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Royal Marines welcome 24 new green berets to the commando family

8 February 2022
There are two-dozen new Royal Marines ready to give their all for Queen and Country wherever the call may come after completing their ’36-week job application’.

312 Troop, The King’s Squad, formally passed out for duty at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines in Lympstone in front of their families, friends and VIP Rear Admiral Jude Terry, the Royal Navy’s Director People and Training and Naval Secretary, who took the salute and inspected the successful green berets.

Out of an initial intake of 55 recruits in April 2021, on this occasion, the King’s Squad included ten original members, the remainder having joined from more senior Troops after recovering from injury, illness, or requiring more time to achieve the Commando standard. 

Throughout, the trainees repeatedly demonstrated their professional competence, passing through individual skills taught in Phase One training and working together at Section and Troop level throughout Phase Two.

The introduction of demanding tactical serials challenged the Troop, especially with exposure to new tactics and Future Commando Force initiatives and assets, but they rose to each one and overcame every obstacle.  

Of the 27 who started the Commando Test week, all but three succeeded – and they will give it a second crack shortly with another Troop.

Today is amazing and really special, I’m so proud, but it’s not about just today it’s the whole course we’ve completed,

Marine Gawith

Prior to the tests they completed a physically and mentally -demanding final exercise which took them across many of the South West’s most demanding training areas, before tackling the four Commando tests: the Endurance Course, a nine-mile Speed March, the Tarzan Assault Course and the infamous 30-mile march across Dartmoor, each with just 24 hours’ rest and recovery.

“Back home I was a student and served in the Canadian Army Reserve,” said Marine Jacob Coutu. “I knew I wanted a military career and I wanted to be part of one of an elite fighting force. I knew they were accepting Commonwealth applicants, so I applied and was accepted and began my 36 week job application.”

The Commando Medal was awarded to Marine Hal Bartlett who demonstrated unselfishness, cheerfulness under adversity, courage and determination throughout his training – qualities which define the commandos’ spirit and ethos.

Marine Joe Gawith wore the coveted King’s Badge as the best all-round marine in the Squad – a decoration he will display for the rest of his career in the Corps.

“Today is amazing and really special, I’m so proud, but it’s not about just today it’s the whole course we’ve completed,” said Marine Gawith.

“It’s definitely the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my whole life. I do feel like I’m now part of something that is really special, the relationships we’ve developed here at Lympstone are insane.”

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