Week 9 Diary:
Week 9 was our toughest week so far in recruit training, but represented a milestone in our progression. The biggest goal was our IMF Pass Out on Friday morning, our opportunity to prove to the Physical Training Staff that we were ready to move on from the Gym and take on the infamous bottom field. That was a long way away however, and there was a hard week of phys and lectures to go before we got there.
A large part of the week was taken up by First Aid revision and examination. We have covered a lot in these lessons from basic occupational health and safety to battlefield trauma management, including the use of the latest tourniquets, bandages and gauze. Some of us had previous first aid experience, but military first aid has many new aspects such as the prevention of haemorrhaging from bullet or shrapnel wounds, and the need to build a bubble of security around a casualty before you can start treating him. This was hard to accept at first, as it is a natural response to want to immediately help your mate when he’s in trouble, but without securing the area first you may become a casualty yourself, and make the situation even worse!
These exams behind us our focus switched to our IMF Pass Out on Friday morning, and we spent a lot of time in the Gym with the Troop PTI perfecting our techniques. IMF is designed specifically to prepare us for Bottom Field PT, conditioning our joints and muscles allowing us to carry 21lb of kit plus a rifle without becoming injured. Passing this test, including rope climbs, sit-ups, an 800m sprint, pull ups and much more would be our ticket out of the Gym and onto the assault course. The period began with some nerves, but after a while we settled into it, performing well and achieving a Superior Pass as a Troop. We were proud of our achievement, something we had been working towards for some time, and proud we had pleased the Troop PTI and Training Team. We celebrated in Exeter with a few beers, not too many though as we were in church on Sunday morning and on Monday morning would be deploying to Dartmoor on our first week-long exercise, Ex Hunters Moon.