risk rather than an aspiration. Oddly it was a risk that manifested itself on my very first ship which sailed into combat (Falklands) within 4 weeks of my joining it.

    That certainly wasn't what I hoped for, but...I accept that is precisely what many present day Royal Marines really do want to experience is combat first-hand - inspired possibly by gripping programmes such as Commando on the Front Line.

    I actually came across a guy who flipped when he failed the recruit test. "Why do I need to pass a test?" He asked, "I only want to kill someone".

    Needless to say, had he passed the recruit test, I doubt he would have got past the interview and medical.

    Most of my operational career has been spent undertaking disaster relief operations, providing humanitarian aid , intercepting drugs runners and protecting UK trade (oil shipped from the Middle East, etc).

    In the course of a 20 year career, based on the last 3.6 decades, I'd be surprised if anyone (except UKSF) spent more than a couple or three years actually engaged in genuine daily armed combat being shot at and returning fire.
     
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  7. Illustrious

    Illustrious Royal Marines Commando - Moderator

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    @CB05 nope, not risen through the ranks all that far. Flying low at LCpl.
     
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  8. thewolveriene

    thewolveriene New Member

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    you also need to bear in mind CB05 that much of the RM time is spent on exercise honing your skills for Survival, Team work and of course Combat so that we are maintaining and developing an ever readiness for any eventuality, be it war, security or humanitarian relief.
     
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  9. m2013

    m2013 Well-Known Member

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    What lv you on. Guessing high for that wedge
     
  10. m2013

    m2013 Well-Known Member

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    Theres a fine balance to this. Keep sending blokes away on exercise to places like otterburn every other week and that makes people sign off in a retention low military.
    I know many people whose reason to leave was this
     
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  11. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Careers Adviser

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    Agreed.

    During the Herrick years back to back operational deployments were also a major retention issue. Most young lads join in the belief they'll spend an entire career shooting at the bad guys and being shot at.

    Little do they realise that after three or four tours their outlook changes significantly. During operations in which they may see their oppos suffer life-changing injuries or worse, they maybe even have experienced a few close-calls themselves. They sometimes find the appeal for adventure diminishes. Not all, admittedly.

    The Royal Marines Viking Troop was a good example of this as they had a very high tempo of operational deployments compared to most other infantry units besides SF. Retention became an issue. The average Royal served around six years, had their fill of action and then left aged around 25-29. After Herrick, the average Royal serves around 11 years, upon discharge, aged 30-34.
     
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  12. dodgyknees

    dodgyknees Member

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    It’s not all about Ops. Much of what the military is currently doing does not make the national press and as such is not widely known about. Exercises, short term training teams etc. I would be genuinely surprised if many of those at Cdo Units did not get away on a significant foreign deployment every couple of years or so.

    The military also remains a true meritocracy; if you have something about yourself you can go on to have a full and varied career even if you came from a difficult background with no qualifications.

    There is no doubt that the ‘offer’ is not as good as it used to be, but pensions etc still stack up well against civvy equivalents.
     
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  13. thewolveriene

    thewolveriene New Member

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    A fair observation M2013 you are right
     
  14. LighteningWolf

    LighteningWolf Royal Marines Commando

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    Just because large scale operations such as Telic/Herrick have ended this doesn't make a career in the Royal Marines a boring or mundane job.

    Join the corps and you will undertake all of the following:

    World class training
    Overseas exercises in the Arctic, Jungles, Mountains and Deserts
    Short term training teams (STTTs)
    Defence engagement opportunities

    And last but not least, operations.... yes there are still opportunities within the Royal Marines to deploy operationally around the globe.

    Not to mention as already eluded to above that rates of pay, bonuses, allowances and pensions to make it all the more worthwhile.

    That being said, large scale operations are usually only around the corner. A good friend of mine joined the corps in the late 90s, absolutely nothing was happening operationally and there was even talk of disbanding the corps. Around come the early 2000s and he found himself on the first invasion of Iraq and the first operational deployments to Afghanistan. Yes there are no large scale conventional operations at present and our government seem dead-set against it, however the Middle-East and North Africa are in absolute termoil at the moment. Who knows what is around the corner.
     
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  15. arny01

    arny01 Ex Pongo.

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    Hardest rank in the military!! :)
     
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  16. arny01

    arny01 Ex Pongo.

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    I would think anyone joining up would join because of the broad nature of the job. Yes most would have aspirations to see action, but I would definitely think it wouldn’t be something that is a deal breaker. Being in the Military offers so much good stuff to keep you busy, that actual war fighting is a side issue.
     
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  17. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    Apart from any 'local, acting and unpaid'!o_O:(
     
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  18. ave!

    ave! Royal Marines Commando

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    There’s a feeling right now that it’s not a good place to be amongst the lads if I’m honest. Black alligator is gone , cougar as it was is gone , Norway is a bit shaky as I’m trying to get on the next one and the jungle seems to be the army’s domain.

