My son is determined to join the Royal Marines and I'm so worried

(32 Posts)
Poppysquad Wed 14-Sep-16 22:30:20

My son is 18 and is set on joining the Marines. He's uncertain about whether he will join as a trainee officer or a Comando. It worries me sick. I am trying really hard not to let it get me down but I keep on having scary thoughts about the possibilities of him being injured or killed. I know that there's not much I can do to dissuade him so I think I am going to have to live with these fears. Has anyone else experienced this?

fairywoods Thu 15-Sep-16 09:00:58

Has he just taken his A Levels? Has he actually applied or spoken to the recruiters yet? You probably know this, but he has to have an incredibly high level of fitness, that's the first thing they test before they accept you and I think many don't pass the fitness test. My son is still thinking about joining the Marines after Uni, he's currently 18 and at college doing an Art Foundation. I am hoping the Marines idea disappears in the next few years and I totally understand your worries. The only thing I can say is that he may well change his mind, or find the fitness test much harder to pass than he imagines.

cdtaylornats Thu 15-Sep-16 12:21:15

You can't join as a commando. You would join as a general duty marine and once you have your green beret you get a chance to specialise, one specialty is commando, if you are chosen then its off to commando school

Poppysquad Thu 15-Sep-16 12:54:18

He completed one A level and is doing two more this year - he re-sat his AS's. He has spoken with the recruitment officer and is now focusing on his fitness. He has been a county level rugby player so is relatively fit, although I expect he will still have a lot of work to do to get up to the required level.

My mistake cdtaylornats I am just not familiar with the process or terminology yet

phillipp Thu 15-Sep-16 13:03:39

My dbro was determined to join the marines. Turned out he couldn't because his eyesight wasn't good enough. Even with laser surgery he wouldn't have been able to join. This was about 18 years ago, so things may have changed.

Wanting to join and actually getting in are two very different things. But not much comfort to you.

I can understand how worried you must be. Don't try and get him to change his mind as he may dig his heels in. He may change his mind or even not get in. Just try and not get to fraught until you know what's happening and then deal with it.

DiegeticMuch Thu 15-Sep-16 23:12:47

My BiL's best mate played county rugby, and ran regularly for an athletics club, but even he failed to get in. They're very choosy - they can afford to be, given the high number of applications. There's more to the process than fitness.

Poppysquad Fri 16-Sep-16 15:59:40

Does anyone have a son who is currently serving? What's it like being the mother of a Marine? Do you ever see them? Do they change as a result of their career?

yeOldeTrout Sat 17-Sep-16 09:46:33

Have you watched the Channel 4 documentary (6 part?) series on the RMC? There's a lot in there about the family reactions and you would get a feel for how much you would see them before they pass out at least. Also, when the recruits take their shirts off, you realise how incredibly muscly they are... it's a very high fitness bar they meet.

What is your son's Plan B, if he can't get into RM, would he join another service?

My 16yo son is in process of applying to the Army. Sorry, I can't share your anxieties, but we've known this was DS's plan since almost forever so we've worked thru a lot of practical issues.

wigglybeezer Sat 17-Sep-16 09:53:31

My son is in the process of joining the Royal Navy ATM, the medical is extremely harsh even more so for the Marines, any allergies, skin conditions, (even acne) asthma as a child, sporting injuries ( my son plays rugby and had had the usual catalogue. You can join Navy net to ask questions on the navy / marines recruitment threads, I have found this very helpful

yeOldeTrout Sat 17-Sep-16 09:58:39

@Wiggly: what is your son doing in meantime? Apart from a fitness regime, mine is being feckless.

DS managed to tick 2 boxes wrong on his Army med forms & we had to appeal twice!! DS is now waiting to be told his residential assessment dates. DS's PlanB-C-D sequence involves applying to Navy, but I haven't had heart to tell him that I suspect they automatically Reject anyone who has been rejected by the other Armed Services.

SorrelForbes Sat 17-Sep-16 10:01:42

cdtaylornats Sorry but that's not quite correct. All recruits (other ranks and officers) do their training at Lympstone and must complete the final commando tests to pass out. If they complete their training, they pass out and are presented with their Green Beret and are all then Royal Marine Commandos. The exceptions are the Royal Marine Band who are Bandsmen or musicians are NOT commandos.

SorrelForbes Sat 17-Sep-16 10:01:48

cdtaylornats Sorry but that's not quite correct. All recruits (other ranks and officers) do their training at Lympstone and must complete the final commando tests to pass out. If they complete their training, they pass out and are presented with their Green Beret and are all then Royal Marine Commandos. The exceptions are the Royal Marine Band who are Bandsmen or musicians are NOT commandos.

