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A new BBC programme shows the unrelenting training that Royal Marine Commandos have to go through - but would you be able to pass the four tests at the end of it all?
In the four-part series, Commando: Britain’s Ocean Warriors viewers get a behind the scenes glimpse at what life is like in training for one of the world’s best military units.
According to the show, it’s the “longest infantry training in the world” and puts Commando hopefuls through their paces for eight months. Each year 26,000 people apply but only around 400 actually go on to succeed.
In the show, we see recruits as they prepare for the four final tests that take place over one gruelling week and must each be passed.
The first is known as the Endurance Course – recruits have to navigate a 6.5-mile track with a time limit of 73 minutes. It is designed to test their stamina, nerve, speed and marksmanship.
Ricky, a Falklands veteran, explained: “The first test: two-and-a-half miles of cross country – undulating ground, wading through bogs, crawling through tunnels, you’re freezing cold, you’re soaking wet – followed by a four-mile run, with a shooting test at the end of it, which must be passed.
The second test is the 9 Mile Speed March. The hopefuls have to work as a team and complete a 9 mile squadded run as a troop within and hour and a half.
Ricky said: “It’s a collective test, in time, in step with each other. You need those other guys around you, and they need you as well.
“You’re getting from A to B, fit to fight at the end, that’s what the 9 Mile is designed for.”
Test number three is the one-mile Tarzan Assault Course, where the bodies of the Commando hopefuls are tested to their limits.
The recruiters have just 13 minutes to navigate obstacles such as “The Deathslide”, “Commando Crawl”, “The Net”, “Rope Bridge” and “Jacob’s Ladder”. Finally, there’s a rope climb up a 30ft wall.
The unforgiving test is responsible for more serious injuries than any other. Recruits have to finish the course within the time limit and complete every obstacle in order to pass, or they fail the entire Commando course.