207 Troop Recruit Dairy Week 1
The day was finally here, the start of Royal Marine Commando Training. Recruits arrived from all corners of the UK and beyond, anxious and excited for what lay ahead. We were met by a member of the training team who made comparisons between some recruits and Jedward, based on the variety of haircuts on display.
The training program then began to get into full swing, issues of kit and equipment were followed by PT which was followed by more administration and lectures. With a hectic program the workload was soon mounting up, all of which had to be completed to the best of our abilities.
One of our first experiences in the Gym was the Royal Marines Fitness Assessment. This was our first chance to show the training team what we could do, with everyone giving 100%. Some good scores were achieved and the PTI then moved onto to instruction of technique in the Gym. At the end of the week we were instructed on rope climbing before completing a 3 mile run.
Through out the week we were also being put through our paces with our administration and locker inspections. After some very early mornings and late nights we started to get the hang of making sure all of our kit and equipment was tidy and clean. The week ended with drill which was a new experience for many of us.
207 Troop Recruit Dairy Week 2
Monday we had room and locker inspections followed by PT and a swim. We also had a lecture on foot care and learned how to pack a bergan and our webbing. Tuesday started with drill then onto some weapons training, which the Troop enjoyed. Later that night we deployed on our first exercise of Royal Marines Commando Training, Exercise Early Night. The Troop spent the night on the bottom field learning how to live in the field, under our ponchos and use the 12hr ration pack. We also practised wet and dry routine for the first time, which some found challenging.
The next day, after the exercise had finished we clean our kit and had a lectures on dental hygiene and Royal Marines Operations. This was followed by more PT, a 3 mile run, which was difficult after spending the previous night without much sleep.
The remainder of the week involved more PT, swimming, inspections and various lectures. The week finished with an introduction to Royal Marines Close Combat. This is the Royal Marines’ version of hand to hand combat. Here the instructors picked a recruit to demonstrate technique on, much to the amusement of the rest of the troop.
At the weekend the Troop got some down time which we used to go into town for a beer together and to make some important purchases, to make life easier in training.
207 Troop Recruit Dairy Week 3
Monday started off with rounds and locker inspections, we had our first map reading lesson with our Troop Commander where we were shown how to fold a map. We then had hearing protection briefs before a swim in the afternoon. This was our first swim with boots and clothing on, which made it a lot more challenging. This was followed by drill with the Troop Drill Leader.
Tuesday started again with rounds and locker inspections and a lesson on Royal Marines Corps history. In the afternoon we were issued barrack dress trousers for drill. In the afternoon we had a double PT session followed by more swimming.
During the rest of the week we had more PT, inspections and lectures. We also had several Royal Marines Close Combat sessions. The Troop is starting to get to grips with weapons training, after many lectures in the stances. The week ended with an afternoon of weapons lessons, with the rifle.
At the weekend we had our hardest PT sessions in the gym to date, involving ropes and lots of CV work. We had the rest of the weekend off to prepare our kit for Monday.
207 Troop Recruit Dairy Week 4
As most Mondays begin for Recruits, we had an early morning rush to get ready for locker and accommodation inspections. Although not quite 100% yet the Troop is definitely beginning to grasp our admin, or so we thought…. The inspection was followed by a weapons practise period where we ran through the last procedures in preparation for our test to come on Friday, which then allows the Troop to begin with live firing…If we passed.
After a quick church service we arrived at the gym for our double PT session followed by a swim. As the weeks change these sessions really begin to pick up a pace. Following the gym session we returned to the accommodation and began to pack our bergans in preparation for Tuesday’s first field experience named Exercise First Step.
The following morning began with drawing weapons from the armoury and squeezing in a quick weapons lesson before retuning to the stores. After this we packed the truck with the equipment needed for the exercise on Woodbury Common. The preparation was complete and we got the coach from CTCRM to the exercise area and began to set up camp. Through various lectures we learnt how to cook military rations, clean ourselves in the field and what is involved in the role of a sentry. We then carried out these new skills throughout the night and into Wednesday morning.
We were woken by our sentries early Wednesday morning there was a massive rush to get ourselves prepared to lay a kit muster for inspection. Weapons were to be spotless! Inspections were then carried out. Although the inspections were not a complete success for the Troop as over 50% of us failed, we will try not to make the same mistakes twice.
Once camp had been packed away and we had cleared the area we began our 4 mile march back to camp, carrying our full webbing and weapon. Our kit was then to be fully de-serviced for the following morning, where we were required to lay another kit muster beside our beds.
As Thursday arrived it was yet another early start and rush to have our kit musters sitting to perfection. I personally found this inspection very useful as many points were given to us by the Corporals. After final lectures on fieldcraft from the Troop Sergeant we were briefed on the following week and what to expect. Then it was back to the gym for another PT session where we were instructed on our Gym Pass Out routine. This involved learning the make fast, a move where you climb halfway up the rope then let go and hold on using your legs. Although it sounds mad all of 207 Troop managed to grasp the technique.
Before we knew it Friday had come around and so had our weapons tests, all of the Troop passed. We then were treated to another PT session as a reward. However all was not well as when we returned from PT we found that the accommodation had been left untidy and lockers were open. This pretty impressive mess was not received well by the training team. This led to a night of washing and cleaning to make sure the accommodation was up to standard.