In 1999 I undertook the Potential Officers Course at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines. At the time I was sponsored by the Army through University, having undertaken the RCB (Regular Commissions Board) just prior to my 16th birthday to secure an Army 6th form scholarship and a place at Sandhurst. I switched my allegiance to the Corps, not because I had spent ages 8-18 in Taunton (the home of 40 Commando), but because I spent some time in Scotland on a cadet camp and a Royal Marine Mountain Leader told me if I didn’t at least try for the Royal Marines, I would regret it for the rest of my military career. The sincerity of this man as well as his true professionalism struck a chord with me. And well, the rest is history as they say.
Why is this relevant? I am trying to get across that I was quite good at these sorts of courses as a young man. I passed and scored highly enough at RCB aged (almost) 16 to get an Army Scholarship. I passed and scored highly enough at my POC and AIB (Admiralty Interview Board) to secure a Royal Marines Bursary through University when aged 19 and I subsequently undertook Royal Marines training aged 21 once I had finished University.
As I chose to specialise as a Physical Training and Sports Officer, I also found myself undertaking the RMFA (Royal Marines Fitness Assessment), Gym Pass Out, Bottom Field Pass out and three of the Commando Tests (Tarzan Assault, 9 mile speed march and Endurance course for a second time (as an individual under test conditions). I therefore feel that I have a good pedigree and solid practice at these types of tests. For a course I did at Poole in the later stages of my career, I was keen to get very high marks on the 1.5mile run test and gym based fitness tests. I used my gainers technique to ensure I was in a position to get full marks on the sit-ups, pull-ups and press-ups and devised my own running based training programme to ensure I would fare as well as possible on the other elements.
In 2009 I was asked to write the Haynes Royal Marines Fitness manual while training Recruits at CTCRM. The book was published in 2010 and I was advised that if I wanted a civilian career, that book was the perfect platform to leave the Corps from. While working for a company in London I was receiving an incredible amount of emails, Facebook messages, Twitter DMs, YouTube comments etc asking for my help and advice in order to pass the PRMC. At first I tried my best to reply to each and every one with the aim of helping people enjoy the career I did. I wholeheartedly believe that any man who enters the Corps becomes a far more rounded person and a better member of society. It’s a shame the Corps couldn’t handle taking every snot nosed 16 year old for 32 weeks. We might have a very different UK if that happened.
I digress. It soon became apparent that I couldn’t keep up with writing programmes and answering questions for every young man who thought about joining the Corps. Some people (especially in this fast and furious world we live in) literally had the idea to join the Corps on a Friday and would email me, and by Monday they had decided to become a Train driver. I joke, but it did seem like I was wasting my time. I decided that charging people for my advice was the way forward, in an attempt to weed out the real potential candidates from those on a whim. My thought process being that those willing to spend a bit of money would be serious and therefore worth my time and effort designing training programmes and meal plans for them.
In an attempt to allow potential PRMC candidates to get my expertise as well as be affordable to them, I made my prices far cheaper for those trying to join the Marines compared to those for regular people/businessmen etc. The problem was, I then found that those businessmen would just want a PRMC programme to try instead of my specific bespoke programmes, so trying to help young lads join the Marines was affecting my income. Disheartened, I decided to stop trying to help individuals and just put the info out there. I uploaded the PRMC RMFA bleep test, press-up test, sit-up test and pull-up test and did a few videos on gainers and other tips I had. I thought this would be adequate for guys to do their own training. Instead, I was inundated with even more messages and questions.
One question mentioned a PRMC ebook that was expensive and in their words, pretty useless. I looked at what was out there and decided that with 5 books now behind me (four for Haynes and one for Men’s Fitness) and the pedigree I mentioned above at passing military tests, if anyone was going to write a PRMC ebook it should be me. It took me a little while to write 26,000 to ensure I covered everything I thought should be covered, but I really feel it’s a book that has something for anyone attempting the PRMC, POC or Reserves version of. In fact, it could well be useful to someone attempting the RCB or any other military entrance tests. The book is on the market at £6.49. That is pretty cheap compared to others out there, but I don’t want that to be a reflection of the content. Check out the reviews and see for yourself. The book, like my hard back published books, has been well received. I just wanted it to be affordable for 16year old lads wanting to get themselves into the Corps, but also maintainable for me in terms of putting it on a website etc.
To round up then, if you want to be a Royal Marines Commando you need to prove yourself on the PRMC. It’s not something to go along to unless you are physically and mentally ready. In fact, these days you have to pass a Pre Joining Fitness Test, which my ebook will also help you prepare for. There’s an 8 week training programme in the book and an explanation of how to make it applicable to you as an individual. It will help improve your running as well as your press-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups. There are also swim sessions included, as although you won’t be passed or failed on your swimming, you will be expected to swim at the PRMC and you will have to pass a relatively high standard of swim test in Marine training.
So why not start now and get ahead of the game. I’m proud of my Pass the PRMC ebook and sincerely hope it helps many a young man have a go at the a career wearing a Green Lid.