229 TROOP: RECRUIT DIARY – WEEK 5
- Week 5 stared with 229 Troop doing Ex QUICK COVER which is a 3 day long exercise located at Woodbury Common. We were shown how to use our surroundings for camouflage, as well as how to camouflage our faces, helmet and webbing. Later that day we had lectures on getting ready for the wet and dry routine, to do this we we got wet, jogged back and performed ‘stand to’ (where everyone gets up before first light and prepares to defend ourselves against a possible attack), after which we continued with our usual orders of administration.
Early in the morning we had a kit muster which was to be laid out after morning routine around harbour. That day we were taught and practiced RTR (Return fire, Take cover, and Return accurate fire), which we as a section found interesting to learn all the basic soldiering skills. Following that we had a lesson in observation and scanning, the Corporals had placed 10 items in dense under growth and using the techniques we were shown we had to try and find and identifying them. .
3. On the Wednesday morning we had our second kit muster and this one was more challenging due to firing our weapons the previous day. Despite the fact we had more admin to do, more of us passed on the second kit muster compared to the previous day. On completion of the exercise we had a 4 mile march back to camp which was a challenge but it was really good doing it with our rifles, webbing and daysack. After we got back on to camp we had to de-service all of our kit.
- With all of our rig ready for family’s day after staying up most the night to get it ready, we woke early to show our families our drill routine and an IMF session. After that we got to have scran with our families and showed them the accommodation which we living in. They were very impressed by how clean and organised it all was and after that we had permission off the Troop Sergeant to go home for our weekend leave.
229 TROOP: RECRUIT DIARY – WEEK 6
- Week 6 started with sleeping out in the Field for not putting in the effort the week before. With sentries all night and an inspection in the morning it was a difficult Sunday night. On Monday we woke up under a bivi and from there we moved back to the grots. We then went to our first lesson which was first aid, followed by a swim and then some map reading.
2. Tuesday came and we had our first day of medical training. Afterwards we then had probably one of the hardest gym sessions so far, we were really put through our paces in the build up to Gym Pass Out! We were all in need of some rest after a pretty full on start to the week. Wednesday followed with more phys, both in the gym and in the pool – it’s still only Wednesday!
- Thursday was by far the best day of the week, we did our first shoot today and it was hoofing! First of all we went to the DCCT (an indoor laser computer range) range where we shot aiming at a screen, this didn’t go too well for some lads. After this we went to the live ranges and shot live ammunition, which is the biggest rush in the world! After we finished our first shoot we went back to the DCCT (computer range) and did more training in different firing positions then once we had finished that we went back and did it live. Straight after that we got to all sit down for half an hour or so, by this point all of our adrenaline had worn off and we all were flat out. About half an hour later we were awoken and went back on the live 25m range, and shot multiple rounds and we all had one turn at this, after this we all went back to the grot, got scran and returned weapons. Hoofing day!
- We woke up today and had locker inspections and went straight on the drill square, practicing for interval drill pass out in a few weeks. Once we had done this we doubled back to the grot, quick changed into gym rig and had a quick gym session followed by a dip in the pool for a swim. Once we had finished this we went to a first aid lecture for the afternoon.
229 TROOP: RECRUIT DIARY – WEEK 7
- Little of this week was spent on camp due to our deployment into the field on Ex MARSHAL STAR. Much of Monday morning was dedicated to completing the final servicing of kit and squeezing in the last practise of navigation, desperately hoping that the penny would drop so we weren’t doomed to getting lost on Woodbury Common!
- Tuesday provided a nice surprise for us – just before departing on our exercise the PTI took us for a workout comprising of sprints, drags, fireman carriers, and the usual suspects that leave you hanging out in phys. We had our final lesson on navigation and then we hit the road for Woodbury.
- The exercise lasted 4 days and 3 nights; although with how sore and tired my feet are feeling now as I write this, it felt much longer! We were taught a wide variety of skills with everything to do with navigating. This included, but is not limited to, harbour positions, tactical orders, RV’s, map orientation, target identification, range cards, fire control orders, RV’s, night navigation, various night drills and skills, and the most enjoyable of them- the stalking. We had to camouflage ourselves using the surrounding vegetation, crawl 100m to position ourselves in a firing position without being spotted by the training team, which was a lot harder than we anticipated. Needless to say no-one got full marks – maybe something to do with the ‘Mark II eyeball’ the Training Team say we will get once we earn our Green Beret. Each morning started with the kit muster, the flank (for those unfortunate enough to find themselves on it) and a morning workout conducted by our PTI.
- We arrived back on camp on the Thursday afternoon which was pleasant. How we got back was not so pleasant – a 4 mile march with a weighted day sack, webbing and rifle.
- We de-serviced our kit, unloaded the wagon and straight into an IMF session and a swimming period with the aim of gym pass out on week 9. We thought the day was long but we had yet to experience what promised to be a long evening with a full kit inspection the following morning looming. Having merged itself with Thursday after little sleep, Friday continued with First Aid lectures interspersed with some vital coffee breaks. We were released that Friday night for a much needed weekend off.
229 TROOP: RECRUIT DIARY – WEEK 8
- The training weeks alternate between hard and easy, or hard and harder I should say! After a tough week 7 we thought week 8 would provide some rest bite for us….or so we thought! There are no easy weeks in Recruit Training. Although the number of activities was rather sparse we still managed to be significantly fatigued come Saturday.
2. Monday commenced with interval drill practice preparing us for our drill assessment which, providing that we passed, would enable us to progress onto weapons drill- the more flamboyant drill moves. After that was the 4 mile run which turned out to be a relatively easy speed march with the aim of familiarisation with the 4 mile speed march route. This then finished off with IMF.
3. Tuesday started with three back to back sessions of hand to hand combat training (RMCC) consisting of chokes, restraints, and defence moves to counter attacks. It was a thoroughly enjoyable lesson although equally painful, let’s just say between the cold mist in the morning air and the pain response from the joint manipulation there was no fear of any man falling asleep. The afternoon saw us educated on drugs and alcohol and the dangers of their misuse, as well as management and the RM policy.
- Having had numerous inspections over the last two days we thought we were adequately prepared for the OC rounds on Wednesday morning. Passing by the skin of our teeth, we were rewarded with permission to use the washing machines. After this it was straight into the 4 mile run. We were warned it would be a bit ‘cheeky’, that was a gross understatement! The running was the easy part, it was the various exercise stations periodically scattered throughout that was the challenge.
- Thursday was a much more relaxed day. We met up with the Mountain Leaders to be instructed on survival training. This was definitely the highlight of the week. As soon as we stepped off the bus we were taught everything we did had to be done with purpose and speed.
6. The week finished off on the penultimate day, Friday, with an early RMFA to establish the progress we had made; a navigation exercise; and a 4 mile march back to camp. Whatever strength we had left in our legs were soon spent on the fields of Woodbury. This was to prepare us for Ex BAPTIST RUN in the near future and turned out to be quite an enjoyable day. I can definitely say we all are eagerly looking forward to recovering on the weekend and enjoying some well earned res