Wetherby High student Oli Patlak has been selected to join the Royal Marine Commando Training Unit after a gruelling test.
The sixth former recently attended Lympstone Commando in Devon, the main training centre for the Royal Marines, along with other hopefuls from all over Britain after he had been selected for interview.
Oli’s journey to selection started nine months ago after being given a fitness and diet programme and being subjected to interview and psychometric tests.
Five months before his selection test he had to undergo a fitness test which required incredibly high standards of fitness and strength and was carried out at the Nuffield Gym in Leeds.
“It was so hard,” said Oli. “I was sick and nearly fainted. Up to that point it was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life.”
At Lympstone Commando he underwent an even harder fitness programme to prepare him for the interview.
Oli said: “I was training twice a day, getting up at 5.30am, doing a session in the morning and then one in the afternoon.
“I had to run, circuit train and lift weights. I had to get into the shape of my life.”
The selection process for the Royal Marines is famously gruelling. It lasts a week and tests mental as well as physical strength.
“Right from the start the tests were incredibly challenging,” Oli explained.
“They made us run, sprint, climb, do press ups, sit ups and just when you felt you couldn’t do any more, they informed us that the tests were about to start.
“We had to crawl through freezing water in complete darkness, wade through mud, and the pressure never stopped.”
Only 15 of the 40 hopefuls were selected to join the Royal Marines.
Oli, who joins the Royal Marine Commando Training Unit in September, added: “I’ve got another fitness and diet schedule to prepare me for joining.
“I feel proud of what I have achieved but right now I am also a little dazed.”