Mark chose to join the Royal Navy as it is the one service that has capabilities in all three domains of land, sea, and air. The Royal Navy also has the ability to project its force anywhere around the world… a unique strength with its 7000 Royal Marines, 200 combat aircraft, 74 ships and 12 submarines.
Joining in 1996, Mark passed the Admiralty Interview Board and first served at sea aboard the destroyer HMS Gloucester, before passing out from Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth. After Dartmouth he served at sea again aboard the frigate HMS Richmond before selection for specialist training. In 2005 he won the coveted HMS Wildfire 'Best Shot' trophy for his marksmanship with the SA80 assault rifle. In May 2005 he presented the unit history of HMS Wildfire to Prince Michael of Kent and in 2007 he captained HMS Wildfire's fencing team. He is a graduate of the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany and is also a 2008 graduate of the Joint Services Command and Staff College.
When selected as a Parliamentary Candidate in 2007 Mark said, "The Armed Forces is a people business. There is no better training ground for learning to communicate and relate to people from all walks of life. Besides being a Councillor, it is probably the best experience anyone could have for being a MP: an all-rounder in dealing with people’s concerns and problems." Mark has been a Councillor since 2002.