I am Craftsman Luke Littler and I am part of 10 Trg Bn REME. I joined the Army on 21st of August 2011 and completed my Phase 1 training at ATR Bassingbourn on 25th of November 2011. I joined the Army because I was bored of just going to college and doing the same thing every day and night, I wanted a challenging experience and adventure in my life and I have definitely had both of them!
I used to walk past the Army careers office everyday on my way to college meaning to go in there, then eventually I got enough courage to ask for a job in the Army. When I walked in the staff made me feel at ease straight away and talked to me, giving me a lot of information on all the regiments in the Army. I chose to be a REME Vehicle Mechanic because mechanics was what I was studying at college.
The staff booked me in for a barb test which is just a maths and English test; the score you get depends whether you get the job or not so be prepared! After that I got given my medical forms and was sent to do a fitness test before selection. I passed that and was sent to Scotland at ADSC Glencourse were you do a jerry-can test, a 1.5-mile run, PT session and leaderless tasks. You need to put 100% effort because they will be watching you. Just a couple of weeks later I received a phone call offering me a place at phase 1 training.
Phase 2 Induction week
After completing phase 1 training I got a week of leave which gave me chance to catch up with family and friends. Soon though it was time to set off to Prince Phillips Barracks in Hampshire. On my way down I didn’t know what to expect but I arrived there with a couple of colleagues from phase 1. On arrival someone showed us to our room, gave us the keys and told what to do in the morning. You get four people in a room with plenty of space to put your belongings like uniform and civilian clothes. We soon set up our rooms with gaming consoles, TV, microwave and so on. A firm is in the middle of putting Wi-Fi in the blocks so we can gain access to the internet in the room.
Me and my room mates woke up on the Monday morning and reported to the office, they told us where we had to go, seeing as this was our first week here they called it induction week and I am not going to lie but this week was very boring. Induction week provides a lot of useful information and briefs from the chain of command and also from financial services and insurance. We also completed physical tests. The weekend came and we were allowed to go home. As students you have to be back on camp at 23:59 Sunday night, but as it was our first weekend here most of us decided to go to Portsmouth or Guildford – the two local cities – for a night out.
In the second week we started our key skills course, which was two weeks long. You learn English, maths and IT and you do a level 2 exam in the subjects which you must pass if you want to get promoted in your Army career. Key skills is followed by a trade foundation course. This is six weeks long and filled with technical drawing, materials, maths, science and bench-fitting. It is possible to be classed as exempt from some subjects if your GCSE results are high enough, but you have to pass each subject in order to advance to start a trade course.
Generally you get left alone by your platoon staff providing you don’t let your discipline slip and keep on top of things like your uniform! There is no one marching you around camp and we don’t have room inspections everyday, we have them every Friday morning.