Junior Soldier (JS) Bradnam writes about passing his Annual Combat Marksmanship Test (ACMT) with flying colours in his latest blog from the Army Technical Foundation College, Winchester.
This has been range week, and 13 Troop travelled to Longmoor ranges for the first time. Monday was our first day on the range where we practised the ACMT in its entirety. This is the shooting test that every Junior Soldier must pass in order to pass out of Phase1 training. Everyone was being individually coached in order to help them improve their shooting to enable them to pass the test on Friday. Everyone got to shoot and also everyone got to coach another firer and to work the targets for the firers.
On Tuesday we had another day on the ranges and it was pretty similar to Monday however we were shooting at slightly smaller targets, which obviously made it harder. Wednesday was the only full day during the week where we weren’t on the ranges. Instead we had a fitness assessment to see how much our fitness had either improved (or declined!) since we arrived. The fitness assessment included the 1.5 mile run, jerry can carry, 2 minutes of best effort press-ups, 2 minutes of best effort sit-ups and a static weight lift. I am pleased to say that everyone improved – I achieved 9 minutes 26 seconds in the 1.5 mile run, 59 press ups, 73 sit ups, 45 kg static lift and 210m max score on the jerry can carry. I was quite happy with these results – however I would like to be able to do more press ups and achieve less than 9 minutes on the run. In the afternoon the weaker firers had another session on the DCCT in order to try and improve their shooting.
On the Thursday we were back at Longmoor ranges desperately trying to iron out any imperfections in our shooting before the test on Friday. This ran the same as the other 2 range days with everyone doing coaching, targets and shooting. On Thursday we also had a night shoot which, as you’d expect, involves shooting at night! I’m sure you can imagine it’s rather difficult. It was an experience nonetheless and I scored 7 out of 15, which I was happy with because I could barely see the target!
Friday was the test day and there were a few people who did not expect to pass. The test comprised shooting at different-sized targets from 100, 200 and 300 metres. Some targets were up all the time and some were only exposed for a certain amount of time before they went back down again. We had to fire from various different positions – prone (lying down), standing, kneeling and sitting. The maximum score achievable was 49. I passed the test first time with a score of 46 which earned me marksman status and also best shot in the troop. Obviously I was ecstatic with these results. Around half of the troop passed first time with 7 people earning marksman and the rest of the troop passed on their second go around which most certainly relieved a few people!
With the shooting test out of the way the only thing left was a swimming lesson on the Saturday morning. I did boxing instead but apart from that the weekend was our own. It seems that every week there is some sort of anticipation for certain events and week 13 will be no different. Exercise HALFWAY is next week, some people are excited and some people are dreading it, but it will definitely be an exercise worth remembering.