Out of 30 recruits Euan Glendinning was the highest scoring male and deemed ‘Physical Superior’ by demanding training instructors at the Commando Training Centre in Devon.In September last year Euan had travelled down to the centre near Exmouth for 14 weeks of training.
Training involved basic soldiering, from fitness to weapon handling and how to look after yourself in the field, to map reading, navigation and first aid.
Euan, 21, is now preparing for the musical element of his training in Portsmouth over the next three years.
He said: “The training was gruelling because obviously you are being trained by commandos, even though you are joining the band service they still have certain expectations.
"Two years before training I would say I was well below standard, fitness-wise, but I spent that time getting myself much fitter and it paid off.
"I did a lot of running and being in the Borders there were lots of hills to run around. A lot of the gyms were closed during lockdown so much of it I did on my own – press-ups and sit-ups – the usual sort of thing.”
Euan had been made redundant from Spark Energy in Selkirk at the end of 2020 and was unemployed for nine months, a time that he used to prepare for the daunting training.
He added: “I suppose when I was made redundant it was a blessing in disguise because it gave me the opportunity to apply and get going.”
Euan is a percussionist, which covers everything from drums to xylophone, and he was a member of Jedforest Instrumental Band for a decade.
He added: “That’s where I got the interest for the career I’ve gone into. I think I’ve known I wanted a military career for quite a long time and then sat down and looked at my interests and I thought ‘I do music and want a military career – why not combine the two?’”
After completing the three-year course at the Royal Marine School of Music in Portsmouth, which he gets a degree at the end of, Euan will then be posted one of five Royal Marine bands, one of which is based at Rosyth.
After that he’ll go on to provide musical support for the Royal Marines and the wider Navy.
Along with music, band service members provide a secondary role of casualty handling aboard hospital ships and in chemical and biological decontamination.
Euan added: “It will involve travel and that’s something, having grown up in the Borders, that I’m looking forward to – seeing other parts of the world.”