Comments: 297 • Responses: 55  • Date: 

reyano31 karma

Congrats! Did you ever have moments of self doubt?

Cooper44143 karma

Every single day! The difference between someone passing the course and failing is getting over that doubt on a daily basis and rising the challenge.

Boornidentity30 karma

Alright mate! First of all, congrats on the Green Beret, you must be a fucking tank. I have my selection coming up next week (I'm going for the Rifles, preferably 1RIFLES). I just wanted to know, what other regiments in the Army can pass the AACC? Is there any chance that, if I show the right stuff, I could do it in 1RIFLES? Cheers!

Cooper44123 karma

It's all the head, not the body! Good luck for your selection. I haven't heard of any infantry guys doing the course because there isn't any need for them to do it. If you were to flag it up when you get to your unit there may be a chance but I wouldn't like to say.

The regiments that do it are those that serve in 3 Commando Brigade and need to be commando trained to be able to support the Royal Marines. 1 Rifles used to be in the Brigade but go moved elsewhere so there wouldn't be an opportunity through them any more.

Boornidentity6 karma

Makes sense. Were you RA before 29 Commando?

Cooper4419 karma

Yeah, 29 was my first unit though since being in the RA all I've been doing is trying to pass the course. I was in 29 as a 'hat' but only whilst I prepared to go on course.

Boornidentity5 karma

Nice, so you knew you wanted to be in 29 from the start? How long were you in the RA all together, before you passed your AACC?

Cooper4416 karma

I knew I wanted to be in it from stepping in the recruitment office! I went straight from phase 2 training on to the course, so not very long.

troy77724 karma

Can you survive zombie apocalypse? :p

Cooper44130 karma

Hopefully a lot better now!

chiikuroshitsuji22 karma

What do your family think of it? (going away and risking your life)

Cooper44127 karma

Very supportive. I think for anyone to join the military they need to the support of family and friends. Obviously they worry about me which is understandable but above all they know it's what I want to do and what I enjoy doing.

Kreindeker22 karma

If you've seen it, was the recent Royal Marine Commando School program on channel 4 representative of training, or did it gloss over or otherwise show parts of your training in an inaccurate way?

Cooper44137 karma

They were actually filming that whilst I was there, I've met some of the training team staff and some of them trained us as well.

Because we went to Lympstone as trained soldiers already we get treated with a bit more respect than the recruits going through Royal Marine training.

If I were to compare it to my basic training in the Army I would say its representative in some ways such as the whole locker inspections and how I was generally treated however I can guarantee they will be missing a lot of what actually happens. I would take it with a pinch of salt, it's a good little insight but nothing more.

I've noticed the program focus more on individuals stories and how recruits feel during training and not necessarily what they're actually doing.

Proktovsky2920 karma

What made you decide to pursue a career in the military?

Cooper44137 karma

I was sick of 9-5 job I was doing and I've always had an itch to join. Joining the military has allowed me do things and learns things that I simply would never get the opportunity to do on civi street. It's allowed me to grow as a person and have a unique life that I don't think I could get in any other career.

weemental9 karma

What job did you do previously?

Cooper44122 karma

Used to work in a warehouse as a forklift driver.

mdmapples18 karma


Cooper44123 karma

Good luck to you! It is 100% worth doing. Main tip would don't loose sight of your goal. There will be potentially a long time from when you first join up to actually getting on the course and there will be opportunities for you to take the easy option or easy job.

When you do get on the course determination is key, no matter what your skill or fitness level, put your full effort into everything you do and you can't go far wrong.

Puffin_fan18 karma

Do you and your buds sings songs making fun of the Royal marines ?

Cooper44121 karma

There is definitely banter, it's all pretty well natured though. Less of sing songs however. None that I've heard at least.

Eternally6517 karma


Cooper44137 karma

An Army Commando is part of the regular Armed Forces and fights in a conventional role, all be it a specialized one. For example my role is artillery and we support the Royal Marines.

SAS on the other hand are part of Special Forces, which does not come under the Armed Forces. They have an incredibly elite and unique role which is governed separately.

UKSF do tend to recruit from specialist units within the regular Armed Forces such as Commando trained units and Airborne units.

AreYouHereToKillMe5 karma

UKSF recruit from anywhere in the UK armed forces. So long as you have a basic standard of fitness you can apply to do selection. The exception to this is the SBS who must come from the Royal Marines (unless something has changed recently).

Cooper4417 karma

Same applies to SBS, however like you said most come from the Royal Marines.

Jonny_Osbock14 karma

Do you agree to the foreign policy of your country and are you aware that you could die out there for decisions old men are making?

