Follow Richard Jones as he sends these three special reports about what life is like for royal marine recruits as they train in Portsmouth in a bid to be part of the prestigious Royal Marine School of Music.
A group of 140 Royal Marines from across the south have set off on a gruelling thousand-mile run around Britain. It's the last stage of a challenge being held to raise money to support injured marines and to mark the 350th anniversary of the corps. Richard Jones reports.
Sergeant Mark Hill will cycle from Spain to France to help raise money for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund
He is the only musician in the 30 strong team which will be cycling more than 80 miles a day in temperatures topping 30c.
There was a large audience which was not good for the nerves. The standard was extremely high so it really means a lot to have won the trophy. Hopefully this will help my long-term career as a musician in the Royal Marines Band Service and I am looking forward to performing at some prestigious venues in this country and overseas.”
Royal Marines musician Sophie Perriam from Portsmouth has won top prize in a prestigious solo competition. The saxophonist impressed judges at the annual contest at the Royal Marines School of Music. Thirty musicians entered the competition.
Royal Marines have carried out live firing exercises by staging a mock dawn raid on an enemy village.
Forty Commando Royal Marines have taken part in Exercise Black Alligator in the Mojave Desert, California.
A Royal Marine from Poole in Dorset has won the Royal Navy Amateur Photographer of the Year 2013 award. The prize is one of the annual Peregrine Trophy awards which celebrate the skills of professional and amateur Royal Navy and Royal Marine photographers.
Sergeant Ben Briggs, 35, entered images of his colleagues taken while they were training in tough terrain on exercise in the Norwegian mountains. He said the win made him even more enthusiastic about furthering his hobby.
Sergeant Briggs said: “Norway was a really great opportunity for me to develop my limited photography skills. I really wanted to capture the aurora borealis or northern lights, as I had seen them plenty of times on previous trips to Norway but never had a camera decent enough to photograph them.
“I really wanted to try and capture a mix of the beauty and severity of the terrain, along with the physical and mental endurance of the Royal Marines.
"I’m really pleased with the results, and that my photographs have been well received by professionals has given me the enthusiasm to start experimenting with other more intricate techniques.”
Major Robert Bruce, director of the Royal Marines Museum explains about the open day held at Eastney.
The Royal Marines Museum in Eastney in Portsmouth has been transformed so families can experience what it's like to wear the coveted green beret. A Sea King helicopter and military vehicles were also on display.
John Thornton was just a few weeks away from the end of his tour with the Royal Marines in Afghanistan when he was killed. He was 22.Five years later and his diaries have been published - alongside those of his older brother - who is still in the armed forces.
Their accounts - of life on the frontline - are both honest and emotional, as Richard Jones has been finding out. He spoke to the brothers' parents Linda and Pete Thornton.