We can pick each other up when we’re down

Fusilier Stephen Johns

Fusilier Stephen Johns

Writing from the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, Fusilier Stephen Johns details his 9th week of Phase 1 Training – a week in which he’s marched further, heavier and faster than before!

A few people came back from weekends at home and were a bit down. Some wanted to quit. But after a bit of talking about it they decided not to and to keep going with training. We’re now at the stage  where we’re all mates and we can pick each other up when we’re  down.

We had a 5-mile loaded march this week. It was the furthest we’ve marched, carrying the most weight and at the quickest pace so far. I struggled, as did a few other people but apart from one person who had an injury everyone finished.

We continued to learn about the light machine gun this week, and we are getting quicker and slicker at the drills. I am looking forward to the first time we fire it which is coming up in a few weeks. I will let you know how it goes.

We are also continuing to learn about map reading and battlefield casualty drills. The whole platoon is picking these up quickly and we are getting in front of the lesson plan!

Plus there was a day on the ranges. We were lucky as it was one the best days for shooting. It was a nice, warm and sunny day with hardly any wind. We are practising for our Annual Combat Marksmanship Test (ACMT) which is due in week 12. I am doing OK at shooting and I didn’t have to do any reshoots at the range. We have one person in the platoon who only dropped one shot. We have more shooting practise before the test – a day next week and then a further 2 in week 12.

Next week we have another 5-mile loaded march, the steeplechase and another range day to look forward to.

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