    There’s no money in the pot thanks to the navy spending all its money on two ships they didn’t have the men for ( thus pinching our line numbers )

    Had quite a funny one not long ago when lads were getting tetchy over a place on a ship. Only 4 spaces and everyone who is sick of the endless sennybridge / Dartmoor / Bodmin rotation we’re desperate to do something ; anything

    Add that to the fact that ; at least where I am , we are not operating on a basis of mutual respect with our heirarchy who seem to see us as toys for promotion and care as much as their pension and getting there.

    So to have someone looking to join actually thinking past training is refreshing. There are pros obviously , but maybe a more specialised job in the navy or RAF or even a bit of life experience until the next war would be preferably to joining our morale circus
     
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  19. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Careers Adviser

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    There's no doubt the thoughts and opinions of those serving as trained ranks very much benefits and influences those who aspire to follow in your footsteps. All feedback is therefore very valuable, particulary as we are here primarily to recruit.

    From a recruiting perspective it is important we tell it how it is, warts and all.

    Given the apparent disatisfaction, are you in the process of quitting the Corps?

    If so, if you don't mind my asking on behalf of those thinking about joining;
    1. Have your circumstances changed since joining (partner/family)?
    2. What foreign travel have you experienced with the Corps?
    3. The carrier project was initiated in 2008, did you join before or after?
    4. Given your time again, which military unit (if any) would you have preferred to join?
    5. If you leave, what civilian job are you considering? Does the Corps provide sufficient resettlement training?
    6. Has the Corps provided a transferable skillset do you feel?
    7. What has changed fundamentally since you joined? Are there any aspects which have improved?
    8. Would the Corps fare better under Army command do you feel? Or better off independently?
    9. Do you feel the 80% of RN manpower who aren't Royal Marines also think the carriers should be scrapped?
    10. Given that Trident costs over £3bn a year, should we scrap it (together with 43 Cdo) in order to keep 40, 42 & 45 as fighting units?
    11. Do you regret joining the Corps?
    12. What was the best thing you experienced in the Royal Marines?
    13. How does your previous civilian work experience compare with your military experience?
    14. With the benefit of hindsight, which civilian jobs do you feel would have been a better option at the point you joined the Royal Marines?
    15. Is there anything you think you may miss if you leave?
    16. Whilst in training, did you keep in touch with those who left voluntarily and do any of them regret leaving?
    17. If you could change your life and those of your fellow Commandos as a trained rank Royal Marine, what would single thing would make you want to stay?
    18. If you had a time machine, would you join again in the same circumstances but with the benefit of hindsight?
    19. If money were no object, bearing in mind the taxpayer pays our wage, what would make you want to stay serving?
    20. Looking back, was it worth it?
     
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  20. ave!

    ave! Royal Marines Commando

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    As long as none of my answers identify me I’m happy to oblige

    1. None of my circumstances have changed ; family still mega supportive and the corps helps me bag off no end on nights out so I still don’t have a partner

    2. Not nearly as much as I anticipated. Black alligator and a month in Switzerland ( more about that later )

    3. I joined after 2008

    4. Very difficult question , I still would have joined the corps but I am biased

    5. At the moment I never plan to leave voluntarily but unfortunately I’m not immortal so I’d probably try and set up a bar in Ibiza. Resettlement I’ve heard can be problematic but I’m the wrong person to ask. I know lads who have been squared away with degrees but they have served considerable time. Lads who leave after >12 years seem to get a lessened deal. Remember your resettlement time is as good as your hierarchy allow it to be. If you have a careers roadshow and it classes with Dartmoor - pack your Bergen fella

    6. The corps havnt provided me with a transferable skill set. It’s just come about from being in the corps as a by product. My confidence in myself will never be higher and I can take charge of people easily now so man management is something I will take away to civvie world.

    7. Trips away on exercise in foreign countries , expensive exercises that are enjoyable and essentially morale has taken a dive. Most people across all specs and rank laugh when I say I wouldn’t mind being corps RSM now.

    8. I’m not paid nearly enough to make that call. I have worked with some exceptional pongos but I’m too young in the service to comment on that. My opinion wouldn’t matter to the ranks in charge of that anyway.

    9. I have worked with lads from the navy who laugh at the idea of a carrier fleet. We don’t have the frigates and the air defence power of the 45’s to send a carrier fleet around and maintain our current responsibilities I’m told. Manpower is a massive issue for them too. Don’t quote me on that ; it’s just what I’ve gained from run ashores etc..

    10. If we were to ditch trident I doubt highly that the money would go back into the military. The fighting units are great in a big green brigade fist but for some reason the top brass are still in the Cold War. The brigade isn’t going to be deployed any time soon. We need to be able to deploy companies like what the army do in Africa on a whim. Make the corps back into the raiding force it was originally intended to be.

    11. Joining the corps was the best choice I’ve made.

    12. Switzerland and a course I undertook in a triservice environment. Both combined immensely high morale and esprit de corps , common sense leadership and mutual respect across all ranks that sometimes broke rules to get things done well and above all the opportunity to travel and be separated from conventional chain of command.

    I’ll wait for the RMP’s now
     
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