Dom is 16. He’s a boy from a suburb of London who might enjoy the easy life, “waking up late and chilling,” as he puts it. Instead, he aspires to become a Royal Marine Commando.
In the opening episode of Command: Britain’s Ocean Warriors (BBC Two, Sunday) we followed Dom and other recruits in the final stages of their training. This is a 6.5-mile endurance course (2.5 miles wading cross-country through tunnels and freezing swamps, followed by a 4-mile run with a shooting test at the end), a 9-mile speed walk, a Tarzan Assault course and a 30-mile march. One second over the time limit, let alone eight months of training to get to this point – you’ve failed.
“Exhausting” doesn’t cover it. Try to imagine that at the age of 16 you have the physical and mental strength to get through this. The program also focused on the slightly older Kane, who had spent extra time in training following a stress fracture. For the last week he has been in pain. Before the 30-mile march, he was asked how his leg was and he replied, “I’ll cross the finish line on stumps if I have to.”
Dom and Kane explained their reasons for wanting to sign up. Dom had seen people in his neighborhood do drugs and end up in jail. “You have to walk two paths – the right one and the wrong one.” Kane was a carpenter who earned a decent salary but wanted more: “I’ve seen a lot of people in my life that I don’t want to be. I made the right choice by coming here.”
One could argue that this was free publicity for the Navy, a recruitment film that glossed over all the negatives. you would be right So what? It was one of the most engaging programs I have seen in a long time and I am humbled to see the effort these young men are making.
It also included inspirational stories from former commandos who still proudly wore their green berets. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who had a lump in my throat at the end as the recruits rolled through and as the show paid tribute to two respected veterans who are no longer with us.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2022/05/08/watching-young-royal-marine-recruits-one-stirring-humbling-things/ Watching these young Royal Marine recruits is one of the most stirring and humbling things I’ve seen