156 Troop Recruit Diary – Week 14
Last week was a bit of a milestone for 156 Troop as we faced down the test exercise ominously known as Baptist Run. Having spent 14 weeks training to essentially pass this test it would be fair to say there was a few nervous heads before we headed out on the first event, a 4 mile speed march carrying a combined weight of 31 lbs. Almost immediately all nerves were put to rest however as we realised the training team had made sure we were more than capable of it.
As we came to understand the level of preparation that had gone into us, some without us even realising, we moved into the exercise proper with our confidence not just fully restored, but probably boosted. In retrospect of one solo night navigation evolution it was made clear to several of us that too much confidence is not always a good thing. It is enough to say that – when navigating Woodbury Common at night never make any assumptions as to which track is which, or even which woodblock is which, especially if where you are is not even near a woodblock at all. Minor miscalculations aside, we progressed through our other evolutions well, after practice runs on each, including Map Reading, Fire Control Orders, Observation and Stalking.
Whilst all serials are of great importance, it was the Stalking that probably challenged the lads most of all. We were tested in our ability to slowly sneak up towards a position, whilst camouflaged head to toe, with two members of the training team trying to spot us! The assessments came and went fast and before most of us realised it, we were taking in water one mile into the 8 mile load carry back to camp. With few dramas on this evolution, everyone who started finished it, the exercise ended on a relatively high note. One final kit muster stood in the way of us passing Phase 1 of training, which meant one last night of little, if any, rest.
With the completion of Baptist’s Run the Troop is now preparing to move onto the 2nd Phase of training and its fair to say the Troop as a whole are looking forward to the challenge in front of us.