Commandos achieve ‘dream’ alongside their recruiter

FOUR Royal Marines recruits marched the last ten miles of their gruelling final 30-mile commando test alongside the man who gave them the opportunity to earn their coveted green beret.

Warrant Officer First Class Richard Cartman, careers advisor at the Armed Forces Career Office in Shrewsbury, took seven hopefuls on to the legendary Royal Marines Commando training programme at the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone in Devon.

The recruits were all in 275 Troop and four remained heading into the final week of the 32-week course, which tests hopefuls rigorously – both physically and mentally – before they can collect their green beret and qualify as an elite commando.

Throughout the recruitment process, WO1 Cartman kept in close contact with his candidates and planned to mark their success at their pass out parade.

However, deployment overseas meant WO1 Cartman couldn’t make the pass out but he was adamant he wanted to see his youngsters in their finest hour.

That was when WO1 Cartman decided to head out on to Dartmoor as the recruits navigated through their final 30-mile speed march test, which they have eight hours to complete and carry 40lbs of equipment and a rifle throughout.

He joined them for the final ten miles of the speed march and was with them –Marines Harry Dowley, Blake Dempster, Sam Edge and Jack Dare – as they were presented with their coveted green berets and became elite Royal Marines Commandos.

“It was a huge honour for me,” said WO1 Cartman. “It gives me incredible pride when you see the young people achieve their dreams like this.

“It is a great success for four originals to be successful from one Armed Forces Careers Office and I wanted to show my support.

“Being presented with their coveted green berets is a monumental moment in anyone’s life.

“I’ve struck a strong relationship with all my candidates and in most cases you become the most important adult in their lives minus their parents.”

It was a huge honour for me. It gives me incredible pride when you see the young people achieve their dreams like this. It is a great success for four originals to be successful from one Armed Forces Careers Office and I wanted to show my support.

WO1 Cartman

Mne Dowley was delighted to complete the tough training alongside comrades from Shropshire.

“The recruitment process was smooth and having someone so enthusiastic as WO1 Cartman was extremely helpful,” he said.

“Training was hard but having mates from start to finish helped us a lot, the bond you make with the lads is something you can only discover here.

“To finally finish the commando tests with your mates you started with from home was the proudest feeling we’ve all felt in our lives and to have our careers advisor with us was a huge bonus.”

WO1 Cartman – who has been in the Naval Service for 26 years – followed his recruits’ journeys as they progressed to training at Lympstone and seeing them qualify brings great joy.

“The Naval Careers Service is an incredible privileged position I find myself in and giving people the opportunity and being such a huge influence on young people’s lives gives me an immense sense of pride,” he said.