Daleks confronted by a staircase

2Lt Sam Westlake

2Lt Sam Westlake

Test Week at P Company – the punishing selection course for The Parachute Regiment – continues apace for Second Lieutenant Sam Westlake, who blogs again starting with a look at “Old Man’s Run”…

My “Old Man” would struggle on this run – don’t let the name lull you in to a false sense of security.

The first couple of miles were actually pretty cheeky and we lost one man to the wagon.  I think a lot of it is down to the injuries we’ve all picked up as time has gone by.  It does slow down and soon becomes a useful shake-out in preparation for Test Week.  The run is about 4.5 miles long and is broken up with stretching intervals.

In the afternoon the Officers on the course each gave a 5-minute presentation to the Officer Commanding P Company.  We had been given our various topics about a week ago and they were typically related to each man’s cap badge.  In my case I was asked to talk about a Parachute Regiment battle honour, I chose Primosole Bridge.  Initially, we had some technical difficulty with the computer system. A techno-savvy REME officer remarked rather unkindly that watching four Paras trying to set up a laptop projector was like watching Daleks confronted by a staircase.  When the difficulties were overcome, I discussed Operation FUSTIAN in Sicily during the second world war and how its demands could be related to P Company.  Other presentations included Medical Support to 16 Air Assault Brigade, the Guards-Para Platoon and a biography of Mike Jackson.  Questions to the floor over the benefits of the Household element in the Guards-Para platoon descended into chaos and heckling which brought an end to the presentations.