I started basic training in September of 1980. I finished 151 Troop as a Diamond Marine. I was awarded 3 months seniority because of my effort in basic training. I joined 40 Commando in Plymouth. Later, we changed barracks to Norton Manor Camp in Taunton.
During my 3 active years of service, I was awarded my Cross Rifles for excellent shooting, in the unit. I qualified, three years in a row.
During my time in the Royal Marines I was deployed to the war that was taking place in the Falklands Islands. That was quite an amazing experience and I will never forget it. After that, I spent four months in South Armagh, Northern Ireland. That was a very tough four months. There, we engaged the Irish Republican Army (also known as the IRA). The IRA was an active terrorist organization and that is a whole new ball game. After that, I was on HMS Hermes for three months, on a Mediterranean tour to Gibraltar, Turkey, Egypt and Cyprus. That was a great way to finish off my time in the Marines.
Without doubt, the Royal Marines made me who I am today.