Hello all, This my first post here, although I have read a lot of the threads, and can I say it's a very good forum. I do realise this exact question has already been asked in a different thread, however it didn't really help me all that much. I also emailed that guy to find out what he did in the end but haven't yet got a response. I'm 24 and finished my masters last year in international relations. I'm from Ireland (Cork). I have always wanted to join the army, however I was always told "you'll grow out of it", so I decided to keep going with education. While travelling India last year and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with myself I realised the military is still it. This is going to be a long post, sorry about this but I don't have a careers office I can pop into to ask these questions and know one I know has a clue. Seeing as its almost impossible to join the IDF at the moment naturally the British Armed Forces were the next choice (plus the fact there seems to be more career opportunities in it). Having spent a long time researching the different arms of the British Military ( and actually having met one while travelling in Europe a few years back and discussed the with job him) I decided that I would like to become an officer in the Royal Marines. Unfortunately I found out, upon further research, that Irish Citizens can't be officers but only recruits in the Royal Marines. (this is ******* stupid). I have tried everything I can to get a British passport (even got a lawyer to try and find a loophole which cost me!) but it can't be done. So (finally) here is my dilemma. In short I cannot decide whether to join the Royal Marines as a recruit or go for the Para's (or in second place Rifles) as an Officer. My heart is set on the Royal Marines but it's also set on being an officer! Now before I start can I ask you not to patronise me. I'm 24 not 14, I realise that it isn't all sexy and cool like you see on the adds and I realise how hard it is to join these regiments. This is something I want for a career and surely 90 percent of you joined the armed forces did so for the same reasons. I also realise that pretty much every regiment in the British Army is comparable standards wise, so please don't get offended by my choice of Marines or Paras. (Sorry but I see a lot of those kind of responses on military forums on the internet.). I'm also not asking anyone to make up my mind for me I just need some advice as my head has been going in circles from all the different info on the web. The Marines attract me mainly because they seem to receive a wider amount of opportunity to train in different parts of the World. (correct me if I'm, wrong). In particular the Mt Leader Course is something I would attempt to complete. (I took up wall climbing a few months back to see if I'd be any good at it!). My main goal however would to eventually become an officer after 5 years, when I believe I can apply for a British passport. Is this feasible? Do recruits often make it to officer after 5 years? The main reason officer is so important to me is that I feel like I have wasted my time/money in Uni if I'm a recruit, also I like the idea of having more responsibility etc. The main draw backs to this are that I have always wanted to be an officer, and I'm worried that I may not be able to become one after I serve five years to get my passport, and the pay difference. The pay difference is not so much a big deal, however I saw that as a graduate I would be earning over double as an officer in the army than I would as a recruit in the Marines, and although i'd be joining for the life style no one can say that's not going to sway their thinking a bit. On the other hand I could join the Army as an officer. Am I wrong in thinking that Royal Marines would be a more varied career? I know this is getting a bit ahead of myself but hey I'm ambitious, I would most likely eventually attempt selection for one of the special forces, more so probably if I go straight as an officer to the army. (This is why the Para's or Marines are what I'm interested in). Again I realise I probably won't make selection but I'm sure everyone in the SF was once were I am now (figuratively). I'm guessing it's total bolox that the Marines think, while the Para's smash stuff?? (this is not meant as a jibe you know what I mean). Do I wait for two years in the Para's as an officer before 1 Para also. What are the chances of getting into the Para's as an officer, and then into the Pathfinders. (not so much requirements more so waiting lists for selection etc etc in fact the same goes for the ML Leader course in the Marines.) Thanks anyone that actually reads all that it all just sort of came out when I sat down to type! I guess it actually doing that will help get my head sorted even if no one can be bothered to write back I'm sitting here with all the stuff ready to send off to the Marines and also the Form nearly filled out online for the army but my head is all over the place!