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Oxford URNU Officer Cadet visits 42 Commando

14 February 2018
Officer Cadet Mark Anderton recently took part in a Potential Officer Visit (POV) to the Royal Marines 42 Commando Unit.

The POV took place over 5 days and was designed to give candidates a good insight into the lives of Royal Marines Officers.

The activities commenced with a tour of the camp led by Lieutenant Tom Greenway, the Officer in Charge of conducting the POV.

The fascinating tour gave the candidates a glimpse into the day to day operation of a Royal Marines Unit, whilst also affording the opportunity to view the facilities available such as the state of the art Gym and Rehabilitation Centre. 

The visit was a fantastic insight, for a member of the Unit, into the world famous Commando Course and the ethos of the Corps.

Lieutenant Will Jones RN

The most humbling aspect of the visit was walking past the memorial, located at the centre of the base, which is dedicated to the Marines who gave their lives whilst serving in 42 Commando.

Next the candidates were treated to a weapons display, where they were allowed a hands-on experience with some of the weapons systems used by the Royal Marines including the Glock and SA80.

Afterwards, the candidates were transported to Brisworthy Woods where they were taught the basics of living in the field, including preparing a ‘bivi’ and eating rations.

After spending the night in the bivi, with adverse weather conditions specially laid-on to add to the fun, the candidates began the five-mile run back to Bickleigh Barracks.

The run was a fantastic opportunity to see some of the amazing Dartmoor countryside. Lieutenant Greenway also took the opportunity to share some of his experiences in completing the infamous “30 miler” to earn his Green Beret, as some of the route was the same as he had previously experienced.

Later the candidates took part in a lesson in unarmed close combat led be 2 Royal Marine Physical Training Instructors (PTIs). The PTIs taught the candidates basic strikes, falling techniques and how to disadvantage an opponent.

Next the candidates learned, in detail, about the training pipeline for a Young Officer (YO) as well as hearing about the personal experiences of a YO who had recently completed his training.

Finally, the candidates enjoyed a very welcome curry dinner in the Officer’s Mess. The Mess was filled with interesting and inspiring memorabilia and provided an ideal forum to ask the serving officers of 42 Commando about their experiences in the Corps.

The final day began with a riverside run, during which the candidates enjoyed some more of the incredible scenery.

They also had a dip in the river, which is something YOs get quite used to during training. The candidates then used the onsite Dismounted Close Combat Trainer to understand how different weapons react when fired at simulated targets and the difficulty of spotting the enemy at a distance.

The day’s events concluded with some of the candidates delivering short presentations, which they had prepared on subjects of their own interest, which they then received constructive feedback on afterwards.

Officer Cadet Mark Anderton, Oxford URNU, said: “I already had a great amount of respect and admiration for the Royal Marines but after meeting some of the officers and marines and hearing about their experiences first hand I now have a much deeper appreciation for what they do.”

Lieutenant Will Jones RN, Commanding Officer of the Oxford URNU, said "The visit was a fantastic insight, for a member of the Unit, into the world famous Commando Course and the ethos of the Corps."

Oxford is one of 15 URNUs located across the UK offering opportunities to 750 undergraduates from the country’s leading universities.

The URNU's mission is: "To develop an understanding of the Naval Service in undergraduates, so that those who go into civilian employment are positive advocates thereof and to facilitate a Naval Career for those who choose one."

The URNU is a chance to experience military life without commitment and gain new skills applicable to all walks of life.

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