With Exercise Final Trust passed and out of the way the Troop all seemed to be in good spirits as we started to look towards getting ready for our Commando tests that are fast approaching. This week has been branded “cheeky week” on the nod vine (rumour mill). Maybe a good way to describe having a run through of the Endurance Course, then 2 days of the Tarzan assault course then another run around the Endurance course on Saturday morning for good measure. Perhaps cheeky isn’t the best way to describe it but let’s go with that.
For those of you that don’t know, the Endurance Course is 6 miles long in total and consists of 2 miles around Woodbury Common Training Area, incorporating hills, tunnels and rivers. Probably the most formidable of the obstacles being the sheep dip. This is a fully submerged tunnel about 7ft long. The only way to get through this to be pushed underwater and pulled out the other side by your mate! Then a 4 mile run along roads back to CTC, with webbing and a rifle to be completed under 73 minutes. Just thinking about it makes our legs ache and lungs burn. But that isn’t the end of the test. We then have to complete a shoot on the 25 metre range, testing not only our marksmanship whilst fatigued but our ability to keep our rifle clean whilst crawling about in the mud. After all, a Marine without a working weapon isn’t much use. The Troop managed to pass the practice which will give us all some confidence when it comes to the tests in a couple of weeks’ time.
The fact that the Tarzan assault course is the shortest of the commando tests may have lured some of us into a false sense of security this week. 13 minutes to complete the high ropes course, a run around bottom field and p the 30ft wall may sound like a lot of time but it just isn’t. Once again however the troop worked hard and all managed to get good times on a full run through.
Other than the physical stuff, this week has mostly been lectures giving us all of the information we need to start thinking about our wider futures when we all eventually passout of CTC. It has probably made us all realise that we are almost finished and will soon be Commandos. It has also made us realise that there are a lot of miles of standing between us and the Green Beret.