Royal Marines Bugler

High priority role
Service:Royal Marines
Branch:Royal Marines Band Service
Royal Marines Band Service
A Royal Marine Bugler.

The role at a glance

What you’ll do

As a Bugler in the Royal Marines Band Service, you’ll be front and centre at some of our most important ceremonial occasions, and lead your band when on parade. As a key part of the Corps of Drums, you’ll learn to play the Bugle, Herald Fanfare Trumpet, and Military Side Drum. In your distinctive white and blue uniform, you’ll be representing the Royal Marines at all times, wherever you are in the world. It’s an honour that goes beyond music, as you perform vital military duties in support of 3 Commando Brigade.

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • Spend up to two years at the Royal Marines School of Music (RMSoM), learning to play the Bb Bugle, Eb Herald Trumpet and Military Side Drum.
  • Play an important role in the Royal Marines Band Service’s vital medical and logistical function, supporting 3 Commando Brigade in conflict zones all over the world.
  • You will perform as an individual, in small groups, as a Corps of Drums or marching in front of a Royal Marines Band whenever on parade. 
  • Make a vital contribution to our nation’s defence diplomacy strategy, performing at military, ceremonial and social events on the world’s biggest stages.



What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • B3 Qualification on completion of phase 2 training (2 years after employment start date)
  • BTEC Level 3 in Music Management within the Uniformed Public Services (UPS)

Skills you'll develop

  • The ability to perform on the world stage in front of thousands 
  • An in depth knowledge of the bugle, snare drum and trumpet

Career progression

What you'll need


  • Aged 16 to 32 when you start Basic Training
  • There is no minimum qualifications requirement
  • You must be able to read music and play a brass, wind, stringed or percussion instrument to a high standard
  • For males a BMI of under 28. This rises to 28-32 BMI rate if your waist measures less than 94cm. For candidates under 18 years of age, BMI should be between 17 and 27
  • For females, a BMI of under 28. This rises to 28-30 BMI rate if your waist measures less than 80cm. For candidates under 18 years of age, BMI should be between 17 and 27
  • Minimum height of 151.5cm, and a minimum weight of 65kg for males
  • A national of the United Kingdom or Ireland, a Commonwealth Citizen who has lived in the UK for the last 5 years, or a dual national

Skills and interests

  • Playing a musical instrument 
  • Performing in public
  • Working as part of a team
  • A real sense of adventure 
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows:

  • Submit an application

    Once you’ve registered your interest and have satisfied the basic eligibility criteria, you will be sent an online application form

  • Naval Service Recruitment Test (NRST)

    You’ll be tested on general reasoning, verbal ability, numeracy and mechanical comprehension

  • Interview

    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role

  • Medical and eye tests

    These are quite comprehensive and must be completed by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors

  • Aaudition and Test

    Spend five days at the RMSoM, where you’ll need to pass an audition and a number of physical stamina tests before starting your career in the Royal Marines Band Service

Initial training

First and foremost, the Royal Marines Band Service is military unit, so you’ll spend your first few months learning all of the practical skills you need to be an effective member of the wider Royal Marines team.

This phase of training concentrates on physical fitness and basic soldiering. You’ll need to have a high level of fitness to cope with your performance workload, as well as your military role.

Our immaculate drill is something that makes us unique, so you’ll also spend plenty of time learning how to march correctly and play your instrument at the same time. 


Professional training

After your initial military training you’ll spend up to two years at the RMSoM developing your skills and mastering one or more instruments.

You’ll have a civilian professor of music, who will have considerable musical experience, for each instrument you’re learning. You’ll have individual weekly lessons with them, and your own practice room to work on your technique.

You’ll also be in the capable hands of a Band Service Instructor. They’ll be an experienced player of the instrument you’re learning, and will keep an eye on your progress, advising on technique and helping to sort out any problems.

It’s intensive training, but it’s also a fantastic way to develop your musical skills quickly and correctly. By the end of it, you’ll be ready to join one of the five bands as a fully trained Bugler.