SorrelForbes Sat 17-Sep-16 10:06:31

OP Has your DS applied yet? He will have to do either a Potential Royal Marines Course or a Potential Officers Course as part of the selection. If he's doing A levels I'd really recommend that he looks at joining as an officer.

yeOldeTrout Sat 17-Sep-16 10:16:12

Timing! DS just popped in to have a rant that the doctor's surgery hasn't returned the full medical forms. DS got an email from Army saying he has to go make Surgery fill in & send the forms off. confused Surgery gets £65 for filling in the forms & were supposed to send the forms back to Army recruitment people within 2 weeks. I am trying to encourage DS to take a box of chocolates to charm the surgery admin staff with. DS wants to go have a strop at them.

Anyone had this... doctors surgery delaying the forms they have to send off for candidates, what can we do?

wigglybeezer Sat 17-Sep-16 10:18:38

oP, my son is playing a lot of computer games! He is not academic and had to work hard to pass the recruit test (a lot of maths revision etc.) He has bursts of enthusiasm for practising life skills like ironing but is a bit listless and unfocused ATM as the unexpected delay while they review his medical records has thrown him,. All his pals have gone off to fresher's week which doesn't help and he has given up Rugby as he is not built for the adult game and doesn't want to risk another injury right now.
He had romantic notions about joining the Marines but I managed to divert him to the RN ( he thinks it was his idea).

wigglybeezer Sat 17-Sep-16 10:26:20

We made a mistake on the medical forms too, still waiting for the outcome of that one. I think it depends on the nature of the medical problems whether you are automatically debarred from all services,. The Marines will not let you pass if you have had lower leg injuries for instance, but I think the RN would as long as it wasn't deemed a problem likely to recur.

yeOldeTrout Sat 17-Sep-16 11:22:10

Is Royal Navy a much better prospect for long term career options? I think (?) that Army/RMC turf enlisted soldiers out after 20 yrs unless they are senior officers.

SorrelForbes Sat 17-Sep-16 11:40:56

The usual maximum length of service is 22 (counted from 17 1/2 or later depending on age at entry) but extensions of service are sometimes available. DH joined the RN at 16 in 1990 and is set to stay in until aged 55 in 2028. He joined as a Junior Weapons Engineering Mechanic and is now a Lieutenant Commander so hasn't done too badly grin

wigglybeezer Sat 17-Sep-16 12:26:04

Can't day I'm an expert but some of the specialists in the RN such as logistics or engineering have very good post service career prospects, unfortunately my Ds wants to be a warfare specialist!

yeOldeTrout Sat 17-Sep-16 12:34:51

DS wants to get into tanks (armoured corps).
DH is going to make DS 2x20kg weights, so DS can practice carrying them 150 yards, required for the physical. shock

Dapplegrey1 Sat 17-Sep-16 12:37:48

Poppy - aren't you also proud of your son? I would be if it were my ds.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Sun 18-Sep-16 00:04:37

Be aware that career infantry (which the Marines are) have fairly serious hip, knee and back wear. I spoke to a Major supervising at Sennen who was in the queue for new hips at 39. 20 years under a Bergen had done him no favours.

MunchMunch Sun 18-Sep-16 00:23:00

My ds1 (16) has applied for the RN. Our doctors took a while to fill in the medical forms that they have to send and we are now waiting for a medical but he hasn't heard anything for a few weeks now, despite me encouraging him to ring them and see if his name has fell off the system. He wants to join as a Weapons Engineer so has started an engineering course at college so that he has some knowledge by the time he joins.

I am anxious but proud at the same time. He has to go out into the big wide world at some point but being 16/17/18 and to move hundreds of miles away from us gets my stomach feeling all knotted.

If ds1 had wanted to join the army/marines I wouldn't have signed the parent consent for to be honest. I wouldn't want him in the middle of a war zone doing dangerous operations where the possibility of being attacked is more likely. I keep asking myself will he be safer on a ship and I think the last time a ship was attacked was during the Falklands but then I find myself panicking about him drowning as that is one of my biggest fears.

Sorry for my ramblings blush

AvaCrowder Sun 18-Sep-16 00:35:14

Our friend trains marine recruits. He has done active service and is fit like hell. I think it's harder for the mums and wives, when they do a tour they are all in it together. Really nice group of friends. If your son does get in he will have a load of really strong, clever men watching his back. It's not elitist, but they are all strong and clever.

yeOldeTrout Sun 18-Sep-16 10:45:42

AFAIK, British military has a policy of not sending under 19s to active combat zones - because they don't want the bad publicity if their very young soldiers were killed.

We had 7 yrs of school refusal so I'm just pleased DS has something he likes & wants to do. It's a reasonably responsible path.

DS is 16 now, but by the time he finishes all the training he will be 18.5yo. If I didn't sign the forms now, he'd just be feckless for the next 13 months & then sign the forms for himself, anyway.

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