Rather toasty

Junior Soldier (JS) Bradnam recalls the fourth week of his Junior Entry Phase 1 Training in his latest blog from the Army Technical Foundation College, Winchester (ATFC(W)). He’s been on Exercise FIRST STEP, in the snow…

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Week 4 started with rather a pronounced bang – as a Sergeant’s inspection rattled though our block – and we all winced. Although the inspection threw a few people to the wind everyone accepted the points that were made and we soon cracked on with the week’s training. The weapon handling test on the Wednesday afternoon was the main focus point at the beginning of the week and the drills  etched into everyone’s brains. When the afternoon of the test came there were some fails – the nervous tensions showing through. However, all was not lost and those that needed to re-sat the test and all passed.

Next it was Exercise FIRST STEP, which is an outdoor exercise designed to teach the basics of living and working in an operational environment.  We had all been excitedly awaiting the exercise but as the morning of departure arrived a few nervous smiles were beginning to appear. We’d awoken to snow. The phrase “did not know whether to laugh or cry” applied, but in true Army fashion we gritted our teeth, hoisted our bergens onto our backs and pressed on. The moment we reached the training area the nervous smiles were a distant memory as the exercise got into full swing. “Duties of a sentry” and “occupation of a harbour area” were among just some of the lessons being learned.

With all of this new information stored in our minds we braced ourselves and settled down for the night ahead. I personally expected it to be extremely cold. And it was – but the equipment we’d all been issued with was doing its job and we were all kept rather toasty. The morning arrived and with no respite and the day proceeded on with lessons on personal hygiene in the field and methods of tactical movement. Methods of Movement was perhaps one of the most memorable due to the snow however not one of us would have changed the conditions and we would all do it all again! The camaraderie on the exercise is something that I will never forget. I don’t think I would have experienced it anywhere else. It really was second to none.

In no time at all the week came to an end. A Squadron trip to Crowborough for a week of  adventure training is now on the horizon. This has definitely put the troop in high spirits and I am sure that week 5 too will be one that I will never forget.

8 thoughts on “Rather toasty

  1. JS Bradnam – your blogs just get better and better. I’m very proud of how you and your fellow entrants are coping with what it being thrown at you. Well done.

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  2. Well done to you all for braving the elements, it has been absolutely freezing. You really do sound as if you are all settling in to the Army way of things now. Glad you are enjoying it.

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  3. You seem to be well into Army life now and are really finding out all that entails. Well done all of you for being so determined and enjoying your training in this cold weather. You are all doing fantastic.
    Brilliant blog JS Bradnam, we are almost there with you.

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  4. Beautiful Pic. Glad u acknowledged inspection as an important part of training. It’s this discipline that puts u good stead.

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  5. Great blog JS Bradman, your updates make us feel as we are there with you all. You are all doing very well and will deserve the 2 weeks leave coming up very soon. We are very proud of you all.

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  6. You seem to have coped with the ice and snow extremely well, JS Bradnam – well done !
    Your next round of training sounds like it will be very interesting – look forward to hearing all about it.

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  7. JS Bradnum

    Just browsing through and noticed your excellent report/ blog.

    Heck, it took me back some time to when I began training. Trying to get to grips with what army life would be like. Mind you I had fantastic instructors also – instructors whom I very much respect to this day because of their perseverance and encouragement.

    Regarding training, don’t allow yourself to get nervous – after a while things will start to slot into place. Sure there is lots to learn, WHT’s, fieldcraft including things you’ve mentioned such as “Duties of a Sentry” – don’t give in though – as I say they may take some time for you to fully grasp but eventually they will become like second nature to you.

    Remember we get along by helping each other along – if you grasp something quicker than others, then try to help them. I guess this brings a new meaning to “forward assist”.

    Enjoy AT at Crowborough, and you guys have a Happy Christmas.

    Again excellent report – keep your spirits up.

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  8. glad to hear you all enjoyed your exercise first step looking forward to seeing everyone at the end of week six keep up the hard work it will all be worth it in the end so proud of you js mason

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