A PART time Royal Marine is backing a new campaign to recruit reservists after crediting the navy with turning his life around.

John Cadwallader, 27, from Rainhill works full time for a private security firm and admits that he was on the verge of going “off the rails” before a friend recommended he sign up for the Royal Marine Reserves at the age of 18.

Since joining the Liverpool Royal Marines unit he has been deployed to California and Norway and says he has been given the opportunity to develop new skills.

Now he is heading up a recruitment drive across the North West looking to sign up 200 new recruits by 2018.

More than 400 men currently serve as reservists in the Royal Marines alongside their normal day job and most have no previous military experience.

He joined the marines while serving an apprenticeship in welding and fabrication. His father had been a Royal Marines so he was aware of the military way of life.

He explained: “I was a bit irresponsible when I was young and the marines training was a real shock to me. But I have a lot of time for them because they really helped me turn myself around.”

Once basic training is completed reservists have opportunities to gain further experience.

John has spent a seven week deployment in California learning High Altitude Warfare skills and survival in arid environments and high temperatures. At the other end of the scale, he has spent time in Norway in temperatures of down to -20C, learning how to cope in arctic conditions.

He added: “Joining the Royal Marines means I have done and seen things which I would never have experienced otherwise – and get paid for doing it. The first time I went to America with them I had never travelled before and it was an amazing experience. There is a real spirit of camaraderie, and most of my best friends are from the marines.”

“I would say to people thinking of joining up to come along at the weekend and find out what we do. The Royal Marine Reserve is a great way of experiencing life in the Royal Marines without having to give up your day job."

For more details, or to register, call 08456 00 32 22, search for ‘navy reserves’ on the web, or visit royalnavy.mod.uk/navyreserves.