All Arms Commando Course

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The All Arms Commando Course lasts for 8 weeks and is run by the Royal Marines at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM), Lympstone. Members from any of the United Kingdom's Regular Armed Forces (e.g. personnel from units attached to the Marines) and overseas exchange personnel can attend to serve with 3 Commando Brigade. On completion of the course the successful candidate earns the right to wear the green beret, and to wear the "Commando Dagger"[1] on their uniform.

Following a 5-week pre-course period, which brings soldiers from a broad range of backgrounds up to a common standard of basic skills, the course focuses on core military skills, including patrolling, defence and section and troop level attacks. The AACC is for trained military ranks only and is not open to new recruits into the armed forces.

The course then covers the following Commando skills: amphibious assault drills, cliff assault drills, helicopter drills and small-unit tactics. The course concludes with a week-long confirmatory test exercise followed by Test Week.

The course is open to both men and women. In 2002 Major Philippa Tattersall of the Adjutant General's Corps became the first woman to have successfully completed it.[2]


The following Tests must be passed by the volunteers:[3]

Bottom Field Tests[3][edit]

Wearing boots, CS95 trousers and jacket, carrying 21 lb (9.5 kg) fighting order and personal weapon:

  • 30 ft (9.1 m) rope climb
  • Bottom Field assault course in under 5 minutes
  • 200-metre fireman's carry, carrying own and colleague's equipment and weapon, in 90 seconds
  • Full regain over the water tank

Criteria Tests[edit]

Undertaken during the course, and must be passed to progress.

  • 4 Mile Speed March – as a formed body in 40 minutes carrying 21 lb (9.5 kg) fighting order and personal weapon[citation needed]
  • 6 Mile Speed March – as a formed body in 60 minutes carrying 21 lb (9.5 kg) fighting order and personal weapon[3]
  • 12 Mile Load Carry – as a formed body in 4 hours and 40 minutes carrying 69 lb (31 kg) marching order and personal weapon[3]

Commando Tests[edit]

Completed on consecutive days during the final test week:

  • Endurance Course – 2 miles (3.2 km) of cross country and water obstacles followed by a 4-mile (6.4 km) road run in 73 minutes carrying 21 lb (9.5 kg) fighting order and a personal weapon, followed immediately by a range shoot in a 25m range simulating 200m, in which 6/10 targets must be hit.[3]
  • 9 Mile Speed March – as a formed body in 90 minutes carrying 21 lb (9.5 kg) fighting order and personal weapon[3]
  • Tarzan Assault Course – in under 12 minutes carrying 21 lb (9.5 kg) fighting order and personal weapon[3]
  • 30 Miler – 30-mile (48 km) cross-country march over Dartmoor under 8 hours carrying 40 lb (18 kg) fighting order and personal weapon[3]

Reserve Forces Commando Course[edit]

There is also a Reserve Forces Commando Course run for members of the Royal Marines Reserve and Commando units of the Army Resserve, In 2013 the Territorial Army(TA) was renamed the Army Reserve.

The two-week Reserve Forces Commando Course (RFCC) at CTCRM is the culmination of the Recruit's Basic Training. The course is designed to test whether the Recruits professional and physical abilities are of the standard required by a Royal Marines Commando.

Outline of the Reserve Forces Commando Course:

  • 12 Mile Load Carry
  • Fogin Tor
  • Five Day Field Exercise
  • Commando Tests

12 Mile Load Carry – is another criteria test and is conducted as an introduction into the Field Exercise. For the 12-mile march along roads and cross country, recruits are require to carry Full Marching Order weighing 69 lbs and their 5.56mm Rifle (10 lbs).

Five – Day Field Exercise – the purpose of the exercise is to put the Recruit's personal and professional skills to the test under challenging field conditions. This includes an amphibious assault.

Commando Tests. The Commando Tests are conducted at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM). Shortly after returning from the field to CTCRM, the Recruits face the Commando Tests. These are the same Commando Tests undertaken by the Recruits Regular counterparts. For all the Commando Tests the Recruits must carry Full Fighting Order (22 lbs) and the 5.56mm Rifle (10 lbs).


  1. ^ "JSP 336 3rd Edn, Vol 12 Pt 3 Clothing, Pam 15, Section 3 Badges of Employment and Qualification". Ministry of Defence. 1 December 2004. p. para 10. Retrieved 26 December 2007. "...soldiers and NCOs who have qualified at the Royal Marines All Arms Commando Course and have served a tour with Commando Forces may wear the commando badge in perpetuity..." 
  2. ^ "First woman wins Marines' green beret". The Daily Telegraph. 1 June 2002. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Commando Training. All arms commando course (AACC)". British Army.