A TEENAGER training to become a Royal Marine has become the unlikely star of a Channel 4 documentary.
Ulverston’s baby-faced Callum Bond, 18, shocked his mum by joining the military instead of going to university.
Little did he know his gruelling 32-week training programme would be filmed as part of a fly-on-the-wall documentary called Royal Marines Commando School.
Callum, the youngest recruit in his troop, struggled to get to grips with the seriousness of military life and was constantly in trouble for smiling too much.
Officers feared he lacked the maturity to pass his training.
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“He’s a very likeable character,” said Sgt Pete Sewell. “But he makes you laugh for all the wrong reasons – right now he’s a boy trying to be a soldier.”
The former Ulverston Victoria High School pupil and self-confessed ‘mummy’s boy’ initially found it hard to adjust to life away from home.
“I have never been away from my family and that’s a scary thing,” said Callum.
His mum Jan said that despite wanting him to become a maths teacher she did not want to stand in the way of her son’s dreams.
She said: “I did try to plug the idea of him going to university but he kept saying ‘Mam, I want to join the Royal Marines’. I knew if that was what he wanted to do I had to go along with it.”
Callum was struggling to take the training seriously until older recruit Magnus Fryk-man, 31, told him to imagine he was fighting against somebody who wanted to kill his mum.
Within seconds he went from boy to man – charging through an assault course, shouting aggressively and firing at targets with expert precision.
Throughout the training period Callum is pushed to the physical and mental limit by his demanding Colour Sergeants.
More than a third of the recruits in his troop have already failed or withdrawn.
Despite his progress, Callum, who claims he was ‘a nerd’ at school, is struggling to come to terms with the possibility that he might have to kill one day.
“I couldn’t say I wouldn’t, but...” he said. “I haven’t really thought about it but if you have a gun and someone down your sights and they are going to kill you then you would have to kill them.”