Officer Cadet Todd Ledwith blogs from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst with an update on the progress of his Officer training. It’s been a week of tests, including marksmanship and fitness.
“Delivering a good set of orders, getting there and being able to shoot straight” – those were the words of our Colour Sergeant on the key facets of being a young officer at the end of a week which saw 1 Platoon succeed in all three areas.
Firstly, PRACTAC on Tuesday saw us conducting the estimate process for a deliberate attack upon two enemy trenches and presenting our summations one-to-one to various Platoon Commanders and other, more senior, members of the Directing Staff. We were then given 45 minutes to prepare our orders before moving to our respective model pits (a physical representation of the ground relevant to our mission) and presenting these orders to Platoon Colour and Staff Sergeants. Everyone in the Platoon passed without issue, achieving the first aspect of the Colour Sergeant’s three key principles of being a young officer.
Next, on Wednesday, came the Annual Combat Marksmanship Test (ACMT), an assessment of our proficiency with both pistol and rifle which again, everyone passed. 18 members of the Platoon were awarded the title of ‘Marksman’ due to their skill and will now wear the crossed rifles on their blues in recognition of this.
Finally, on Friday we had our fitness tested. Whilst not a formal assessment, training for the Annual Combat Fitness Test (a 1.5 mile best effort run with 25kgs of weight including rifle) is always testing. This session consisted of a 3.5 mile course around Barossa followed by three Representative Military Tasks (RMTs), a casualty drag, a rope climb with kit and repetitions of scaling a 6ft wall with kit. It was a tough session to conclude a testing week which showed how 1 Platoon are progressing through the training here at Sandhurst.
Now, half way through the course, our next focus is Exercise DRUID’S RIDGE which takes place in a week’s time in Sennybridge, Wales, the location of the Junior Exercise CHRYCHAN’S CHALLENGE. On this exercise we will learn about Fighting In Built-Up Areas or ‘FIBUA’ as well as how to conduct ambushes and tactical withdrawals.