154 Troop Diary – Week 15
At the start of the week the morale was high amongst the Troop. Week 15 of Royal Marine training is a mile stone for any recruit. It marks the end of Phase 1 of training and is marked with a pass out to signify we have learnt all the basic skills and are now ready to proceed into Phase 2. We can now start learning all the tactics of soldiering, the stuff that we joined up for.
We began the week with feedback from the training team on Exercise BAPTIST RUN on how everyone had done and more importantly if we had passed or failed. The nerves were pretty obvious in most of us. We then moved to the first detail which was respirator testing back inside the gas chamber. This is something that no-one likes but is always good morale to watch everyone come tumbling back out of the chamber coughing and spluttering.
The remainder of the week was quiet as we concentrated on learning everything we need to about signals training, getting to grips with the Bowman radios we would be using on the coming exercises. We were taught how to use Personal Role Radios (PRRs) and 354’s which we could use to talk to other Sections or the Troop Commander. We even looked at the bigger High Frequency radio sets and were taught how to use the correct voice procedure for talking on the net. Most of the Troop can now turn the radio on and set up the correct frequency but the voice procedure is still a little dodgy.
We completed our first Bottom Field session with webbing and weapon, a combined weight of 20lbs which required added effort and made the rope climbs harder. We also started practicing fire-man carries, great phys but more importantly teaching us the determination and mental strength if we needed to extract a casualty for real one day.
Finally we learned the basics of Phase 2 starting off with lectures of formations and the make up of sections, troops and companies. We also looked at the basics of patrolling as well as OP’s and the ‘orders’ process. This is the format that we are given all of our missions and the information we will need for both training and on real operations.
Finally we completed the week with an inspection by the First Drill and a photo of the Troop as we complete Phase 1. It is the biggest inspection we have had to date and ensures we have the right bearing and administration to move in to Phase 2. It has been a much needed week on camp to recover from exercise and prepare for next week and the first tactical exercise.