A STRATHBLANE man has just become a Royal Marines Officer, earning his coveted green beret, after he successfully completed 60 weeks of gruelling commando training.
Lieutenant Matt Bennet (24) is Louise Bennet’s youngest son - she is famous for baking cakes which she sends to the troops on the front line and she also collects cash for Help For Heroes.
All three of her sons are in the armed forces - her eldest, George, is an interpreter in Afghanistan after learning to speak Dari and before that he was a captain with 42 Commando Royal Marine, Simon is a junior doctor who plans to join the Territorial Army and Matthew has now joined Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines based in Faslane where he will now command a troop of Royal Marines.
He said: “It has been a tough 15 months but all the guys bonded very quickly and I feel I have made lifelong friends.
“Earning a green beret is my greatest honour yet. It’s been a fantastic experience and it doesn’t stop here when I join Fleet Protection Group I will join an already highly trained troop of marines and could deploy anywhere in the world.”
Louise started sending her homemade cakes, which she called ‘buns of mass consumption’, in 2003 and she has now posted 38,000 to various locations and continues to produce 300 per week.
She said: “His passing out ceremony was an extremely proud day for the whole family as he’d worked so hard.
“Both his brothers were there, his girlfriend, myself, his dad and his grandparents.
“I’m pleased that he’s going to Faslane and not where the action is because I worry terribly when they are in a war zone.
“It gives me a bit of respite for a while.”
Matthew, who attended Kelvinside Academy before graduating from both Bristol and Edinburgh Universities, passed out last Friday at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines in Lympstone, Devon, as a member of Young Officer Batch 2010.
The green beret is the distinctive hallmark of a Royal Marines Commando.
It indicates to others that the wearer has undergone gruelling and physically demanding tests of endurance, by displaying the Commando qualities of, unselfishness, cheerfulness under adversity, courage, determination and high professional standards.
The Royal Marines form 3 Commando Brigade, which is a core component of the United Kingdoms Joint Rapid Reaction Force. This combined with the fleet of Amphibious Ships ensures that the Royal Marines play a major part in safeguarding the United Kingdoms interests at home and abroad.
AT ARMS . . . Lieutenant Matt Bennet.