Cooper44120 karma

It's not something I generally think about, all I really think about is just doing the job I've been trained and told to do because at the end of the day I'm simply a tool to be used. I know it's an ignorant and somewhat selfish way of going about the issue.

However I am now in a contingency role with 3 CDO which means we are on stand by to support UK interests. The positive I take away from this is that I am part of a force that is a deterrent from any military invasions or anything detrimental to the UK. I guess I just have to put trust that this force is used in the right way.

Menestheus11 karma

What was the hardest part of training?

Cooper44130 karma

For me and most people are the exercises we do. They are designed to degrade your body and mind through sleep deprivation and extreme physical exertion whilst still having to display faultless soldiering skills.

Spectre507 karma

How would US Army's 75th Ranger Regiment differ from the British Commandos?

Cooper44114 karma

From a incredibly brief read up, as I don't know much about the Rangers it would seem in some aspects they are similar such as specialized small unit raids, operating without a big logistics chain behind them and high standard of skills and selection. Where they differ is that we specialize in amphibious and cliff assaults. I think they would be more comparable to some of our airborne units such a 1 Para.

I know there have been a few Rangers and USMC guys at Lympstone getting a feel for our training so I would guess not too dissimilar. In the end I would have to say I'm not too sure, I wouldn't like to speculate above what I have already and even that may be wrong.

Spectre506 karma

Thx for the answer...I've also read up on how they are sort of based off of the British Commandos. Though I am from America thank you for your service.

Cooper44112 karma

Yeah pretty much all special forces from around the world [including our SAS] owe lineage to the original Army Commandos.

pandacatcat15 karma

The term commando actually originates from the Second Boer War, the South African Boer's would form a Commando consisting of soldiers from the local city, numbering roughly one thousand horse backed rifleman.

The usage of the word Commando was introduced to the British Armed Forces by Winston Churchill as he himself had been captured by the Boer's during the Second Boer War and having admired their skill and ingenuity in combat went about organising a unit with similar mindset to British Forces during the Second World War.

Just thought I'd share that with you, and put my final year dissertation to some use!

Hope you enjoyed the Commando tests!

Cooper44110 karma

Spot on. We did get lectures on the history from academics and it is very interesting.

ntiain6 karma


Cooper4419 karma

I became quite friendly with a Navy guy on course actually, ended up getting an award in the end. If they were from 42 they would have be Marines. I always try to keep quiet about being in the military when out drinking, always leads to trouble!

CommandoCubone5 karma

Did quiet professional go out the window? Also congratz

Cooper44116 karma

Not at all. Just giving people an opportunity to ask questions to someone they may otherwise not get to meet.

AJ_14 karma

Why did you choose this particular area of the Military over other paths you could have taken?

Cooper4416 karma

To prove to myself that I could do it. I knew it would be hard and I think I was have always thought 'what if' if I didn't at least try. There is a massive sense of accomplishment when you pass. It's a big confidence boost to who you are as a person and what you're made of when you can complete it.

nonewguy3 karma

I have a friend that wants to pursue such a career. He has mild arthritis in one of his hands and has never went to a doctor about it because he fears it would prevent him from being allowed in. Advice to him? have you heard of similar instances?

Cooper4419 karma

I wouldn't like to advise him to try if he hasn't seen a doctor because only they would be able to say how much it would effect him. I suppose it comes down to what he puts more value on, the lifelong health of his hand or the prospect of pursing his career.

I know of people in at the moment with injuries that could get the MD'd that keep quiet but I don't agree with it.

People will have to rely on you to the extreme of their life being in someone's hand and if they're carrying an injury or condition that would prevent them helping them then they shouldn't be in. In my view people get MD'd for a good reason and it's wrong of people to hide away from that.

crinklymuffin3 karma


Cooper4417 karma

I don't know any one with allergies so I think they may have got that one right. I know if you have asthma is has to be at a manageable level, in fact I remember a few people failing the selection medical because although they had asthma it was accessed to be too bad to allow them in.

I think what it comes down is combat effectiveness, I would guess that the risk of you having an allergic attack is too great for them to take however someone who is a vegetarian or of a different religion wouldn't necessarily impact their operations as an solider.

karmanaut3 karma

Can you please provide some proof that you are the person in the photos, like providing a photo of yourself now holding a sign that says "/u/Cooper441"?

Cooper4415 karma


HonestAbeRealist3 karma


Cooper4418 karma

Cheddar! Bland and boring I'm afraid!

funkballs072 karma

Did you do anything awesome John Rambo did/didn't do?

