An Aylesbury soldier has overcome one of the toughest military training courses in the world to earn his green beret.
Peter Robinson, 22, formerly of Quarrendon School, has become a Royal Marine Commando after undergoing 32 weeks of vigorous training and five days of brutal tests.
He said: “Training is not a full reflection of what it’s like in a unit.
“Everything is done at a million miles an hour in training.
“When you get into a unit it’s slower paced.
“I never expected training would be quite so hard.
“We are a bit better trained so there’s a better chance of surviving.”
“Getting my green beret has easily been the biggest achievement of my life so far.”
Peter had to complete tasks at Lympstone which included a five mile run involving a series of tunnels and an underwater tunnel, a nine mile speed march and a 30 mile march across Dartmoor which must be completed in eight hours.
All the tests are done carrying 32lbs of equipment and completed in five days. The awarding of a green beret signifies a Commando has demonstrated their unselfishness, cheerfulness under pressure, courage and determination.
It all marks a long way from just two years ago when Peter was working for Biffa in Gatehouse Way.
“I was a bit bored at work one day,” he said. “And I was looking into what I could do instead.
“I saw an advert for the army and went for it. So those adverts do work.”
Peter is now based at Arbroath in Scotland with 45 Commando where he will be for a maximum of two years awaiting to be deployed for action.
He admits it is odd to not know when that will be and they are now playing a waiting game.
“The first we will know of anything is when we see it on TV. It’s quite exciting,” he added.
Still he does manage to return home to Aylesbury almost every weekend to see friends and family.
He said: “I think my friends think I’m a bit mad. Now I’m just training, keeping on top of things until anything crops up.”
For mum Janice Robinson it’s an unusual situation being so far away from her youngest child.
She said: “As a mum I was anxious about it. You obviously fear for him but it’ such an achievement. It’s brutal hard work and he’s had his highs and lows.
“We are so far away from him but you trust his fellow mates will get him through.
“We are told very little because of the nature of the job. We don’t have access to them. I can send a message and it may be days before I get anything back.”
Mrs Robinson said her son has always carried a competitive streak and had mentioned potentially joining the police when he was younger.
But the police’s loss appears to be the Marine Commandos’ gain and Peter added: “It’s definitely one of the best experiences of my life.”