I am Sergeant Ryan Veal. I joined the Army in December 1999 and completed basic training at ATR Pirbright. This was followed by phase 2 of my training during which I was taught my primary trade as a Vehicle Mechanic B at SEME Bordon.
I was promoted to Sergeant in February 2011 and selected for Artificer training on the April 2011 ASCLB (Artificer Course Loading Board) to be course loaded in October 2011.
The pace of the artificer course has drastically increased, we have now completed approximately 5 months of the course and have now progressed onto Level 3, which is the start of the HND level Maths and Science. The first two levels of the course are the building blocks needed to be at the level required to be able to progress further.
February was a very busy month for the course, some members of the course and volunteers/volunteered members were lucky enough to take part in the Commanding Officers Inter-Company physical endurance competition, which consisted of an obstacle course and various other physically demanding challenges around the local training area.
Some members of the course were able to visit Wembley Stadium and take part in the opening ceremony of the Carling Cup Final and were extremely fortunate enough to get photos taken with the Carling Cup before it was presented to Liverpool Football Club.
We also visited DE&S (Defence Equipment & Support) and organisation in Abbey Wood responsible for developing new equipment. The visit was so that we could speak to project managers in the field of Urgent Operational Requirements (UOR’s) and equipment already in service about project ideas. Each Artificer has to complete a fairly complex engineering project as an element of their Artificer training so the visit was a good place to start.
Raring to go
All members of the course have now fully grasped the importance of having to put 100% into the course in order to pass. Assignments are now coming thick and fast as well as exams and taking your eye off the ball is now not an option if you wish to pass.
A good working relationship is required whilst on the course with all members of Permanent Staff and Babcock Instructors; this will make life that little bit easier whilst at Bordon. As the course progresses it becomes clear how reliant you become on the instructors for further help and guidance for assignments and understanding the frustrations from both sides of the desk is required. The instructors should be rewarded for their patience when instructing HND Level subjects to people who have been away from full-time education for many years.
The Month of March is upon us, filled with exams, assignments, mess life and exercises. All members of the course are raring to go fuelled by the knowledge that we only have a year left until promotion and scrolling.