Cooper4417 karma

Do you know what, I've never actually seen the Rambo movies. Don't tend to enjoy cheesy movies, least of all military based ones!

Stevo16542 karma

What's the pettiest thing you've been beasted for?

Cooper4417 karma

I think any sort of blanket punishment is pretty petty if ya ask me. Great example of that would be after an exercise we get cleared off the training area. This means checking our kit for any rounds and clearing our weapons. In this process one guy had forgotten to empty his magazines. We had to do burpees to the amount of his rounds, which was 90. It doesn't sound all that bad but bear in my mind this was after an exercise and we were all fucked already.

Then it gets worse, the guys at the end of line, myself included were arbitrary chosen to go and 'get wet'. This meant a run down to a stream and fully submerge.

Wasn't too much of a bad beasting it was just over something silly!

ob0012 karma

What's your opinion on American Green Berets?

Cooper4413 karma

Don't know too much to have a big opinion. I know they are special forces which is different from what our Commandos do.

I remember watching a documentary about the selection and in all honesty it didn't seem too hard. Obviously it's a lot different when you're actually doing!

Star-trekker2 karma

Does the British army issue pistols to their troops?

Cooper4416 karma

Mainly on operations, yes.

Wulfger2 karma

You mentioned in another comment that you were sick of a 9-5 job, what did you do before you joined the military? And how old were you when you joined up?

Cooper4413 karma

Used to work in a warehouse as forklift driver, had done it since I was about 18 until 21, needless to say I was getting pretty sick of it. Joined up when I was 21.

AxeManActual2 karma

Have you had a chance to train with US Soldiers? Do you guys get along well?

Cooper44114 karma

I'm actually going to America in a couple of weeks to do some training with the USMC in California, something I'm very much looking forward to.

From what I've heard there is good banter, I've been told it's always a good exercise to get on. I've heard stories that they get told not to drink with us because of our notoriety for binge drinking!

pandacatcat2 karma

Congratulations! Are you thinking of doing P-Coy now?

Cooper4412 karma

Definitely want to try however my unit has stopped sending people on it unless they need to do it. There have been a few people that have their wings that were on course. They've all said the two courses are very courses requiring different types of people.

throwntohell2 karma

Do you think you'll ever have a change of heart and cease being paid to, among other things, kill?

Cooper4413 karma

Whilst obviously that is part of the job it's not been my motivation for joining or staying in. I don't plan having a full career in the military, I see it as just one phase of my life.

Skanky2 karma

Can you tell us a little about the additional training you had to go through to arrive at this goal? Congrats by the way!

Cooper4413 karma

Thanks! What makes us different is mainly the amphibious and cliff assault training we do.

For the amphibious stuff we get basic training on how to assault a beach from the drills to moving from boat to boat whilst moving on water, to the drills to actually assaulting the beach using a number of different landing craft and RIB's.

For the cliff assaults we get trained in how to climb cliff faces in fighting order, with out any permanent safety lines [although we do have one we can clip on to a looped rope if needed] and how to use scaling ladders and abseil with full kit.

All of these drill are also practised at night.

We also get limited training in MUC [Modern Urban Combat] which entails how to clear buildings/villages and built up areas.

najisaurus2 karma

Just wondering, how many pull ups can you do?

Cooper4412 karma

Not too sure now, haven't had the opportunity to work my upper body a great deal whilst being on course except for the assault courses.

You have to be able to 5 rigid ones to a bleep on the tests at the beginning but most people achieved that quite easily.

JATS112 karma

Alright pal, serving personnel as well, RAF. Do you know what the rules are for applying onto the course is, like I'm not a combat role I'm a mechanic. Would it be open for me?

Cooper4413 karma

Generally speaking you have to have a job that would require you to be Commando trained, so mostly in the Brigade. At our unit we have RAF reg guys that work with us so they get on the course.

Non combat personnel can do the course. We have had guys from REME, RLC, Intelligence, hell even clerks have done it. It all depends if your unit is Commando one or not.

Shroomah2 karma

How old were you when you first joined the Military and what role did you start in?

Cooper4414 karma

21 when I joined, and since leaving training I came straight on to the course, so my first role would be this one.

LotsOfButtons1 karma

What the hell is a British army commando? I thought it was Royal Marines.

Cooper4413 karma

The Marines need combat support from the Army/Navy/Raf which is why the All Arms Course and the Army/Navy/Raf Commandos exist.

CollegeDistraction0 karma

Have you met any members of the Royal Family?. Or been in their presence?.

Cooper4413 karma

Can't say I have!