193 Troop Recruit Diary Week 7
Week 7, we were going into the field and everyone was excited to be building on our current soldiering skills. On Monday morning we deployed to Woodbury Common, for an exercise called “Marshall Star”, and by hearing that name, we were a bit anxious as the rumours are that there is endless night-work to be completed – the rumours were not wrong.
One day on exercise we went round a route sorting out our paces and working out how many for different distances and differing ground.
We had to scrutinise the route we were covering and write down everything we noticed about it as later that night we had to cover the ground again using nothing but what we had seen and the notes we had made.
The Troop was quite nervous before we started the night route, as nobody wanted to get lost; as it turned out nobody did. It was really good doing this as it really helps our map reading and we all know that the effort that we had put in during classroom lessons and these practices made it all worthwhile.
Another soldiering skill we started to learn this week was camouflaging ourselves and selecting a route to cover a lengthy piece of ground where we had to stalk towards the training team in the distance without being seen. This was a serious lesson but also great fun to do, everyone was trying their hardest to try to get to the end without being spotted, the adrenaline was flowing for the whole troop.
During the last night on our exercise, the training team taught us about a new routine called “stand to” which we must do from now on every day. We have to all be on sentry at first light and last light to ensure everyone is present and ok and able to see the difference ahead of the harbour when the light changes from day to night. You also have to stand-to whenever the enemy are approaching your harbour position – or if they have already started to attack. When this happens everyone has to have all their kit stowed and ready to move in case the harbour position is overrun. Funnily enough this happened to us in the early hours of Thursday morning.
To finish the exercise we marched 5 miles back to camp and as a whole the troop did very well, it was hard but only a few found it very difficult. A good end to a good exercise.
Although we had just got back to camp, we were not yet finished as we had a swimming test programmed for the afternoon, the Battle Swimming Test. Yet again the adrenaline was beginning to flow. In the end almost all of us managed to pass the test, a big relief to us all. A couple missed it as they were in the sickbay being seen by a doctor for small injuries and one person failed the test on this attempt – hopefully he’ll pass next time round.
Saturday night saw us all up late ironing our drill rig as we were to be on parade on Sunday morning for Remembrance Day Parade. We were all proud to have taken part in this very important event, it was great to see so many on parade and so many visitors to CTCRM for the day.
So another short weekend leads us into our next week, Week 8, the first of 2 weeks in camp before eventually going back out on exercise in Week 10, when we test our navigation skills – out on Dartmoor for the first time.