One of the YOUNGEST ever to earn the ROYAL MARINES COMMANDO coveted GREEN BERET

An interview with Jamie Archer, Principal Osteopath at Alma Osteopathic Practice

PART I

Q. Jamie, did you always want to be an Osteopath?

A. No, I initially wanted to join the Royal Air Force. So when I was 15 years old I went to the careers office with my dad one Wednesday afternoon. When we got there however, the RAF office was closed but the Royal Marines office was open. It wasn’t long before I found myself hanging by my arms from a makeshift pull up bar across the stairs with this marine sergeant shouting ‘arms bend…and stretch’ as I preceded to do pull ups. I got to about 8 or 9 I think before he said stop!!…yep you are fit enough’

 Jamie on patrol in Northern Ireland

Jamie on patrol in Northern Ireland

 A few weeks later and after getting permission to take time off from school, I attended and passed the pre-selection process for Royal Marines Commando Training, which was a gruelling 3 days of physical and mental tests.

A couple of months later, I then joined the Royal Marines Commando training programme, at the commando training centre in Devon, a shade over my 16th birthday. I arrived one cold morning in September 1991 at the infamous ‘commando halt’ train station not really knowing what I had let myself in for. There was about 54 of us in the initial group of recruits, most were lads in their early to mid 20's. I was the youngest.

 Jamie at 19 years old

Jamie at 19 years old

The training to become a Royal Marines Commando is tough and over the next 8 months many of the original 54 dropped out or failed to pass the intensive series of tests along the way. By the time we reached the Commando phase there was about 24 of us left.

The ‘commando tests’ are the pinnacle of training. These are a series of physically demanding tests of strength, stamina, and mental toughness. Many do not pass these tests and for them their journey is over.  I passed all of them first time.

 Jamie fast roping out of a Lynx Helicopter

Jamie fast roping out of a Lynx Helicopter

After the 8 months of training I was completely transformed. There were 15 of the original group of lads left and I was one of them. We had all successfully completed the Royal Marines Commando training programme the first time around and earned the right to wear the coveted Royal Marines Commando green beret. Still at 16 years old I was one of the youngest ever to do so.

From there I went on to serve all over the world in all environments for 8 years, it was later on in my early 20's that I first encountered Osteopathy........but that is another story if you are interested?

 Jamie on active service in the early 1990s

Jamie on active service in the early 1990s

Gila Archer