Writing once again from the Army Training Centre, Pirbright, Soldier under Training (SuT) Thomas recalls her sixth week of British Army Phase 1 Training. A week of sore muscles, impromptu singing and unexpected hanging baskets.
Week 6 started well. Following the museum visit, each Section made a poster presentation. The efforts were great with toy soldiers, trucks and paratroopers! These count towards the Troop Inter-Section Competition and the winners will get takeaway pizza (a big deal after no no takeaways at all for the last 6 weeks). It must be close because we still don’t know who won!
2 days on the ranges were very productive. One thing we learnt was that if you leave your helmet lying around it might just become a hanging basket! On a serious note, there was some fantastic shooting with marked improvements. Snipers watch out!
This week was assault course week. We tackled the indoor course first. The excitable ones among us learnt the hard way. Eager to go flat out from the start, 4 laps later with burpees in between laps we were all discovering muscles we didn’t know we had. Then first thing the next morning we were on the outdoor course tackling a 6-foot wall, adding bruises to our already-sore muscles. A number of girls overcame their fear of heights. It was a big achievement and they felt very proud of themselves for finding the courage to attack it head on.
We had a busy weekend practising for our Drill Test, hitting the Drill Square more than ever and getting ready for our Troop Sergeant and Troop Commander’s Inspection on Monday morning. Cleaning and singing now go hand in hand. As for singing, this week we had a church service, and when it is a church full of soldiers it’s not quite as conventional as you may think. We may have come up with a song (or chant) at the last minute but it was definitely one of the best and we even surprised ourselves. The shy ones among us are coming out of their shell!