Recruit Stanesby blogs about settling into Phase 1 training and the progress she has made at Army Training Centre, Pirbright.
Well what a week this has been! I have found it particularly tough and I can feel the tension building in the platoon. This week was exercise FIRST NIGHT which entails 2 nights and 3 days in the field. I was really nervous as I didn’t know what to expect. When we first got into the field we had to dig a shell scrape, which is a hole deep up to your knees and big enough to fit in two people with their bergens. This was really hard work but we felt a sense of accomplishment once we had completed it. I really enjoyed learning all the lessons but don’t think I would have got through it if it wasn’t for my team mates. When it rained morale hit the floor; it was cold, wet and muddy but we all picked each other up and got through it.
There are ups and downs to any part of training but your mates help you through and if you give up it impacts the whole team, which we have all experienced this week. There is so much to learn and there is always a lot to do, even when you think the day is over. Despite the challenges I’ve really loved training so far; it’s amazing how much you can achieve when you work hard. Teamwork is so rewarding, and even though there has been tension within the Platoon, we all help each other out to get through it together. Training is now starting to step up and it’s only going to get harder, however I am motivated and have a positive attitude, and I believe we can all get through anything now!
This week has been a busy one with lots of locker inspections trying to get the standard perfect in preparation for the big OC’s inspection in week 7. I’m really starting to enjoy the ranges now, the drills are becoming more natural and I’m not struggling to hold the weapon in the same position anymore. We zeroed our weapons and it felt good to hit the white patch with the rounds. We’re now firing at 100m which is a lot harder but I am sure I will get used to it with practice.
The highlight of the week was bayonet training. What can I say but wow!? It was tough but brilliant crawling around in the dirt. Using the bayonet is actually quite a lot easier that I thought. It has been tiring but a good thing is that everyone is starting to gel and just get on with the task in hand. No matter what is chucked at us and no matter how hard it is, we pull together to get it done.
Test week! Everyone was so nervous for Monday as we had an OC’s inspection, the drill test and our second RMT which is a 1.5 mile run, jerry can walk and static lift. We all did fantastically well and all passed everything; it was one of the best days here so far and I was really proud of everyone. We were all on a high and what made it even better was it meant we got to go home for a long weekend.
The week flew by and all our families came down on Thursday to watch us receive our cap badges which I couldn’t wait to wear. We then showed our families a little bit of what we have learned over the past 7 weeks and some of them got to try some military skills for themselves. The long weekend went so quickly but it was so nice to see everyone and have a lie in, although I still found myself waking up at 5.30am thinking I had something to do!
I’m glad to be back now and am looking forward to getting stuck in over the weeks to come. I am really enjoying training and having the weekend off made me realise how much I like it. It is hard but you also have a lot of laughs and good times along the way.
Exercise half way! No joke, this was the hardest thing I have ever done. We hardly had any sleep, were always on the move and had so much to learn. I really struggle with staying out in the field as it is totally out my comfort zone, but we all got through the week and passed all the tests. Being on exercise makes me appreciate the luxuries that I have always taken for granted, like running water, a comfy bed and fresh food.
Looking back over the last 8 weeks I have come a long way and all the things I have achieved gives me a sense of pride. I never thought I could achieve so much in so little time. My platoon is amazing and when anyone is struggling we all seem to pull together and help each other out.
I have never wanted to do something so much in my life; it is hard work and is emotional at times but the feeling of getting through the tests is amazing. I am so determined to keep going, I can’t give up now.