211 Troop Week 5

We began Week 5 sore and aching, with the relentless pace and intensity of training starting to take its toll on our bodies. We have never done this much PT before, and it will take a few more weeks before our muscles are conditioned to the constant exercise. Spirits however were high, as the light at the end of the tunnel, Families’ Day, was to come on Friday. We were all looking forward to seeing our families, and demonstrating what we had learnt in such a short space of time.

Before that we had to conquer what the week had in store for us; first was a 4 mile run around local roads, beginning at 0700. Early bird and all that. After that we had a quick shower and visited the stores to be issued our formal, tailored Barrack Dress Trousers, yet another sign of our continuing progress. After that it was quickly back to the accommodation to load stores before deploying on our second field exercise, Exercise QUICK COVER. This 2 day exercise, again on Woodbury Common, built upon what we learnt previously, and gave us a chance to sample the soldiering we had joined for. We learnt why things are seen, and consequently how to camouflage ourselves and our equipment, blending in with our surroundings. We fired our rifles for the first time, using blank ammunition to rehearse what to do when confronted by an unexpected enemy. Of course at the end of every day was the dreaded march down to Peter’s Pool to get wet. This was in no way a punishment, as the only way to improve wet and dry drills is to do it for real, however that didn’t make the water any warmer!

Each morning started with a Kit Muster inspected by the Training Team. Each and every piece of equipment had to be spotless, faultlessly maintained and clean as a whistle. Though still hard, we are getting better and faster at this process all the time. Returning to camp we went in to see the padre for a lecture about ‘Having Faith’. Our emotional well-being is well looked after by the chaplaincy staff, and we feel comfortable discussing our feelings with them in a confidential environment. Friday arrived and at lunchtime, after demonstrating Drill and IMF, we finally got to meet our families and go home on a long weekend. Although we don’t know it, we are changing day by day, and it was only after the remarks of our families that we began to recognise this process. Next week we move on to the critical battle field skills every Marine requires, map reading and first aid.

We began Week 5 sore and aching, with the relentless pace and intensity of training starting to take its toll on our bodies. We have never done this much PT before, and it will take a few more weeks before our muscles are conditioned to the constant exercise. Spirits however were high, as the light at the end of the tunnel, Families’ Day, was to come on Friday. We were all looking forward to seeing our families, and demonstrating what we had learnt in such a short space of time.

Before that we had to conquer what the week had in store for us; first was a 4 mile run around local roads, beginning at 0700. Early bird and all that. After that we had a quick shower and visited the stores to be issued our formal, tailored Barrack Dress Trousers, yet another sign of our continuing progress. After that it was quickly back to the accommodation to load stores before deploying on our second field exercise, Exercise QUICK COVER. This 2 day exercise, again on Woodbury Common, built upon what we learnt previously, and gave us a chance to sample the soldiering we had joined for. We learnt why things are seen, and consequently how to camouflage ourselves and our equipment, blending in with our surroundings. We fired our rifles for the first time, using blank ammunition to rehearse what to do when confronted by an unexpected enemy. Of course at the end of every day was the dreaded march down to Peter’s Pool to get wet. This was in no way a punishment, as the only way to improve wet and dry drills is to do it for real, however that didn’t make the water any warmer!

Each morning started with a Kit Muster inspected by the Training Team. Each and every piece of equipment had to be spotless, faultlessly maintained and clean as a whistle. Though still hard, we are getting better and faster at this process all the time. Returning to camp we went in to see the padre for a lecture about ‘Having Faith’. Our emotional well-being is well looked after by the chaplaincy staff, and we feel comfortable discussing our feelings with them in a confidential environment. Friday arrived and at lunchtime, after demonstrating Drill and IMF, we finally got to meet our families and go home on a long weekend. Although we don’t know it, we are changing day by day, and it was only after the remarks of our families that we began to recognise this process. Next week we move on to the critical battle field skills every Marine requires, map reading and first aid.

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