181 TROOP: RECRUIT DIARY – WEEK 4
1. Having completed the Foundation module of training, 181 Troop were now entitled to remove the orange tabs which designate us as an inexperienced junior Troop. We can now be trusted to complete certain military procedures such as basic marching, saluting and dressing appropriately. However, this also means that we are no longer protected by the excuse of ignorance regarding these procedures – an attribute that proved quite useful until now!
2. Ex FIRST STEP was the focal point of the week – a field exercise that gave us our first exposure to Woodbury Common. The basics of field-craft in difficult terrain, conditions and weather starts with the simple ability to look after yourself and your kit. We also received instruction on the layout and purpose of a Troop harbour (base) before learning how to properly protect it with sentries. We learned how to build the shelters, structures and administrative areas to sustain us in field conditions. The learned how to cook, maintain equipment and attune to a natural environment. Having cleaned our field kit, we presented it for a morning inspection, hoping that it was immaculate to prevent remedial duties.
3. Once back on camp, we continued the weeks training: covering lectures, drill and weapons training. Our physical progress also continued in the gym and we began to practise the routines to be assessed on during our Week 9 ropes test. The culmination of the weeks training was the Weapon Handling Test on the SA80 rifle – qualifying us to now progress into blank firing. This will enable us to begin learning and training individual combat skills – something we have eagerly anticipated.