It is now week 13 in training and the tempo is beginning to pick up in a big way. The only exercises we now have left in Phase 1 are a practice test exercise (Baptist Walk) and Baptist Run (the test exercise).
The weekend before week 13 had been our battlefield tour in France and we arrived back at CTCRM at approximately 0200. Other than the little bit of sleep we had on the coach and the ferry we were straight back into another week of training. Everybody loved France and all the things we were taught and witnessed first hand about the Royal Marines during the Second World War. One thing that particularly stood out to me was the age of the men who fought, most of whom were much younger than a lot of the lads in the troop.
Monday morning had arrived sooner than hoped for, with roughly 3 hours sleep and we all knew what was coming . . . Bottom Field. For most of the lads it was a mixture of apprehension and excitement looking ahead. For me personally it wasn’t as much of a hangout as I had initially thought it would be, as it was more of a teach which included the full regain, half regain and a run through of the obstacle course, using all of the correct safety points. If the safety points were not followed we were made to do that obstacle again. I remember watching one lad and he must have gone over the 10ft wall four times for not doing a double footed landing.
A few days after this we were on Baptist walk, practicing our individual solidering skill leading up to Baptist run. This is included map stances, observation, night navigation, kit musters, target indication and fire control orders. It came to a shock to us all that only 2 of us passed the exercise which really showed us how hard we need to work to pass Baptist run.
After arriving back from Baptist walk we had lessons on grenade throwing and conducted our grenade handling tests prior to throwing live grenades the next day. At the lectures we were told a dit about a lad who pulled his safety ping out and threw that instead of the grenade (haha!). Our corporals made it clear to us that if anything like that happened they WILL leave us to sort it out ourselves or in their words it’s ‘every man for himself!.’ Clearly this was a joke and there were strict safety procedures in place involving us being dragged behind a safety wall and the Cpl was right next to us for the whole evolution. I think they were just trying to in still the concentration required resulting from the fact that we were throwing grenades for the first time.
Today has been a bit of a change as it is remembrance Sunday, so everybody on camp took part in the parade this morning. It was good to see everybody coming together; officers, trained ranks, and recruits alike, paying respects to those who have lost their lives whilst serving in HM Armed Forces.
All in all a good week and another week done!