224 TROOP WEEK 15 DIARY
After a well deserved three week Summer leave period, 224 Troop returned to CTCRM with their game faces back on, ready to advance into the highly anticipated Phase 2 of training. As much as we all had the usual post-leave blues, those feelings were trumped by how excited we all were to finally start learning to do the things that we joined up to do.
Monday morning we were met by Corporal O’neil for a lengthy practical lecture on some particular CBRN (Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear) drills. These drills involved the removing of our respirators and the immediate decontamination of our faces, which we were quickly informed that we would be carrying out for real in the gas chamber on the Wednesday, so we all had our ears well pinned back to make sure we carried out the drills correctly, this would reduce the chances of us feeling the full effect of the CS Gas. After that we had a quick change into our bottom field kit and had a double period down on the assault course. The rest of the day was filled with Signals lectures on the PRR (Personal Role Radio), how to speak correctly over the radio and how to deliver both contact/casualty reports, which we found unanimously interesting.
Tuesday and Wednesday were filled with more lectures, involving the organisation and role of a rifle troop, section formations, troop harbour drills, different types of patrols and their purposes (e.g. Reconnaissance, Fighting) and battle procedure, majority of which were relevant to our up and coming exercise, FIRST BASE (Week 16). We also had a lecture on the Law of Armed Combat (LOAC) and Captured Personnel (CPERS) from the Company Commander, which we found hugely eye opening.
Thursday morning consisted of a double period of Drill with Corporal Schofield, where we carried out some arms drill and spoke about the routine and how our Phase 1 pass out was going to be conducted the following day. On completion of Drill, we were straight on the coach en route to Warminster range complex to execute live grenade throwing. This evolution is normally undertaken during the Thursday of week 13, however we were unable to use the range on the day, so it was moved forward as it is a criteria part of training. We were on the range with 225 troop who were in week 13, so there was a strong emphasis on how we needed to make sure that everything we did was smooth and efficient but most imperatively, that it was done safely. As much as it is quite daunting having a live HE (High Explosive) Grenade in your hand, we did what we were taught and all thoroughly enjoyed throwing our first grenade.
Friday was our big day. The parade and award ceremony that marked the milestone of passing out of Phase 1 and becoming professional infantry soldiers. We had a new individual and troop photo taken, sporting our rifles and a fixed shiny parade bayonet, and our training team were in our troop photo wearing their immaculate No.2 lovats dress. The 224 Troop awards were presented by the Adjutant of CTCRM and our Troop Commander, which consisted of Gym Superior(s), most improved Recruit, best Recruit, section commander tapes and various Marksman patches, being awarded for outstanding performance on the ACMT (Annual Combat Marksmanship Test) which we did at Straight Point ranges in week 11. We finished the day on a high, finally being able to don our green belts which we all worked so hard for. Needless to say we enjoyed some time off that night celebrate, utilising our new later Phase 2 curfew.