What is the Royal Marine Recruit Orientation Phase?


The Royal Marine Recruit Orientation Phase (ROC), introduced in 2020, is part of the recruitment and selection process of the Royal Marines.

It is one of three (physical) phases the potential Royal Marine must attend and pass before starting initial training.

What is the ROP?

It is a 4-week progressive sub-maximal training programme which incorporates greater levels of physical training (PT), determination and mental resilience than the Pre-Royal Marine Course (PRMC) it replaced.

The Reserve Recruit Orientation Phase (RROP) is available for RM Reserve candidates (see below).

Why Did the ROP Replace the PRMC?

The ROP replaced the PRMC due to the requirement to sub-maximally test candidates whom may be unconditioned to intense exercise.

There have been several cases, service wide, of exercise collapse during maximal testing in unconditioned personnel. This has forced the requirement to gradually increase the intensity of exercise over an extended period in order to minimise the risk of injury to personnel.

The PRMC was designed to maximally test candidates in a short, 3-day period. The ROP is designed to build candidates up to the required level of fitness before completing the Commando Aptitude Assessment which will be based around the tests conducted on the PRMC. This allows the ROP Training Team to ensure you the candidate are in the best possible place to continue training within the 32-week of RM recruit training syllabus. This will reduce the risk of exercise collapse and also reduce the risk of injury throughout training.

Prior To Attending ROP

Prior to attending ROP, candidates will be given an itinerary/joining instructions of what to bring and what to expect on the ROP.

What Does the ROP Involve?

ROP is a four-week phase based out of Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM), Lympstone.

This phase of your journey to join the Royal Marines culminates in a three-day field exercise, known as Exercise First Step, (or Ex First Step) and Royal Marines Fitness Assessment (RMFA).

The ROP includes:

  • Kit issue and husbandry
  • Drill and personal administration
  • Weapon handling
  • Basic fieldcraft
  • Graduated PT sessions
  • Lectures including:
    • Thinking strategies;
    • Nutrition;
    • Royal Marines Corps history; and
    • Health and hygiene.
  • A confidence at height assessment on the high obstacle course; and
  • Physical conditioning through (Royal Marines Fitness Assessment, RMFA):
    • Sub-maximal training to achieve level 11 on Multi-Stage Fitness Test (MSFT)/Bleep Test
    • Five overhang pull-ups
    • 40 press ups
    • 50 sit ups
  • Commando Aptitude Assessment (CAA, see below)
11. Week 1 will cover a multiple of lectures, interviews and kit issue preparing the would be recruit for what they are about to begin.
2. This week will also see an introduction to military Drill, a swim test and PT (physical training).
21. PT and swim sessions will now become a daily routine.
2. Alongside other skills the would be recruit will now be issued a rifle and take weapon lessons teaching them how to strip and assemble and basic marksmanship.
3. The would be recruit will also get an introduction to Royal Marine Close Combat lessons, know as RMCC.
31. Throughout the weeks the standard of fitness will be increased with every session, ropes climbs will be introduced as well as weight training for squats, lunges and deadlifts.
2. This week will also cover add rifle lessons, swim sessions and drill.
41. The would be recruit will now be tested on all the skills they have learnt over the 3 weeks.
2. Starting with inspections and two nights in the field covering basic field craft and personal admin in the field.
3. They will then move onto a 4 mile speed march (no weight), the RMFT, determination test on the bottom field, a swim test and finally weapons handling test and drill.

What is the CAA?

Designed to be conducted immediately after a two-night introduction field exercise followed by a 4-mile march return to CTCRM. You will proceed immediately to the Bottom Field where you will undertake a determination exercise, before returning your kit and equipment.

What Does the RROP Involve?

The RROP involves:

  • Weekly drill nights;
  • 2 weekends over a 5-week period; and
  • A night in the field with:
    • A determination test; and
    • Maximum fitness testing.

What If I Am Successful/Unsuccessful?

If you are successful you will progress to initial training.

If you are unsuccessful, you can return to week 1 and undertake ROP again. ROP can be taken twice.

If at the end of the second 4-week package you are still unable to reach the required physical standard, you will be offered the opportunity to transfer to another service, the Reserves or discharged from service. This will all be taken on a case-by-case basis.


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