Week 5 for 168 Tp was over almost before it began. The initial part of the week saw more members of the troop pass the Battle Swimming Test and the whole troop completing their weapon handling tests on the SA80 A2 rifle. This was combined with a rope session that should have been labelled ‘Climb until you die’. This session was harder than anything most of the troop had ever done – the end results were all of us improving our climbing technique, some bulging forearms, and a little bit of vomit.

The main part of Week 5 was Exercise Quick Cover, which allowed us to practice our camouflage technique and start building our soldiering skills. This included fire and movement, blank firing, fuelled by heaps of aggression. All the skills were taught in a unique way from the training team, which allowed us to learn and have a good laugh at the same time. Quick Cover gave the troop the experience that they signed up for – mud, fighting, and yomping. The end result was a troop on their way to learning skills of a Royal Marine and becoming so tired that normal conversation was a thing of the past. The end of the week was filled with rumours from the ‘nod vine’ reaching extreme limits (the nod vine occurs when a recruit suggests or overhears something that then becomes accepted as fact, resulting in confusion and often unnecessary panic).

This week has flown past, and been rewarding for most as we have learnt an immense amount of new skills and are continuing through training.


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