Recruit Stanesby is newly-arrived at the Army Training Centre, Pirbright. She will be blogging throughout her British Army Phase 1 Training. In this first post, she looks back at the first 3 weeks…
Arriving at camp I was really nervous and my stomach was doing somersaults – but once I met a few of the girls I managed to calm down. I was put into my section and instantly bonded with my team. The first day is mainly filled with doing all the paperwork and getting measured up for our kit. We met the Platoon Commander, Platoon Sergeant and all the Section Commanders that will be taking us through training for the rest of the 14 weeks.
Day 2 and we started to get the ball rolling. We picked up all our kit and had all our medicals to ensure we were fit to train and up to date with all our vaccinations. Also we were taught all the health and safety precautions and were briefed on what was expected of us over the next 14 weeks.
The rest of the week was mainly admin and sorting out all the paper work which is a little bit boring, but has to be done. We were taught how to iron all our military kit properly, which is hard at first – but persistence pays off! Our first fitness test came up during the first week. We were a little nervous about and found it quite hard, but the training team and the Physical Training Instructors (PTIs) are there to keep you going. The fitness test consists of a mile and a half run, 60m jerry can carry and a 20kg ammo tin lift. The weekend was still busy as all our kit had to be ready for our first locker inspection on Monday – but Sunday was a refreshing break as we went to church as a Platoon.
Week 2 is where the hard work starts and training begins. The mornings start with locker and block job inspections, which is quite a wake-up call first thing in the morning! Inspections have to be to a high standard and there are millions of things you wouldn’t even think about doing. The Section Commander never misses a trick, but we learn from our mistakes.
We had our first physical training (PT) session this week. They’re really hard and always no matter how hard we train before you come you will always be physically and mentally challenging. But as long as you put 110% into each session and never give up they’re really good fun and you feel fantastic afterwards!
We started weapon handling drills this week. There’s a lot to remember and no matter how tired you are this is where you really need to listen and make sure you practise every night. We also started drill this week which is our favourite activity – learning how to march as a Platoon gives us a real sense of achievement.
The weeks are busy and the days are long but time goes quickly and the girls already feel like part of my family.
The locker inspections have been stepped up this week. The Platoon Sergeant inspected us on Monday morning, but I must learn not to laugh when being inspected! Rifle lessons are now more in-depth, but we’re starting to get the hang of things. It becomes easier the more we practise – we have been using wooden replica weapons every evening.
We are now marching in step as a Platoon and halting together on the same foot. This week I have really enjoyed swimming, and felt I am now getting into my stride. However it’s harder to get up in the mornings as day to day in training is very tiring. Map reading is not really my best subject but managed to keep up and get the hang of it, love working as a team with the rest of my section we always set out to win.
We have been laughing a lot this week as it is not just all hard work there are a lot of good times and memories too.