TA soldier faces gruelling Green Beret challenges
A TERRITORIAL Army soldier from Horfield has taken a step towards realising his ambition and earning the Commando Green Beret.
Will Wingfield, 24, pictured, has completed the basic training course with the Bath-based 131 Independent Commando Squadron with flying colours. But in order to earn the coveted Commando Green Beret, with its distinctive dagger insignia, Will must take on a series of gruelling physical challenges later this year.
He will be faced with the daunting Commando Course, which features a nine-mile speed march inside 90 minutes carrying full fighting order, a six-mile endurance course through rough terrain, the infamous Tarzan assault course and, finally, a 30-mile yomp across Dartmoor carrying a weapon and 30lbs of kit, to be completed inside eight hours.
Will, who works as a graduate trainee at the Ministry of Defence complex at Abbey Wood, attended Loughborough University before moving to Bristol.
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He said: "At one stage, I considered a career in the regular Army. Then the civil service opportunity arose and the part-time option of the TA has proved a great choice.
"I chose 131 Squadron because of its reputation and, of course, for the chance to wear the beret."
The 131 Squadron give combat engineer support to 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines, in specialist areas such as demolition, bridge building, mine warfare, field engineering, water supply and force protection. It has soldiers currently deployed in Afghanistan, with possibly more to follow later this year.