Earning that green beret isn’t just a gateway to roll in the sand and mud. I thought I’d share with some of you potential commandos something rather niche! Something you may not have ever considered. 7 years ago, almost to the day I completed the 9 month Pashto language course run by the Defence Education Centre in Wiltshire. When anyone in the Tri-services needs to learn a foreign language they can be loaded onto a course of varying length and difficulty. The longest being 18 months! I had the pleasure of 9 months and you can’t get away from the amount of work you will have to put in. You have to be dedicated and motivated. Monday to Friday we were in class from 0830-1630 plus 2/3 hours homework for 9 months. There’s no easy option. We started by learning the general greetings and the sort of vocabulary you’ll need for every day life. This then developed into complex conversational structures. To be successful in the course you must be able to listen to it, read it, write it and say it. So you must approach the language in this four pronged method. You can’t learn a language in isolation. You must learn the culture of those who speak it. Large swathes of the course focused on cultural studies and conversations with native speakers. Yet again, I’d never of had the opportunity to have such excellent instruction for free had it not been for joining the Corps! There are plenty of doors to knock on once you are in. You can genuinely become obsessed with self improvement once you are in. 8 years on and I am still almost fluent in Pashto. So rest assured- a military career can reward those who are motivated. Go looking for opportunities once your in.