At the beginning of week 9, 224 Troop were both ecited and a little bit nervous for the daunting gym passout at the end of the week. This would mark the end of PT in the gym and commence a whole new type of training on the bottom field assault course. However, before gym passout the troop had to first pass a series of tests and examinations while also keeping up with the phys and practicing weapons drill, this was referred to as an ‘easy’ week on camp.
On Monday morning we began by collecting weapons for drill to further improve our timings, form and learning new positions. After drill the troop made a mad dash to the accommodation for a shower and quick change in readiness for a Basic Fitness Test (BFT). This consists of 6 pull ups, fifty sit ups, then a booted 3 mile run, all of which is designed to keep us on our toes for Friday’s gym passout. Later in the day the troop had a quick introduction to Basic Life Support (BLS) and shortly after we were lined outside and brought into a room in pairs to perform a BLS Test. The whole troop passed with ease and the day was over.
Tuesday was a more relaxed day. We started off with a kit muster to ensure the troop were de-servicing kit correctly. Once complete we had more first aid revision in readiness for an examination in this vital subject on Wednesday. Then came a map reading assessment, followed by more first aid revision. Later that evening, and after all the normal admin was completed, each room worked as a group for an extra hour to revise for the exam.
On paper, Wednesday looked like an easy day. There was only two items on the timetable and that was PT and the MATT 3 First Aid Exam. During the exam everyone was given a different scenario and to pass you had to keep the casualty alive, determine their injuries, then successfully hand them over to a trained medical assistant for ongoing care. Once again, the troop passed with flying colours thanks to the excellent tuition and the previous evening’s extra revision. To fininsh the day the troop underwent a mock gym test to help prepare everyone for Friday’s real test.
Thursday began with a footcare period and a leeson about training on Dartmoor that would prepare us for Exercise HUNTER’S MOON the following week. Later in the day we had a Corps History lesson on events between 1945 and 1980. The troop managed to fill pages of information in a short 45 minute lesson. Shortly after the troop had a short PT session that consisted mainly of positioning for Friday and some stretching to loosen everyone up. To finish the day the troop took a short trip to Straightpoint Ranges to practice firing rifles in preparation for the upcoming two weeks range work after HUNTER’S MOON.
Friday had finally come; the whole troop had a whole host of emotions such as nervousness, anxiety, but also excitement. If successful at the Gym Passout we could all move on and progress. The troop did an amazing job, all but one passing and all received praise from the training team. Our efforts this week earned an extra hour’s shore leave this weekend and the troop can now look forward to real PT on the bottom field assault course.