Soldier under Training Einstein Chigozie Amazu, a recruit at the Army Training Centre in Pirbright, writes about his last week of basic training in the British Army.
Monday. As expected, most of the day’s activities were channelled towards the long awaited Pass Out Parade. We rehearsed arms drill, paying particular attention to presenting and grounding arms. An exciting game of basketball afterwards rounded up a rather long day. Teamwork rocks!
Tuesday. We besieged the parade square again today and went through the whole sequence of the Pass Out Parade at least twice. I believe that our confidence towards Friday was on the increase. Then came admin to complete the day.
Wednesday. It took a game of softball to get us started for the day. Then came an epic arms drill rehearsal involving all three Platoons on the parade square. This was something major. I felt I can cope with the parade on Friday alright.
Thursday. How nice it was to have our ‘worn-out’ kit exchanged for new ones (Army life is so cool). Pt session then got us warmed up and set for the day and another grand rehearsal at the parade square eventually put us into the best frame of mind for Friday.
Friday. Think about gleaming leather shoes, think about synchronised swing of white gloves, and think about a band and families cheering. All roads led to the parade square today. ON this day our 14 week journey came to an official end atATC (P). Adios Amigos!
I still remember vividly being picked up at Brookwood Station with other enthusiastic lads on a bright Monday morning. I have by conditioning my mind with the fact that the next 3 months was not going to be a picnic at all, and it wasn’t.
Getting four jabs at the medical centre and being asked to march around confirmed my anticipations. I had heard a thing or two about getting inspected but I was really taken aback by the fact that we had to iron polyester shorts and even make smiley faces with white socks. I think ‘uniformity’ is the word I am looking for and there were loads of things we had to do to achieve this.
I cannot readily say that I was adequately prepared for the series of physical training I encountered here. I believe it was sheer determination and a burning desire to succeed that saw me through the TABS, assault courses, several hills, circuit training etc. It’s going to require a book to adequately write about the exercises but it took me a lot of getting used to i.e. digging shell scrapes, doing admin in the midst of a dirty environment and keeping my weapon free from rust. A soldier’s life is an all-encompassing one and these exercises carried the reality of it.
I enjoyed most of the lectures too, ranging from map reading, health and safety, Skill At Arms, Military Knowledge, IEDs BCD etc. There’s no prize in guessing that there were tests in almost all we learnt, which I am glad I was successful in. I said special prayers each time I went to the ranges because of the thought of the live round made my heart skip a bit initially but like everything else, I got used to it eventually. I believe I enjoy shooting now and I look forward to the next ACMT. I also reserve special praises for my Training Team for a job well done. They are good at what they do, feeding and accommodation was alright. My time here after the second seven weeks went like a breeze. What an experience!