RECRUIT DIARY WEEK 5 – 201 TROOP
Monday started with a four mile run after a robust warm up around the rugby pitches. We then geared ourselves up for our next exercise, Ex QUICK COVER. This began with a four mile ‘yomp’ (march) up to Woodbury Common as a troop. Once we arrived we went straight into our harbour positions. These are the areas we adopt when we stop moving. We started putting up our ponchos (our roof for the night) in a triangle layout designed to provide us with a 360 degree view of our immediate surroundings. We then had a lesson in camouflage and concealment which we continued to put into practise over the next couple of days. This was quite enjoyable as half he troop had to hide amongst the bushes on the common whilst the other half had to try and find them. It was quite surprising just how close you could get without anyone knowing your presence. For some reason we thought we were going to be staying dry the first night as it wasn’t raining. How wrong we were. We all went for a quick dip in Peter’s Pool (a pond which forms part of the Endurance Course) prior to going to sleep so we could practise the dreaded ‘wet and dry routine’.
Tuesday started with a full kit muster, which apart from two of us, everyone failed. After being told where we all went wrong we could not wait for the next morning’s inspection… Following this we then began our lessons for the day. We learnt all the different movement techniques when carrying a weapon and how they are effective in different terrain. This built upon what we had learnt the previous day and by the end of the lesson we were advancing whilst camouflaged over all sorts of terrain, able to get close to the Training Team without them seeing us. We then had an introduction to navigation with the Troop Commander ahead of next week’s map reading lessons. After this it was time for us to conduct our night routine again (this time we were dry!). We developed our sentry positions and enhanced our harbour so people were able to find their way around during the night.
The following morning started again with a kit muster which more of us passed – surely a good sign. We then went straight into learning and understanding the basics of fire and manoeuvre before putting it into practise. This is the technique used to move when under effective enemy fire. We operated in pairs, whilst one was moving the other was firing their rifle. Then the pair would swap over. It was the first time many of us had actually fired our rifles so it was awesome to actually start ‘getting some rounds down’ (although they were blanks). After the troop had finished we packed all our kit away and ‘yomped’ back to camp where we cleaned our rifles and deserviced all our kit.
Despite being back on camp, Thursday was an early start and we had barely finished our breakfast before we found ourselves in the gym practising the routine for Families’ Day. After that we continued to clean our rifles and went over parts of our kit that were not meeting the standard required. Last order of the day was three hours of drill which we were late for – not a great start. Following this was another late night of sorting our kit out before Families’ Day.
Everyone was absolutely buzzing on Friday morning for Families’ Day. We got to show off everything we had learnt over the last five weeks, mainly drill and ‘phys’. All our families seemed impressed but the main thing was seeing them after five weeks. The day ended early with us showing our families around our accommodation, having some lunch and off home for the weekend for some well-earned rest.