Ph1 Week 4
Oh this is awkward. It’s already past 2 years since I joined up but hey ho, better late than never.
It’s nearly a month since we started here and some of us had definitely started to feel the pressure of the training. We lost Wilkinson. He was sent to Sword (rehabilitation troop) for a ‘knee’ injury. We didn’t believe he had it as he was fine throughout the weekend, yet when it came to PT and foot drills, it flared up. He was managing fine to spend time in the WRVS (welfare centre). He’d always come back late at night telling us how the people over there were very lovely and how it was nice to have them around to talk to. Admittedly, I never found this out because I had never visited it in the 14 weeks I was there. Apparently, there was a cinema, some game console, table tennis spots and various newspapers and books to wind down with.
Anyway, onward to Week 4. We were clueless to what was to happen in this week, we just took the days as they came. It didn’t help that our section commander was away on a helicopter selection course so we were baby sat by this annoying AGC SPS corporal. We did more live firing exercises (note with no SUSATs) at 50m and 100m, still concentrating on getting the grouping of the shots as close to each other. Our troop sergeant and the other section commander kept jokingly insisted that I must have been from the Viet Cong with the good scores I’ve been getting. Hence my nickname was born: VC.
With all these live firings, cleaning rifles became such a tedious task. We must have sat there cleaning rifles each afternoon for about 2 hours non stop. We got issued cleaning kit but my multi-tool came in handy. You need something to cut the flannelette (45mm x 45mm) to use on your pull through. It was amusing to see people bit it off and ended up with pieces that are barely usable. We had to get the carbon off on the ring in the muzzle, as apparently that needs to be silver in colour and this is when the knife came in handy for scraping.
PT was still the usual sessions of circuits of various exercises. On top of this, we also had a swimming lesson one afternoon, immediately followed by swim test. Awkwardly, I failed the test as I am absolutely useless at swimming. This meant I had to then attend remedial swimming lessons on Mondays and Wednesdays afternoons just before scoff… regardless of what we did in the day. I found this to be such a struggle but there were about 5 other guys with me from my troop. It made it easier somehow when you got your mates around you.
Not letting that get us down, we pressed on.
On the Friday, we had a sergeant’s block inspection, which meant the whole of Thursday evening, we cleaned the block thoroughly from our rooms, our block job (we were on corridors this week), our section ablutions, as well as our lockers – IMMACULATELY. The week culminated in the Troop Commander’s Day Out. He arranged for us to go Go-Ape and that was good fun, despite the fact that some of the civvies thought we were cadets on a day out. However, it was more amusing to find out some of the lads in my troop were afraid of heights. We had a harness throughout the climbs but they were still absolutely terrified. And there was me, in my element. VC, they cried.
Sunday was a day of rest. Some of the guys went to church, while the rest of us stayed in the block, only went out mid afternoon altogether for the fire drill and ‘areas’.
Here’s the link to the rest of the series: