Test Week, Intro Day

2Lt Sam Westlake

2Lt Sam Westlake

It’s Test Week of P Company – the punishing training course for those joining The Parachute Regiment – for Second Lieutenant Sam Westlake. With this latest blog he reports on the first day…

Look at Intro Day this way: it’s the 4 worst events of Test Week all rolled into one day.  First of all we did the 2 miler.  Hearing from the Physical Training Instructor that the first mile would be squadded was comforting, but not completely accurate: only 3 men could stick with him to the half-way point.  It’s a tough route compared to the others that I’ve done at RMAS or Brecon, with a mostly-uphill first mile.  For those who’ve yet to tackle P Company, bear in mind that you’ll be far from fresh by this point, so don’t expect to get any where near your usual 2 Miler time.  Having said that, finishing in under 18 mins will achieve maximum points on Test Week, and is very achievable.

We were then introduced to the Log and the Strecher in true, unforgiving P Company style.  A short lap of each, simulating race conditions,  managed to instil enough fear in many for the real thing.  The Log is not that heavy but it moves fast and it will be max effort for the 1.8 miles we have to carry it on Thursday.  The introduction to the steeplechase fills the afternoon and is a chance to get fully acquainted with the many water jumps littering the route.  On intro day you’re  spared the assault course but it will be completed later in the week, at the end of the steeplechase…

4 thoughts on “Test Week, Intro Day

    • From OC P Coy:

      Historically Parachute Regiment Officers have not been made to wear the green backing, whereas Parachute Regiment Recruits do until passing ‘P Company’. There are a variety of reasons behind this, but largely the reason is that the route in to Airborne Forces is different for Parachute Regiment Officers to Soldiers; officers do not wear their Maroon Berets until they finish at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (1 year of training) whilst soldiers begin wearing their berets when they pass off the square (6 weeks of training). Therefore there is felt the need to for Parachute Regiment Recruits who have not passed P Company to wear the green backing as they wear and represent the Capbadge from an early stage in their training. Parachute Regiment Officers are selected by a board of senior Officers, usually chaired by a 2* General or above, and it is thought that there is no need to make the same differentiation between young officers who have and haven’t passed ‘P Company’; on finishing at Sandhurst they now only wear the Maroon beret for a matter of weeks before wearing the ‘Noddy’ hat for All Arms Pre-Parachute Selection.


  1. Sam ,

    Best of luck with Pre Parachute Selection having did the it 3 times as a recriut myself I know more than most that its more mental than physical fitness that counts. Passed on the 3rd attempt and served 22yrs and not regretted it one bit.

    It will be interesting to see what events have changed since 1986, I personaly do not believe its got any easier just probably a bit more Health & safety consious etc.

    Once again best of luck and thanks for the blog


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