A PUDSEY dad has completed one of the toughest armed forces training courses in the world to become a Royal Marine Commando, while continuing his day job as a mechanic.
Chris Robinson, 27, was put through a gruelling two-week challenge that tested his fitness, determination and resilience, the culmination of more than 14 months training with the Leeds Detachment of the Royal Marines Reserve.
But he earned his Green Beret, and will now take part in urban combat and live firing training and could then be called up at any time to serve as a Royal Marines Commando Reservist.
Mr Robinson, who works at Alba Tyres in Headingley, originally joined the Marines as a 17-year-old but left training after six weeks and became a mechanic. But the ambition never left him and he decided to join the reserves in August 2013.
He said: “Now I’m older it’s what I really want to do. It’s hard work as I have a young daughter at home but my partner, Tasha is really supportive.
“Up to this point, I’ve been to Catterick and the surrounding training areas. I’ve also taken part in the amphibious assault exercises at Bournemouth Airshow and Modern Urban Combat training at Longmoor Camp.
It is one of the best ‘clubs’ in the world and a fantastic feeling to say I’ve done something really challenging.Chris Robinson
“I’ve wanted to be part of the Royal Marines since I was 13 years old. Getting the Green Lid has been an inspiration in my life. It is one of the best ‘clubs’ in the world and a fantastic feeling to say I’ve done something really challenging.”
During training at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) at Lympstone, the home of Royal Marine training, Mr Robinson had to prove his roping and abseiling skills as well as conducting section attacks in driving rain and wind chill temperatures of minus eight.
The final tests included an aerial assault course, a nine-mile speed march, the famous Endurance Course and a 30 mile timed march, which had to be completed in eight hours.
Mr Robinson’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Dowd, said “To be a Royal Marine Commando takes 100 per cent commitment and a strong state of mind – firstly, just to get through the course, but then as a trained Commando to be ready to tackle any challenge, anywhere in the world.
“If you have a full time day-job, and you’re joining the Royal Marines Reserve, the standards, commitment and mental preparation is no different to the full time regulars.
“The RMR is one of the most active reserve units in the country, ready to be deployed with the regular marines anywhere in the world. It is also among the toughest armed services reserve roles in the world, and Chris has now become one of only about 600 people in the country who is a trained Royal Marines Commando Reservist.”
An open day is being held on Saturday March 14, from 10am-5pm at Carlton Barracks. For more information search ‘Royal Marine Leeds’ or visit www.royalnavy.mod.uk