March 17th 2014


A Retford student has successfully passed his Royal Marines Reserve (RMR) basic training whilst juggling his A-Level course work.

Marine James Hudson, who is currently studying PE, psychology and IT at the Retford Post-16 Centre, decided to join the RMR to gain both soldiering and life experience in preparation for a full time military career after he completes his studies.

James completed the Reserve Forces Commando Course (RFCC) and was awarded the Green Beret in January this year.  He explained that the training is designed to push individuals out of their comfort zone physically and mentally. James said: “The training took 16 months to complete. My family have been very supportive throughout my training, without the lifts to and from training from my parents there would have been no way I could have completed the entire programme successfully.

“Although I have no family in the military, I have a few friends who joined the Royal Marines which got me interested in the RMR.”

As a Reservist training is completed mainly on weekends to fit around individuals other personal or civilian commitments.

James continued: “The phase one training involved 11 field weekends and one other; at the end of which we were assessed on the skills we had developed by a professional training team over a two week period. Phase two involved 14 field weekends and another two week assessment known as the RFCC at Lympstone in Devon. This included practice runs of the commando tests, a five night final exercise and the tests themselves.

“The Commando tests are completed carrying 21lb webbing and a 10lb rifle, the four events are:  the six mile endurance course which covers a cross country tunnels section and a run back to camp, a nine mile speed march, the tarzan assault course and a 30-mile route march across Dartmoor carrying around 40lb of kit which is to be completed in 8 hours. After successfully completing the tests, those of us that had passed were presented our green berets by the Brigadier of 3 Commando Brigade, a day I will not forget.”

Passing the Commando Course is a huge achievement and can only be done through hard work and dedication. In preparation for James’ phase one and two training he trained around three times a week with an emphasis on his physical fitness; cardio vascular and muscular endurance.

Major Alastair Edgar, Detachment Commander of the RMR in Nottingham, said: “RMR training is one of the longest basic training programmes in the British Armed Forces but its arduous nature prepares each of our successful recruits for a range of different challenges. To be Royal Marines Reservist you need to have good physical and mental stamina, a sense of purpose and adventure, enjoy a challenge and be equally happy working individually and as part of a team. We are delighted that James passed the Commando Course.”