Royals’ Bear Force as adventurer joins cadets at Lympstone and Dartmouth

One of Britain’s best known adventurers has been sharing his experience with Royal Navy officer and Royal Marine cadets.

Bear Grylls – a former SAS trooper turned TV presenter and survival expert – celebrated being awarded an honorary green beret by dropping in on the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone, and seeing would-be naval officers returning to Britannia Royal Naval College from a week on the wilds of Dartmoor.

As a newly-appointed Royal Marines Reserves Honorary Lieutenant Colonel, he was among the VIPs at the Kings Squad passing out of 162 Recruit Troop.

“It’s a total privilege and for me it’s about encouraging marines in all their endeavours,”

said Bear.

“Especially down here at Lympstone where it’s pretty daunting for recruits and Young Officers when they start training, but they’re on the path to something special. Worthwhile things in life don’t come easy.

“For me it’s just about encouraging them to stick with it. Go for it, and really embrace those Corps values that mean so much in life – like cheerfulness in adversity and humility and all that stuff that really matters in soldiering but also in life.”

After the formalities of the passing out parade, it was time to join recruits from 164 Troop on the Tarzan assault course; they were more than a little surprised to encounter the new lieutenant colonel on top of a 12ft wall.

Bear, who remained unfazed in his new role – and happily called everyone ‘dude’ – overcame the notorious regain obstacle without breaking into a sweat.

“My father was a bootneck. He’s no longer around now but I’d like to think he’d be smiling down – especially now as I now outrank him!

“I spent four years as a trooper with 21 SAS so it’s a little bit of a promotion from trooper to lieutenant colonel.

“For me it’s all about encouraging people. I’m the Chief Scout so it’s the same for all the scouts around the world.   I sum the whole thing up in three words: encourage, encourage, encourage.”

A few miles down the road in Dartmouth, and the TV presenter was on hand to offer some words of encouragement to muddy and tired cadets returning from five days on Dartmoor,

That’s a look of hard work and endeavour.  Well done you guys.”

He added,

“They’ve hardly slept, they are all covered in grime and mud and dirt, they are beaten and battered, but they are all smiling and I think it’s a real testament to the kind of team spirit that really epitomises this establishment.”

During his time at the College, Bear was given an insight into the training provided to Officer Cadets and the tradition and ethos of the Service.

“The best way of really getting a feel for the Navy and Marines is to get down with the cadets, so it’s a total privilege to be here.”

“I come from a military background as well and it’s great to come back.  Actually it’s a reminder of how hard it is.

“It’s hard going through that basic training and we all need as much encouragement as we can get and so I come here and I say: ‘Do you know what guys total respect to you, you are working so hard, but great things in life don’t come easy, but trust me it’s worth paying the price for.’

“It’s just about encouraging them to hang on in there.”

Bear learned many of his survival skills as a soldier with 21 SAS Regiment

 He become one of the youngest climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1998 aged 23 and went on to star in TV programmes such as Man Vs Wild and Born Survivor.

Off screen, Bear has led expeditions from Antarctica to the Arctic, while raising over $2.5 million for children around the world.  He is also the author of ten books.

As an honorary member of the Royal Marine Reserves, Bear’s role is to represent the Naval Service and the Reserves through his day-to-day life.

He previously held an appointment as an honorary Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy Reserves.

Bear is due to return to CTCRM in January 2014 where he hopes to meet more recruits and tackle some more of the Royal Marines’ physical tests.

They’ve hardly slept, they are all covered in grime and mud and dirt, they are beaten and battered, but they are all smiling.

Bear Grylls