Memories of the Rli
Chapter 4

Copyright© 2014 by Dreaded

Basic Training Week 4 and on

Basic training in any army sorts the men from the boys – those that want to be there to those that are just hanging in there ... Unfortunately we had a few of those hangers on but as one of my Instructors commented that they were not going to be around past the end of basics ... PT, Drill, PT, Weapons Training, PT and lectures from Rank structures to basic military law ... If you think I am harping on PT a lot I am. We all had to pass basic PT tests, a 2, 5 and 10 mile run in certain minimum times. Not passing was not an option even for the cooks...

People question why Drill and repetitive weapons training is so intense ... Its quite simple really in that it trains the mind to obey orders instantly without question ... In later years many of my guys thanked me for saving their lives but they actually did it themselves by obeying a order without hesitation ... Weapons training is all about muscle memory; if you do enough stoppage drills when the real thing happens you will react automatically ... Many a time over the years I watch new Trops react instinctively to problems and in the end not have a problem ... The physical abuse of our bodies taught us to work to our training with out thought ... Basic training is the same in any army and it is just a conditioning of young minds to react and operate as your masters want you to...

A typical day in week 4 started for us at about 04:00 (4am) – Clean up the room and the ablutions, lay out your kit for morning inspection and dress in shorts, T shirt and Tackies (Plimsols or what is now known as running shoes). 05:45 fall in in front of Tr Tp for roll call then off for the morning run and PT ... The morning run was up to the PTI; this guy was about the fittest guy I had ever met and had more belts than Walker, Texas Ranger ... If asked what colour belt he had he just said that he gave up wearing them...

Anyway the run was painful in that we had a Gum tree plantation near the Gym and were made to run up and down the rows in single file ... about 200meters down one line and 200m back the next line after line after line ... After about a 2km run PT then at 06:45 off to the showers and breakfast... 07:45 stand next to your beds in Drill kit for Barrack room inspection then fall in at 08:00 for drill on the Parade square ... Depending on the squads progress this could go on to lunch time if you stuffed around. After lunch we generally had weapon training, Lectures and basic field craft instruction. The Drill side tapered off at little after week 4 with only 2-3hrs with more Field training exercises and lectures ... One thing I must mention is the quality of food – I think we had about the best Kitchens in the Army bar one which was the Mess at the SAS which was run by a good friend of ours ... The old saying of an Army marches on its stomach is so true...

Basics finishes as a bit of a damp squib except for one important factor – Weekend pass – Yes for those lucky enough to not incur the wrath of any of the instructors you line up on a Friday for pay Parade and your first weekend pass. The story of that first full pay parade is an absolute giggle as most instructors used it as a comedy relief hour...

You had to march in to CSM's office, come to a halt, Salute the pay officer, recite number rank and name, sign for pay, about turn and march out ... Sounds simple doesn't it!!!!! Naaaaaa...

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