Richard Lee who was Spartan Race’s UK Director resigned his position when he was found to have misled people into believing that he had served in the Royal Marines mountain troop. It was true that he was selected to be a Young Officer in the Royal Marines in 2006, but he was deemed unfit to continue his 18-month training, as a result of breaking his knee cap midway. He did not pass out to become a Royal Marine.
This issue had caused outrage from former military personnel, who were insulted that Lee had taken advantage of the reputation and hard work of the armed forces.
Lee has since resigned after a discussion with Joe De Sena (CEO and Founder of Spartan Race) that it was the right course of action to resign. Lee has apologised with the following statement.
I was wrong, I am sorry, and I want to apologise for the fact that I publicised that I had passed out as a Royal Marines Commando Officer.
He went on to explain the truth of his relations to the military.
I was due to complete my training in 2009, but when I returned to CTCRM, the Medical Officer determined that the damage that I sustained to my knee had not healed sufficiently, and I would not be allowed to Back Batch a second time.
This was a huge blow, as even from a young age, I was inspired by family members who were in the Royal Marines.
I have the utmost respect for members of the military, and even during my own time training, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment.
To all those who served their countries, past and present, please accept my deepest apologies.
The founders and management represents the ethics and personality of an organisation. People look the top for inspiration. And this issue has disappointed Spartans and angered military personnel. Lee’s resignation and apology was indeed the right thing to do.
Spartan Race has released a statement on their Facebook page
Spartan Race does not condone stolen valor in any form; whether someone trained with the military for one week or four years, they cannot be characterized as something they are not. We wish to apologize again to all those around the world who worked so hard to earn proud distinction serving their countries.
Share your thoughts with us on this issue of misrepresenting military service.