This evening came the phone call I'd been waiting for. My son Will has successfully passed the 32 week Royal Marine Commando training course and been awarded his green beret. Today was the final test: a 30 mile yomp across Dartmoor in full uniform with backpack and gun - to be completed in 8 hours.
Will, as they say, barely troubled the scorers during his five years at Carmel. After working for a couple of years and building up his strength and endurance, he set off for Lympstone in Devon in the spring.
He'd wanted to be a Royal Marine Commando since the Royal Navy came to Carmel to meet the pupils when he was 13. Obviously I had reservations about his choice of career, but he was so determined, nothing would stand in his way. The change in him over the past 8 months has been remarkable - both physically and in his maturity.
So, next week we're off to Devon for his Passing Out parade, as he is formally accepted into the elite of the armed forces.