Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time...

I was looking for a career change and decided to join the Royal Marines.

Cuz I thought it would be a challenge and chicks dig a guy in uniform, right 

Anyway. Training to become a Royal Marines Commando is arguably the toughest in the world. I know my 

Army and Air Farce buddies are going to disagree but hey just roll with it for the sake of this article. 

Over 30 weeks of intense physical training where they technically “break you down” so they can mould you into so elite fighting machine.

It doesn’t make you bullet proof cuz that shits still gonna smart but you get my point 

During this time, I was having my “character” built by endless sets of burpees, hill sprints and leopard crawls through more muddy puddles than Peppa Pig could cope with, it instilled in me a set of principles that still guide and shape my life.

In the Corps, they call it Commando Spirit.

Now, Commando Spirit isn’t a euthemism for running around drunk and without your pants on, although Bootnecks are traditionally pretty quick to ditch their clothes and dance on tables on a run ashore.

And now that I’ve imprinted that image into your consciousness, back to the reason for this article/post type thingy.

Commando Spirt is a set of 4 principles that each and every recruit is reminded of throughout basic training.

They help to carry you through the tough times in training and they have helped me through some of my tough times post military service.

They are:
•Courage
•Determination
•Unselfishness
•Cheerfulness in the face of adversity

All sounds quite cute, but on their own they’re just a bunch of words. So I thought I’d share with you what they mean to me.

• Courage.

Get out front and do what is right. This also means saying what is right and standing up for your beliefs. Granted this can get you into trouble from time to time. But as long as you don’t intentionally set out to offend anyone then you have to live by your own principles.

• Determination.

Never ever give up. That is, don’t give up on your passion. Don’t give up on the people you hold dear. Don’t give up on being a better person.

Becoming better isn’t just about the physical. It’s also about the mind.

The Army use “Be The Best” as their marketing tag line. The Royal Marines use “it’s a state of mind” or “do you have the strength of mind to be a Royal Marines Commando”, because they want you to know it’s tough.

And believe me it is.

But so is life.

Life is tough and it can suck at times.

But developing a resilient mind can help you through the tough times.

Such as those that we’re facing as a community, as a nation, as a species.

• Unselfishness.

During the the “outbreak” of the virus in the UK there were moments of outright selfishness as people flocked to the supermarkets and panick bought tons of crap that they did not need.

Supermarkets completely empty of sanitiser and toilet roll.

Food desperately in short supply.

You and I have (probably) never seen anything like this selfishness before.

It had me asking “what has become of us as s specie? As a society?”

And were did it leave us?

The old and vulnerable more so.

Unable to get the basic food items they needed.

So the Government stepped in, locked us down and controlled our movements because we could not be trusted to do the right thing!!

So, if you can, do something unselfish. Can you donate something to those that need it but may be too proud to ask. Maybe food. Maybe your time. Help those that need it more than you?

Finally, and probably my biggest guide in life.

• Cheerfulness in the face of adversity.

Rolling around in the mud, doing press ups til your eyes bleed and hanging from your fingertips in the weapons stance can start to get you down.

And if you think of it as only a negative. Or if you just concentrate on the pain, it will best you. And you’ll want to give up.

But if you can make a joke. Or find the light in the dark, you will get through pretty much anything that life throws at you.

And this is what I try to do. Granted I might have an epic sense of humour failure from time to time. But there’s always a smile and a laugh not far away.

Because I won’t let this shit get me down and hopefully you can see the light through this dark.

In closing, I hope you’ve gained something from this.

Even if it’s only noticing that I can go on forever.

And ever.

Forever ever.

Have an amazing day.

Lv MK.


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