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Barry Gray

Profile:

Full Name: Barry John Gray

DOB: 10 November 1973

Place of Birth: Blackpool

Known as: Baz

Summary:

Barry Gray is a Former Royal Marines Commando, Regimental Sergeant Major who has served his country for 26 Years all over the world.  He has experienced operational tours of Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan as well as many other major exercises deployed to some of the furthest and most remote areas on the planet.

The Royal Marines are the UK armed forces lead in all training that is delivered in a Mountainous and Extreme Cold Weather E nvironment for the entire Tri-Service military, it is very much their speciality and it is a skill that is unique in defence.  This training is delivered by the very specialist Mountain Leader Branch, a very highly skilled, highly trained, fit and motivated group of men.  Barry joined the Mountain Leader Branch in 1998 and went on to become the Chief Instructor, responsible for all Mountain and Cold Weather training.

Barry is a very skilled expeditionary mountaineer, he loves to tread new ground with minimal equipment but ensuring safety to himself and those he is with always takes the utmost priority.

Bio:

Barry Gray is a Former Royal Marines Commando, Regimental Sergeant Major who has served his country for 26 Years all over the world.  He has experienced operational tours of Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan as well as many other major exercises deployed to some of the furthest and most remote areas on the planet.

The Royal Marines are the UK armed forces lead in all training that is delivered in a Mountainous and Extreme Cold Weather E nvironment for the entire Tri-Service military, it is very much their speciality and it is a skill that is unique in defence.  This training is delivered by the very specialist Mountain Leader Branch, a very highly skilled, highly trained, fit and motivated group of men. Barry joined the Mountain Leader Branch in 1998 and went on to become the Chief Instructor, responsible for all Mountain and Cold Weather training.

Barry is a very skilled expeditionary mountaineer, he loves to tread new ground with minimal equipment but ensuring safety to himself and those he is with always takes the utmost priority.

“There is something very special about being somewhere extremely remote, where very few people have been before. No maps, guide books or previous notes makes the adventure so real, generates excitement and can be a constant thrill as well as extremely daunting”

Barry’s passion for the big outdoors started very early on in life, the type of child to be out of the house straight after breakfast and back in time for bedtime.  Always out looking for an adventure whether that be at the top of a tree or the top of a Tor on the moors.  Coming from a very military background it was almost inevitable that he would join the armed forces, but for him it had to be the Royal Marines which was by far the toughest physically and mentally to join with a gruelling eight months of basic training to overcome. But he did and he will be the first to tell you he did not thrive as a sixteen year old going through this process, it was tough and almost every day the thought of quitting would be buzzing around in his head.

Barry discovered very early on that he had the ability to switch off, knuckle down and just get through, it has made his career both as a Royal Marine and mountaineer that little easier to mentally handle. After seven or so years in the Royal Marines he decided to apply for and attempt the gruelling Mountain Leader course and never looked back, from this point on he has spent many months and years in extremely harsh places not just surviving but learning how to live work and thrive. His speciality is by far the colder environments, this is the toughest of environments to survive in and Barry loves it.

After many years teaching and being responsible for the all other instructors in the Royal Marines who teach these skills he has decided to move on.  The Challenge Antarctica project has been on his mind for over 10 years but a career in the Royal Marines would never allow the time to prepare for something so big.  The right time for this expedition for Barry is now, he has the experience, mental agility, physical ability and passion to take on such an undertaking.

Barry is also a very keen and passionate public speaker offering motivational talks or just pure interest lectures mainly on Polar History with the life of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton being a bit of a speciality.  Educating children and going into schools is an area Barry particularly enjoys and regularly talks for Speakers 4 Schools.  Feel free to get in touch via the website if you would like to book Barry for an event you are planning, you can read previous comments at the speakers tab.

Barry is married to Claire and has three children, Steven (20), George (18) and Mia (10), they live on the edge of Dartmoor near Yelverton and like nothing more than to take their German Shepard dog out for long walks.

Read about Baz, his passion for the environment and his work with schools and charities

Jason Wilcock

Born in Blackburn, Lancashire, Jason began his career in 1987 as a Royal Marine Commando. In preparation for his first operational duties, he completed his first ever photography course.

After the Royal Marines he decided to travel the World, leaving for Canada in 1994. He spent a year in the Arctic living with the Inuits, his first taste of working in extremely cold temperatures.

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Mitesh Badiani

As Co-Director, Mitesh is the commercial driver of Challenge Antarctica. As an award winning dentist with 8 practices, with plans for 30, he met Baz through his charity, Smilestar, which looks after medically discharged Royal Marines, providing them free dental care for life.

He set up Challenge Antarctica with Baz with the sole aim of enabling Baz to achieve his dream.

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