189 Troop Diary.
Nerves and trepidation filled the carriage as the train pulled up alongside CTCRM where we could see the famous bottom field and recruits being encouraged by the PTI’s to give it their all. Upon arrival to CTCRM we were met by the troop DL and members of the training team who would escort us to the foundation block where we would take the first steps into learning the basic skills required to become a Royal Marines Commando.
Over the next two weeks we would be taught even the most basic of administrative skills, from how to wash and shave properly to how to iron our uniforms and wear them correctly. With so much to learn our timetable was very hectic, the mornings early and the nights late. With such a packed schedule and what seemed like no time to complete all the tasks the troop soon demonstrated the sense of urgency the training team required from us. Inevitably with so many new skills being taught and put into practise for the first time mistakes were made and timings not adhered to. As a result we soon became accustomed to performing remedial press ups and learning how to re-fold our clothes that were not up to the required standard. Every recruit experienced the ‘shock of capture’ which came with the transition from a civilian to a military lifestyle. However, even with the lack of sleep and constant pressures of our new environment the troop started to gel together and began learning each others first names and initiated ‘cheerfulness in the face of adversity’ to help each other with different tasks. This helped boost morale and some real characters started to shine through. The highlights for the troop were the physical training periods constructed in the gym (to give us a break from ironing!) and a night out under canvas which gave us an insight into what life would be like in the field. We were introduced to wet and dry routine which led us to the infamous water tank, so we could practice the technique of getting changed out of soaking wet clothes under our poncho’s. Overall the first two weeks were very hectic but very enjoyable. The Troop worked very hard late into the night to pass our locker and accommodation inspection which would be the key into moving into our 6 man rooms which would signify the end of foundation training The hard work paid off and we were moved into a quiet corner of the camp overlooking the estuary. Looking forward into week 3 the Troop is relishing the prospect of learning some soldiering skills and being taught to wield something slightly more interesting than an iron!