What is Establishment Strength in the RLC Mariner Trade & the Royal Navy Seaman Trade

Below is the number, by rank, of:

  • Mariner trade (formerly seaman/navigator trade) in the Royal Logistics Corps (RLC);
  • Seaman Specialistion in the Royal Navy (RN); and
  • Coxswain trade (aka Landing Craft (LC) specialisation) in the Royal Marines (RM).
Table 1: Number of personnel by branch of military service and rank [1]
Rank (Army/RN/RM) RLC [2] Royal Navy [3, 4, 5] Royal Marines [6]
Private/Able Rate 1 & 2 30 390 169
Lance Corporal 25
Corporal 15 132 63
Sergeant 5 61 33
Staff Sergeant/Colour Sergeant 5 41 19
Warrant Officer Class 2 >5 N/A 10
Warrant Officer Class 1 >5 17 1
Total 85 B3


  1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest ‘5’ to limit disclosure.
  2. The figures provided are Regular Army only and therefore exclude Ghurkhas, Full Time Reserve Service and Mobilised Reserves (i.e. does not include 165 Port and Maritime Regiment RLC).
  3. The Royal Navy does not have a Lance Corporal equivalent.
  4. The figures provided are for trained regular Royal Navy personnel as of 01 November 2016.
  5. Personnel in the Seaman Specialisation are not employed in the Submarine Service.
  6. The Navy Command Secretariat (FOI Section) “advised that the Royal Marine Corps does not have a Coxswain specialisation.” This is technically true but completely ignored the Landing Craft (LC) specialisation (i.e. 1 Assault Group and 539 Assault Squadron)! This is what the person requesting the FOI was asking for, but got the terminology wrong (Royal Navy, 2015, p.12).

The RLC Mariner trade is my old job, and it is a shame to see it decrease in number once again. It will be interesting to see how much longer this trade will last.


FOI Request: FOI 2016-10518 dated 25 November 2016.

Royal Navy (2015) ‘A Corps of Specialists’: A Careers Guide to the Royal Marines Specialisations. 2015 Edition. p.12. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers/royal-marines/what-can-i-do. [Accessed: 10 January, 2018].



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