My name is Andrew Vaughan, I am 25 years old and this is my story so far. I have just finished my sixth week of Phase 1 training at ATR Winchester where I hope to go on to join the Royal Artillery.
We started the morning by getting sized up for our No 2 Dress, the uniform we’ll be wearing for pass out. Very smart!
Next was a lesson with the Padre on the ethics of the Army, and shown a clip from Platoon highlighting the vast difference of what’s right and what’s wrong as military.
More drill with 2 section commanders who corrected minor mistakes a lot of us are still making.
Finally a code of conduct lesson with our Troop Commander who informed us what we can and can’t do during our long weekend.
Today was spent mostly on the ranges zeroing our rifles to ourselves. Apparently my grouping was pretty good, which I’m happy about.
After cleaning our rifles and handing them in to the armoury, we had drill. Here we practised what would be happening on Thursday and our last attempt was really good according to our Troop Sergeant. Happy with that!
Troop Commanders locker inspection tomorrow. I hope we impress him!
Our locker inspection didn’t go too badly today. However, a spare locker some of the section use for storage was also inspected and let us down.
For PT, we had another indoor assault course in preparation for the outdoor assault course, which we would be tackling next Monday. The session was, as usual, intense but rewarding – apart from somehow getting a drawing pin in my toe, which stopped me completing the last lap. My luck is horrendous.
Functional skills and then last bit of drill before the big day tomorrow. So excited to see my family and I’m praying I pass my drill test! Long weekend to look forward to and a well earned rest!
Huge day today; one we had been looking forward to for some time. In the morning we got into barrack dress, making sure we looked immaculate. Due to time constraints I only managed to properly bull one shoe, I hoped it would be ok though.
After a kit inspection, and a quick iron of my sleeves, we were marched to the square for our drill test. Our troop were first to do this test and we all wanted to pass with flying colours.We were put into open order and had a kit inspection from the Regimental Adjutant. My kit was apparently quite good other than one shoe being evidently shinier than the other. Damn! Despite a couple of hiccups our Troop all passed! Morale soared and we knew we were getting our cap badges in front of our families, a great feeling.
We completed some admin to kill time and then back to the square for the ceremony. We marched on as a squadron, marching past our loved ones without daring to look at them lest we make a mistake. Thankfully nothing of the sort occurred, and one by one we received our prized cap badges to rounds of applause. The self pride is indescribable and I can’t imagine how I’ll feel at pass out!
After matching off the square, we were finally allowed to see our families. After lots of hugs, each troop then had to put on a demonstration to our families giving an insight into the sort of things we’ve been learning the past 6 weeks, from our different uniforms to ration packs to setting up a basha on exercise. It’s a nice touch to be able to show off our newly acquired knowledge.
A quick change into our civilian suits and we were free to go! A 3 hour drive home and a curry with my friends to cap off one of the best days I’ve had in a long time.
See you on Sunday Winchester!
Visit Recruit Vaughan’s page and read about his journey
Find out about joining the Army
Find out about ATR Winchester