It all started on the 1st of February 2016 when the new recruits of 220 troop were travelling to Commando Training Centre Royal Marines. Everyone whom was travelling down stood out a mile, with nervous faces, suited and booted and bulky cases.
The train approached the bottom field and the butterflies in our stomachs only increased. Rushing off the train, we were greeted by a smartly dressed DL, who quickly marched us to the Foundation Block.
This was our new home for the next two weeks; one big room sleeping all 43 of us. One person stood out like a sore thumb, which we all thought was an old veteran. Turns out it was just the Padre Brian, joining us on our 32 weeks of pain! The first day was simple, with paperwork and swearing allegiance the main priorities. We were also already in control of one deadly weapon though, the iron!
Waking up at 5am was a change of pace for most of us. Over the next couple of days we were taught how to correctly administrate ourselves. This was a big learning curve for most of us, especially the washing of kit and bed making. What a shame mummy wasn’t here to help us, it would have been a big help!
The rest of the week was of a similar fashion, which progressed to administrating military kit. The learning curve began to get steeper with 2-3 hours’ sleep per night. Sunday finally arrived and with that our first run ashore. Strutting up to the guard room fully suited up, we finally got a taste of life outside after 6 hard days. The biggest story we had to tell was our new found deadly ironing board skills, with the other exciting part being how to correctly wash our hands.
The week had finished as quickly as it had started, with 1 week of Royal Marines training done.
Not long left, only 31 weeks of blood, sweat and tears to go.
220 Tp Week 2
220 Troop were still in the “Shock of capture” phase as they progressed into Week 2. The Troop DL was in the process of turning the men into half man, half ironing board. There had already been some tough nights in the Foundation Block with limited sleep as the recruits attempted to complete the seemingly never ending personal administration.
Progressing further into week 2 the men of 220 Troop were given lectures about packing field kit and webbing for our first exercise which was Ex EARLY NIGHT. A few faces began to lose their smiles as they heard people “spinning dits” about the dreaded wet and dry drills.
The men were already beginning to come together as a troop. Time keeping skills were tested and a few periods of remedial physical activity were handed out when the men screwed up which as some points seemed too often. This is a very good way to help you not make the same mistake twice as it is very challenging physically anyway without adding extra gruelling sessions.
The Troop deployed into the field for the first time to experience what it is like to stay out in a bivvi with only rations and a packed bergan.
After the nights antics which included eating rations and practicing wet and dry drills we were up early to get our bivvies packed away and ready to get back up to camp.
The rest of the week was challenging for 220 Troop as the physical exercise became harder and more often and the life of a Royal Marines Recruit began to sink in. There is still a long way to go but a fruitful start to recruit training has made the Troop realise how steep the learning curve can be to progress onto getting the coveted green beret.