213 TROOP: RECRUIT DIARY – WEEK 5
1. With one week to go till family’s day. The troop was excited to crack on with quick cover, a two night Exercise. As usual the morning of the exercise began with loading up our kit onto the transport. We then ran as a troop to the exercise area in Woodbury common, about 4 miles away. For our first day we conducted lectures on observation, where various military items where well hidden and under a time limit, we had to see how many we could spot. We also had other lectures on camouflage and concealment. The day ended with an acquaintance with peters pool enabling us to practice our wet and dry routine.
2. After an evening of sentries, our first detail for the day was preparing for a kit muster. With many of the troop struggling during the muster they were put on the inevitable flank and had the opportunity to discover some of the hills around the area. The rest of the day concentrated, on learning how to fire at the enemy when you see him and then how to extract to a better position to engage him from if in the open. This was the troop’s first experience firing the SA80 rifle using blanks, which was exciting stuff. More sentries where followed during the evening as well as a short walk with our bergains in order to get the troop acquainted yomping with weight.
3. For the final day of exercise the troop had a further kit muster and then spent the rest of the day practicing fire and maneuver, engaging the enemy for a position in cover and then only moving when your buddy is firing so then enemy can’t fire at you while your moving. Following this, all kit from the field was placed back into the trucks and the troop marched back to camp to begin de-servicing all our field kit, a long sleepless night lay ahead.
4. With one day to go till families day. The main focus for the day was cleaning the accommodation, as well as practicing our drill and IMF , which was to be presented In front of all our families.
5. The entire troop was very excited to be re-united with their family after 5 weeks, as well as showing off during the upcoming drill and IMF presentations. Before the actual presentations we had some practice time for our drill, which was valuable, as the drill went well and luckily during the IMF sessions no one slipped from the ropes. The day concluded with having lunch with our families and been allowed to begin our eagerly anticipated long weekend off.
213 TROOP: RECRUIT DIARY – WEEK 6
- Beginning of Week 6 begun with the troop feeling very happy to have caught up with their families during our first long weekend, but also feeling very homesick. However, it is was work as usual with an intense IMF session and our first, first aid lecture, as well as an introduction to JPA the online system that has our pay statements on, allows us to input for expenses, where we will get our yearly reports and once in the wider corps how we will find out were we have been drafted to. The day concluding with bore-sighting ( this is where you strip the weapon down and look down the barrel to see where the round will go , once you have determined this you then adjust the SUSAT (scope) so that it is pointing to the same place as where the round will go) weapons in preparation for our first live firing experience, at straight point ranges on Thursday.
- Lectures, In preparation for the following weeks exercise marshals star, where the priority for the day. With an introduction to map reading, covering contour lines and feature recognition as well as the shape of the ground. A second lecture on first aid was done, with the troop learning how to triage (order patients by severity of injury) and given the opportunity to practice the issued tourniquet on each other and experiencing how constricting they can be.
- The day began with a troop 5 mile run which was broken down to segments of 1.5 mile best effort runs; the troop, working hard in order to make the pass times. Following this, the troop had lectures on the Commando spirit, reminding us of the calibre of organisation we have joined. The day ended with an outdoor IMF session and, an addition to the troops feared word vocabulary, of ” in your place for plus camp circuit”.
- A day he troop has been looking forward to, with our first live firing experience. Unfortunately the weather was expecting us, with the heavens opening. However, the troop cracked on with the old adage of a wet marine is a happy marine. We learned and practiced various sitting, kneeling and standing firing positions, having the opportunity to practice shooting on a simulator range and then firing on a live range.
- Friday brought further lectures on map reading. Covering how to use the compass, protractor and bearings, it was a lot to take in and some of the troop were feeling slightly nervous at the prospect of night navigation as an individual,( wishing they could use Google maps, perhaps not very tactical though). The day ended with IMF and swim sessions.
- The majority of the troop had leave on the Saturday with some other members having to complete various tasks around camp as part of the duty troop.
- Sunday was a very special and important day, remembering the brave who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The troop paraded alongside the camp where wreaths where placed in respect to those who have given there lives in service to their Queen and Country.
213 TROOP: RECRUIT DIARY – WEEK 7
1. The main aim of the day was preparing for the weeks Ex MARSHAL STAR, which included getting all stores squared away. Following this, we conducted an intense IMF session, in order to prepare us for our gym pass out in Week 9. We then loaded into buses and made our way to Woodbury. After disembarking all our kit, lectures on night vision where had, where we got to see some night vision high tech, as well as some learn the importance of light and sound discipline.
2. After an evening of sentry duty, the day began with a kit muster and a phys session. The troop, having the chance to go hill searching, and un-fortunately for some who got put on the flank, some extra phys. Following this, we had practical day navigation exercise as sections with our section Cpl’s; then lectures on target indication, where we learned the correct way to identify targets and the various technology available to aid this. During the evening, a night navigation exercise was held, where the troop was split into sections and for the first time experienced the challenges of staying tactical and trying to navigate during darkness.
3. The morning begun with kit muster and phys log session, using the abundance of tree logs in the area. We then moved into Lectures on fire control orders (the set format that we use to identify where the enemy is and then what type of fire he is to be engaged with) and how they are to be issued where given and a part that many where waiting for, stalking. The troop was given some time to cam up and then given the location of two targets, to which they would have to stalk to, without been detected and then fire two shots. Many from the troop where successful, however it was also put into perspective of how easily one can been seen, if moving too fast. The day ended (or so it seemed) with lectures on contact drills, if attacked in the harbour. During the evening we were all contacted, following the drills taught, however, with much confusion. Due to this the troop had the opportunity to practise the contact drills again later on that evening/morning.
4. Following the contact drills, a kit muster inspection was done and then all stores loaded and preparation for our yomp back to camp. The yomp was completed successfully with all the troop completing it. Once back on camp the long road to de-servicing all of our kit begun, with a swim session to finish the day off.
5. First aid lectures where held, as well as an intense IMF session. The day ended with yet another swim session and the troop very much looking forward to some rest during the weekend.