Soldier under Training (SuT) Alastair Byrne writes from the Army Training Centre about the fourth week of his Phase 1 Training. It’s been a week of lessons, physical training and making the rest of his troop laugh!
This week started with lessons to brush up on our basic skills in English. We were also taught the marksmanship principles in our Skill At Arms (SAA) lessons. These are all to do with obtaining a more accurate shot when we get on the ranges, and weapon safety drills. We had to attend a meeting where we had to answer questions about our time here at Pirbright. We were asked what we thought of the food, accommodation and so on. The other Troop was there too, so it was a chance to tell them that our troop was better at everything (‘Premier Troop’).
For our last SAA lesson we were outside in a wooded area where we learnt about different firing positions and how to gain cover in small outbuildings and wooded areas. It felt more like soldiering and was a nice change from the classroom and practice – hopefully more of the same will come. Our next physical training (PT) lesson was battle PT. I had no idea what it was going to involve because I missed the last one. Soon enough we were climbing ropes and jumping over boxes, and another activity of the lesson was to do a ‘combat roll’. I did the forward roll fine, but couldn’t do the shoulder roll. I was rolling around on the floor – nothing combat-looking about it. Still, it gave everyone else a good laugh…
We also had a lecture on how to use blank ammunition and pyrotechnics on Exercise.
On Saturday morning we had a drill lesson where we attempted the move called ‘turn on the march’. This sent the ranks into chaos and we could all tell that this will take a while to master.
On Sunday we thought we were in for a day of ironing and generally strolling around the block – but we were all mistaken. Early morning briefs and litter sweeps brought an end to that idea. During the afternoon we all went to the gym for some troop activities. We played frisbee golf, rock climbing and did some team tasks. All in all, it was a good end to the week. That night we swapped ideas for folding shirts and tried to make boots shine. Some routine block jobs followed, ready for a Monday morning inspection.
Bring on week five!