197 TROOP: RECRUIT DIARY – WEEK 6
1. Having managed to get over the initial leave blues, we are all happy to be back with the Troop and morale is high. The term began with “a nice easy session to blow out the cobwebs” with some regretting the second helpings of Christmas pudding. Back into the full swing of things we fully immersed ourselves in medical and navigation lectures.
2. Navigation lectures saw us being introduced to the basics of map reading and the tools used for it. Being able to get oneself effectively form A to B is an integral part of a Marine’s role, making navigation of the utmost importance. The medical lectures were insightful and we are starting to build a wider range of knowledge as well as skills to master.
3. Further navigation lectures saw us starting to consolidate the basics. Phys is also ramping up with 197, as always, taking it quite literally in its stride. A lecture for the Unit Armourer was really helpful in highlighting the common faults with our SA80 A2’s, as well as hints and tips on how to prevent and avoid them, significantly assisting us in the very important task of weapon maintenance. The final lecture of the day looked at stress and gave us many helpful strategies on how to cope as we come across it during training.
4. Thursday was spent on the ranges zeroing and completing introductory shoots, covering the various different firing positions with the rifle. We spent the morning with the Combat Marksmanship Team learning the importance, as well as the techniques, for becoming good shots. After that we went down to the ranges at Straight Point, about 15 mins from camp, to zero our weapons specifically to us. Zeroing is where we calibrate the sights to our eyes so that when we line up the needle with the target we know exactly where it is going to hit. Once completed we started to practice different fire positions that can be used in combat situations. This includes: prone (lying down), seated, squatting, kneeling and standing. With the theory complete and all the rounds (bullets) fired down range all that was left was to find out who the budding snipers were within the Troop to round off a Hoofing day.
5. Friday’s focus was more advanced map reading and navigation lectures. However, there was also a blow out in the gym focusing on camp circuits and rope climbs, as well as a swim session that involved a lot of hypoxic training (swimming under water) helping us to fully embrace the marine side of the Royal Marines.