Number-cruncher by day, elite Commando by night. For supermarket finance manager Richard Longley, it’s all in a day’s work.
The Leeds accountant has made it through one of the toughest armed forces training courses in the world to be been crowned with a prestigious Green Beret.
After enduring an arduous and gruelling 18 months of assault courses, extreme weather, inhospitable conditions and sleep deprivation, the brave Bramley book-keeper is at last a fully fledged Royal Marine Reservist.
But in spite of giving up entire weekends and evenings to suffer physical pain and mental torment, he still manages to make it to the office every day, at the Morrisons HQ in Bradford.
“I don’t think many of my colleagues know what I’m really doing when I go away training. They just wonder why, every now and then, I’m looking a shade tired on Monday morning,” said the 29-year-old.
The Commando course takes place on the bleak and inhospitable terrain of Dartmoor.
Recruits take on a punishing endurance course, a nine-mile speed march, a 30-mile run and a ‘Tarzan’ assault course at heights of up to 30ft - all while carrying more than 30lbs of military kit and equipment.
Richard’s courage, strength and determination mean he is now one of only 600 people in the UK to combine civilian day jobs with serving part-time as a Commando. Richard, who serves at the Leeds detachment of the Royal Marines Reserve at Carlton Barracks, could be deployed on operations abroad at any time.
Around ten per cent of Royal Marine Reservists are currently serving on long-term attachments in Regular Marine units, including Afghanistan and other parts of the world.