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Paul Clark


My name is Paul Clark and I am currently undertaking Royal Marine Reserve training with the Leeds detachment. I am also studying medicine at the University of Manchester. When I finish my studies I hope to rejoin full-time, this time as a Doctor serving with 3 Brigade. I definitely would not have expected to be in my present situation 5 years ago.

I was born in Newcastle in 1982 and after finishing Secondary School in St. Albans, I studied Philosophy Politics and Economics at Pembroke College, University of Oxford. I then joined the Royal Navy back on 10 May 2005, and passed out of Britannia Royal Naval College in February 2006 as a Sub-Lieutenant. After completing Elementary Flying Training on the Firefly Aircraft, I went onto Basic Fast Jet training on the Tucano at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Following this, I went to the Defence Helicopter Flying Training school.

I realised before joining an Operational Conversion Unit, that I did not enjoy being airborne as much as a lot of the guys around me, and after a conversation with my Commanding Officer I requested to be withdrawn from flying training. I really enjoyed the military lifestyle, and became very attached to the Royal Navy during my time training in the Fleet Air Arm, so I was convinced about pursuing a different career in the Royal Navy. I applied to Manchester University to study Medicine and left full time service with the Royal Navy on 1 Sept 2008.

Ever since I visited Lympstone (where the Royal Marines conduct initial recruit training) I had been very interested in serving with 3 Brigade, Royal Marine Commandos. This ambition was made much greater after hearing the stories of some Royal Marine friends that were on my flying training courses. For a long while I wanted to fly the Commando Sea King or ‘Green’ Lynx so that I could work with 3 Brigade when I became operational. Additionally I liked the chance this would have given me to volunteer for the ‘All Arms Commando Course’, which would have been a huge challenge and have provided an insight into how the Royal Marines do their job. Now I am undertaking Royal Marine Reserve Training, I will get this opportunity but for a different future purpose.

Posts by Paul Clark

6th April 2009

Exercise Early Night

4 people rate this

I just got back from the weekend exercise “Early Night” which ironically doesn’t involve a great deal of sleep. We did our first proper insertion march (marching a few miles from the transport to an operating area carrying rifle, fighting order/webbing, and a toppers burgen). It wasn’t too taxing in terms of fitness but personally I need to build up my shoulders before the next exercise as they definitely werent used to carrying all that weight.

The weekend covered a detailed teach and practical exercise to improve our map reading and navigation skills. Other highlights were being taught how Marines select a Harbour position (place from which to operate, conduct personal adminisration and sleep), and how to defend this site from the enemy. To achieve this we practiced putting up a Bivvy (waterproof cover to sleep under) and then at random points in the night we practiced packing all equipment away and being ready to fight or flee as a unit from the designated emergency RV point in under 4 mins. This was given a real life feel when in the early hours a very surprised patrolling army troop tripped one of the traps we had laid and lit the sky with pyrotechnics, causing us to jump into action the way we had been taught.

1st February 2009

Rifle Drills and Field Craft

6 people rate this

Just got back from a phase one weekend. We were issued and shown how to use the kit we will be using in the field during training and then later on operations. The weekend was a nice break from the physical training that has been the focus of the first few months, but there was a lot of information to absorb. In particular, stripping and cleaning the rifle came with lots of warnings and tips. I imagine it will all become second nature in the near future.

16th December 2008

Phase One Training

4 people rate this

Selection weekend was an experience. There is a variety of assessments, including: running; a bleep test; pull-ups; press-ups; sit-ups; an assault course; and leopard crawling out of the North Sea in the early hours. It was quite tough, but as the instructors remind you, you are only ever a shower and hot food away from being back in your comfort zone, and you feel great afterwards.