213 TROOP: RECRUIT DIARY – WEEK 2
As promised the tempo of the second week was increased to another level. With it comes a higher expectations of morning rounds, drill on the parade ground and ‘phys’ in the gym.
After a busy day of lessons it was time for our first ‘field’ exercise. This was in the form of Ex EARLY NIGHT which is conducted on the bottom field within camp. First we had a couple of key lessons, the first being how to put up our bivouacs or bivi’s. This is a sheet of waterproofed camouflage material that can be erected using a combination of poles, string and pegs to create a shelter that two of you can then conduct your administration and sleep under. Once this was complete we then learnt how to conduct wet and dry routine. This process is where you get out of all your wet work clothes and put on dry clothing before getting into your sleeping bag, thus ensuring that when the weather gets really bad you always have a set of dry clothes and a dry sleeping bag to get into and enable you to get warm again. However, the worst part is when you get up and have to get out of your dry clothes and put back on your now freezing cold wet ones! After the demo from the training team we then made our way to the ‘Tank’, which is a plunge pool for rope training that we will progress on to later in training. Once the training team were satisfied that we were totally soaked through we then had a chance to practise wet and dry routine whilst getting up during the night to conduct sentry.
Royal Marine recruits are more commonly referred to as ‘nods’, something that we initially didn’t understand. However with only 3-4hours sleep a night many of the troop are finding it very difficult to stay awake during lectures and keep nodding off at random moments, including standing up! We had a lecture on visualisation and memory which was fascinating although a lot of the troop were struggling to not visualise our beds.
The troop’s focus now shifted to passing our final inspection of foundation to then enable us to move into the accommodation that we will be in for the rest of training. We all worked hard throughout the night. It paid off though as we passed the inspection and prepared to move into our new block. In the new block we were broken down into 8 man rooms and given a task for the weekend by the Troop Sgt to add some colour and personalise the room within the limited confines of military extravagance!