Royal Marines welcome the latest commandos into the Corps

New commandos today joined the special band of brothers that is the Royal Marines as they formally passed out of training at Lympstone. The men of 157 Troop, the King’s Squad, spent nine days practising their drill skills for the ceremony at the Commando Training Centre – having completed the 32-week course which turns civilians into elite Royal Marines.

The latest men to join the elite band of brothers that is the Royal Marines Commandos today earned the legendary green beret as they passed at Lympstone.

Hundreds of family members and friends gathered at the Commando Training Centre by the River Exe in Devon to witness the passing out parade of 157 Troop, the King’s Squad.

The title of King's Squad is bestowed on the senior troop of recruits – an honour granted to them by King George V following an inspection of Royal Marines passing out at Deal back in 1918.

Ninety-five years later and 40 Commando's Commanding Officer Lt Col Matt Jackson, who led his Norton Manor men through the final tour of duty by Royal Marines in Afghanistan, was the presenting officer for the latest King's Squad.

The guest of honour at the passing out parade was Shaun Sawyer, Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police. He inspected the squad and then watched the men perform an arms drill display to music from the Royal Marines Band.

The new green berets had spent nine days perfecting their drill routine, having completed the formal part of their training with the four commando tests, culminating in the infamous 30-mile speed march acrossDartmoor.

On the Friday morning of their passing out parade the King’s Squad are ceremonially presented with their green berets in front of their families. They then change into blues uniforms and form up before being led on to the parade ground by the Royal Marines Band.

As well as the honour of the King's Troop, the best recruit in that troop may then be selected to become the King’s Badgeman, wearing a special badge on his arm for the remainder of his career in the Royal Marines. 

In his role as Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, Mr Sawyer’s duties include being the national policing lead for the crime business area covering standards, training and competencies as well as migration and associated issues. He also leads the national initiative for police cadets.