211 TROOP: RECRUIT TROOP DIARY WEEK 28.
1. Still feeling the effects of Ex FINAL THRUST from the week before, 211 Tp were glad to have a week spent on camp. The downside of a week on camp at this stage of training is that it is anything but rest and recovery! With the infamous Commando Tests drawing ever closer, this week would be used to conduct our final run throughs of the Endurance Course and Tarzan Assault Course prior to the Tests. The next time we would conduct them would be for real and with the coveted Green Beret waiting for us at the end.
2. The first run through of the Endurance Course was conducted in gale force winds that made, arguably the toughest of the four tests, even harder! There were points during the 4 mile run back to Camp that the wind was so strong we were glad to be weighed down by our 21lbs in our webbing as well as our rifle! Some members of the Troop clearly felt that the course was not long enough so decided to take a slight ‘detour’ through Woodbury before being politely pointed in the right direction by some very wet and very cold members of the Training Team. Despite the conditions (and detour) the Troop performed fairly well, however for some it was a sharp wakeup call that you cannot afford to slow down and walk at any point on the course.
3. Just when we thought that things couldn’t get much more painful than the Endurance Course, they did. The Tarzan Assault Course is a gruelling test of your anaerobic fitness, it is essentially sprinting at full pace over various obstacles for upwards of 10 minutes. There were some interesting noises coming from everyone in the Troop as we hauled ourselves up the final obstacle, the thirty foot wall! Our first attempt surprised some members of the Troop where again they learned that you cannot relax at any point on the course, it is a case of genuinely digging out blind at all times!
4. The week continued with more run throughs on the Endurance and Tarzan Assault course, fortunately with much better times coming from all members of the Troop. We are much more confident about going into Test week with these times under our belt. We all hope that with the benefit of two weeks of R&R during Easter leave as well as the adrenaline of the Tests, none of us will struggle to pass.
5. The week finished with a series of lectures, the most interesting and pertinent to us being the lecture on the Royal Marines Association delivered by Mne Mark Ormrod who lost three limbs in an IED strike in Afghanistan. A truly inspiring individual who demonstrates the true meaning of cheerfulness in the face of adversity, he spoke about the work of the RMA and its importance to those Royal Marines who need help. It reinforced that message of the Corps family as well as the ethos and values of the Royal Marines that we all aspire towards.
211 TROOP: RECRUIT TROOP DIARY WEEK 29.
1. Sunday night back was bitter sweet as we had all become accustomed to being a civilian again, after two weeks Easter leave. We were soon reminded this was definitely not the case and we were back to reality after reading orders and seeing a 0530hrs start!
2. After spinning Easter leave ‘dits’ (some of which were definitely better than others), Sunday soon turned to Monday and the Recruits of 211 Troop were to start their second week of field firing.
3. The week started with some blank firing run throughs to blow out the cobwebs gathered during Easter leave. However, the pace soon increased and before we knew it we were doing live firing section attacks. This then progressed onto more complex actions at Troop level.
4. The week ran smoothly and with the weather on our side, there were no major snags or complaints. The Recruits of 211 Tp dug out blind and have proved that we are at the tactical and professional standard required to join 3 Cdo Bde.
5. The second week of field firing was both enjoyable and challenging. Our focus now switches to the week we have been waiting for, for a long time with 211 Troop moving onwards and upwards to the infamous Commando Tests.
211 TROOP: RECRUIT TROOP DIARY WEEK 29.
1. After a physically draining week doing our final practice run throughs of the Commando Tests, week 29 was going to be a welcome change of pace. Whilst it might be a change of tempo physically, it would still hugely test our standards of soldering and weapons handling more so than at any point during Recruit Training. This was because the focus of the next two weeks would be our field firing package at Okehampton Battle Camp where all training would be conducted using live ammunition and high explosive grenades, there isn’t a much better incentive to apply yourself fully!
2. For once, the Dartmoor weather Gods smiled on 211 Tp and we were blessed with good weather throughout the week (well for most of it anyway!) which made what promised to be an already good week, even better. The whole Troop were looking forward to taking part in the live firing package, ranging from individual fire and manoeuvre through to section level evolutions. It was the first time during training that we have conducted tactical training with live ammunition and as such, concentration and effort levels were doubled. When you have live rounds in your magazine and your oppos moving to your left, right and in front, you know you cannot take anything for granted! It would also be our final opportunity to prove to the Training Team that we are at the level of soldiering that is required to join 3 Commando Brigade.
3. The week progressed well as we moved through the various stages of live firing tactical training that would qualify everyone in the Troop to be able to take part in the Troop sized evolutions during Week 30. Everyone had definitely brought their ‘A-Game’ to Okehampton and the Training Team were happy with our progress and the quality of training that we produced.
4. The week finished on a high with some high quality fire-team serials, this left everyone in high spirits. Not only had we enjoyed the week but we also had two weeks of glorious Easter leave to look forward to! We are all physically and mentally drained after an extremely arduous and challenging several weeks prior to now, there are more than one or two niggling injuries amongst the Troop that will benefit from the time off. We are under no illusions that we need to look after ourselves and recover as much as possible over leave as, not only do we have another full week of field firing to complete, but also the infamous Commando Tests.