My Father the Legionnaire

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In my day not all Royal Marines were commandos. Some were ship Marines manning X & Y turrets. Then there were Key Board sentries and others for ship security.

In 1956 there were 450 Marines on HMS Vanguard. There were also specialist small boat handlers, engineers and multi vehicle drivers/mechanics. By 1960 all had to complete the commando course. Many opted out and left the Corps. Some went to RAF Regiment. Others with long service and unfit were given more sedentary jobs.

The Commando Course is similar in content to that of WW2 in which US Rangers participated. with Royal Marines. Obviously there have been modifications to reflect modern day.

Now there is also a 17 week All Arms Commando Course for those who are going to be attached to Commando Brigade. Unlike the Airborne Brigade all must be commando qualified and wearing the Green Beret. Parachuting is regarded simply as an Adqual.

In days of yore the AACCse was shorter since there was less to take on board. Our esteemed MOD Joseph Cosgrove passed this selection and served with Commando Brigade.

You can only belong to the Green Beret Commando Association if you have actually completed the course. I had Canadians and USMC officers in the course above me. Capt. B. E. Trainor USMC, passed and later became a Maj. Gen Spec Ops Vietnam. Lt. Charles Belzile (Canada) passed and subsequently became head of the entire Canadian Armed Forces. 2 others failed ! Charles RIP wrote to me saying that when he undertook the US Rangers course it was less well structured by comparison and less arduous. I like to retain such correspondence.

Our Green Duke Pearson served in the Corps and has stated on record that physically it was more demanding. Another recent Green Scouse Arley served in the RM.

On 28th October it will be the Corps 354th birthday.(y)

Finally I tip my hat to Joe. He knows how tough it can be.;)
 
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DCLXVI,

I appreciate that the Legion offers different types of Commando Courses. To state per se that you are all commandos is interesting. I wonder if in basic training you have a test by which you individually have to self navigate 48 Kms over rough terrain, in full fighting order, in inclement weather and within a given time limit ? The commando tests are the very basic requirement to enter Commando Brigade. Further advanced training continues once within your unit. The Royal Marines and SBS are designated by the MoD as commandos. That is their sole role in a combat orbat.

No doubt the Legion as some very distinguished units, but to suggest you are all Commandos surprises me. Hence I remain curious.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

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I;ve done a total of four commando courses whilst in France, Mont Louis (most famous in france) 3 REI, Martinique and CECAP. None have lasted more than three weeks, the equivalent of the AACCs 'beat up'. This is three weeks training by category, i.e. Artillery. Engineers. And the miscellaneous. Being an army chef I was miscellaneous :rolleyes:, me Joe Cosgrove classed as miscellaneous !? But I let it it go. For those that passed it was 6 another weeks. No week off, no R+R, the next day on the bus.
 
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Thanks Joe for the informative post. Were you allowed to wear the badges thereafter on your tunic/uniform ? In the FFL was your AACCse recognised ? If not did it help ?

For others the All Arms Commando Course 'Beat up' is getting men fit enough to start their actual commando course. 17 weeks total inclusive. It is open to volunteers from the RN, Army or RAF. They are then allowed to serve with Cdo Brigade and wear the CGB with regimental badge. Returning to their units they may not wear the CGB but in service perpetuity they can wear on their left arm the red dagger on black triangular symbol.
 
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Joseph Cosgrove

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Were you allowed to wear the badges thereafter on your tunic/uniform ? In the FFL was your AACCse recognised ? If not did it help ?
Could I wear my dagger in the FFL? No, first of all I said that I was a landscape gardener before joining. And even if I had not born false witness, I would have had to have been sent from the legion to do it.
Did it help me during my time in the legion. Definitely, I remember when I was first sent down to CECAP, the Lt, took me along to give the demonstration to a section of regulars. The demo, was how to do a half regain in webbing. I remember the amount of times having done this during the beat up and then at Lympstone. So no problem. However the Lt then says, while I'm still on the rope; now we'll break it down into different movements. 'The corporal pulls himself up on the rope, the corporal. hooks his left shoulder over the rope...
'Ok Cosgrove, one more time fluently, but slowly' wtf :(,
'Now the corporal will demonstrate how to do a full regain.' :eek: Once only I hope . I'd learnt how to do the regains (among other things) during my beat up.
 
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