‘Courage, determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness in the face of adversity’ – that is Ashley Carney’s motto.
It represents the ethos of the Royal Marine Commandos, the elite military unit commonly held as the best of the best.
Ashley, 19, a former Whitcliffe Mount pupil, recently completed a gruelling eight month training course to become a member of the 43 Commandos unit.
He recently passed out during a ceremony at Lympstone, in Devon, in front of his proud family.
Currently enjoying two weeks leave from his squad the 43 Commandos, Ashley has been able to reflect on how far he has come since his training began last July
“It was a long time coming but totally worth it, to be a Marine Commando,” said Ashley.
“You feel proud of yourself and it’s an achievement that you work hard for.
“It was all about determination. The cheerfulness in spite of adversity that gets you through.”
During his school days, Ashley was fit as a fiddle – splitting his time between playing tennis at Cleckheaton Lawn Tennis Club and gym time at PJ’s Health and Fitness Village.
He believes his fitness levels gave him the edge when it came to tackling his Marine training.
As part of the selection process, prospective marines must go through a 70-minute endurance course, a ‘Tarzan Assault Course’ and a nine-mile march carrying 21 lbs of kit and a rifle.
The final phase is a gruelling 30-mile exercise in Dartmoor.
“That last phase was hard. But I knew I could do it, you just have to believe in yourself, “ he said.
“But I’ve always thought that if someone else can do something, then I can do it too.”
While many of his school mates are now sitting their second year exams at university, Ashley has no regrets about following his dreams of becoming a Marine.
He added: “My friends are really supportive of me. They are the people I rang up to tell them I was going to pass out.
“I have no regrets at all. It’s just what I was expecting and I have to make the most of it.”