Week 20 started off with a drill inspection from the Most Senior Drill Leader, the First Drill. It was very important to get our uniform up to standard and make sure we looked immaculate and prove that we could achieve the necessary high standards expected on the Drill Square.
The inspection went well and we were also tested on our knowledge of key Royal Marines history.
On completion of our inspection, we spent the day with the Assault Engineers, learning about mine warfare and how to make trenches. This was interesting as a lot more went into trenches than I thought, as we were to discover later on in the week…
The next day we spent the morning learning about duties of a chemical sentry – providing forewarning of an imminent chemical attack using specialist detection equipment.
After the lectures we proceeded on Exercise HOLDFAST. For me this was the most physically and mentally challenging exercise so far for me as we had no sleep and did not stop moving for 2 days. We has to demonstrate that we could dig a trench to the necessary dimensions and being also carry out the CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) drills we had been taught. Looking back on the exercise it was one of the hardest things I had ever done but felt rewarding knowing that I am capable of something I didn’t think I could do.
By the end of the exercise we were all exhausted and certainly ready for Christmas leave!