Kings Squad Pass Out (as posted as part of the thread - 'The Journey begins' Our son brought home the invitation letter when he came home for Christmas leave. We were fortunate that it was a small number (17) passing out, so the troop were allowed a larger number of guests than usual. We had 10 in our family group, but there were a few groups of 14 and 15. We had to return car registration details and the names of all guests, in the same way as for Families Day. The invitation letter included all the details and planned times for the day, as well as the dress code and parking or train arrival information. We stayed overnight on Thursday at a local B&B, as we didn't want to risk getting caught in snow, floods or traffic jams. We ate on Thursday night at the Swan Inn (as recommended in the parents section!), which was excellent. On the Friday morning we were asked to arrive anytime between 8am and 9am, and coffee, tea and biscuits was available in the same room and format as Families Day. The atmosphere was relaxed, friendly and informal. We were advised on the invitation that the dress code was formal, and the majority of people were dressed smartly with men in suits and ties and ladies in the full range; trouser suits, dresses, hats, smart trousers and shirts, skirts etc. Not everyone was really smartly dressed, so I wouldn't worry if a male doesn't have a full suit, they could easily get away with just smart trousers and a shirt. At around 9am we were invited to walk through into the Falklands Hall where we had talks from various officers about the trials of training and we then watched a newly filmed promotional DVD about training. We were introduced to the training team and then the curtains went back to reveal the troop standing smartly in their Lovetts uniform. They were then each individually presented with their green berets, with a short and amusing anecdote shared about each troop member, and a quick photo taken by a staff member. The troops' heads progressively turned from blue to green, as more berets were presented. It was a very proud and moving moment, as they placed their beret on. You were allowed to take photos and film throughout the day. At the end of the presentation the boys marched away to get changed into their Blues whilst we watched the first half of their troop training DVD, before leaving for the Parade Square. There were plenty of seats in the stands on the Parade Square and piles of blankets were left out, for us to use to either cover the seats or our laps for warmth. They were much appreciated as although we were lucky enough to have sun and a dry morning, it was very chilly sitting there after a while. We waited a short while and then the Royal Marines band marched onto the square playing, with the troop marching smartly in their Blues behind. This was the first time we saw our sons in their Blues, and it was easy to spot our own, as they were lined up in the same format they had been in the Falklands Hall. They then did a fantastic drill display, which, as it was a small troop, was based more around gun manoeuvres as intricate marching moves would not have been so effective with such a small troop. The band played throughout the ceremony and the whole display was very moving and enjoyable. At the end came the long awaited words, "Royal Marines to your duties", and the trooped marched out of the square and down the road to march out of the main gate, following the band. We all followed them to the main camp road and lined the road, clapping and cheering, to watch them march back down, following the band. We then returned to where we had our initial coffees for our buffet lunch, where drinks were available from the cash bar. The atmosphere was again relaxed and informal. The training team were around to talk to and after about an hour our lads gradually joined us, with big cheers and clapping going up for each of them as they arrived, which they really enjoyed. They had already been drinking Port and had not eaten since a really quick breakfast at 5.30am, and by this time it was well after 1pm. They could help themselves to the buffet, but most were too busy chatting to family and friends and enjoying the moment, to actually take the time to eat! We took many photos inside and outside, with different family groupings. The DVD of Pass Out day was available to order and you could collect and pay for any photos your son/partner had ordered that had been taken in the final week. People could leave whenever they wanted to and some started to leave soon after 2pm. We left at about 3 to collect stuff from his room, which took quite a while, and we all helped carry stuff as he had loads to bring home, despite bringing loads back at Christmas. This part would be very difficult without a car! The day was amazing and I can't put into words how proud I felt (and still feel) of my son, and actually of all of them, for what they have achieved. They all looked absolutely fantastic in their Blues and the band made it a truly wonderful day. My baby son (age 19!) is now a Royal Marines Commando, and I can't quite believe it! What a journey!