Reservists handed coveted Green Berets

At the end of a gruelling 30-mile trek through Dartmoor, Reservists were given the coveted Green Beret of the Royal Marines.

The group of 27 completed the Royal Marines 30 Miler – the culmination of the two-week Commando phase of their training.

They were met at the finish line by Commodore Martin Quinn, Commander of Maritime Reserves, who said completing the tough training was a significant milestone.

The success of this cohort comes as 40 Reservists will support 45 Commando, the lead commando group, during their deployment early next year.

The immense feeling of achievement at the end is something that will never be rivalled throughout the rest of our lives and the feeling was enhanced by the fact we’d done it together.

RMR Thomas Threlfall

Royal Marine Reserve (RMR) Tom Robertson, from RMR Merseyside in Liverpool, is one of the 40. He said: “I wouldn’t have believed someone if they’d told me, at the start of the course, I’d join the Lead Commando Unit within a few months of finishing training.

“I’m looking forward to putting into action the skills I have acquired and excited about my future within the Royal Marines.”

RMR Thomas Threlfall, who also completed the course in November, added: “The Reserve Forces Commando Course was an arduous two weeks but nothing that our intense level of training had not prepared us for.

“The weather was probably the most difficult element of the course. The immense feeling of achievement at the end is something that will never be rivalled throughout the rest of our lives and the feeling was enhanced by the fact we’d done it together.”

RMR Rob Gilroy said the training has made a difference to his civilian life, mainly in his university studies.

“I have found my time management has improved and I am now able to balance all my commitments and meet university deadlines more easily,” he said.

“Also, learning to thrive in challenging conditions has made it easier to face and solve problems I may come across in my studies.”

The longest and hardest of all the UK reserve forces training, the fortnight Commando course consists of a five-day field exercise, a 12-mile “Yomp” or weighted march with 70lbs, followed by the same four Commando tests endured by the Royal Marines including the 30-mile march through Dartmoor.

Cdre Quinn said: “For those in the Royal Marines Reserve, winning their Green Berets, having reached the same physical standard as their full-time peers, is a hugely important and significant milestone.”