Concerns & Comments from ITV's "Commando"

Ninja_Stoker

Admin
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Posts
35,131
Reaction score
16,891
Following the excellent first episode of "Commando" on ITV last Thursday there will be some people who may have reservations about joining, whilst many will be all the more determined to join.

What you have to remember is this program is, from a TV point of view, an investment to make money. It has to be "watchable" and to be that, as with all "Reality TV" it has to court controversy & generate stimulation to the viewer for repeat viewing. ITV are not doing it as a charitable act to encourage recruits, but I have to admit they have edited it fairly well and whilst not 100% sympathetic to recruiting, it's definitely good publicity.

A couple of "potentially controversial" items came up during the first program and have been aired here & elsewhere. My intention here is to try & resolve any reservations arising from what you see each week & encourage those with experience to expound the reasons behind these particular elements of training.

To start the ball rolling, three issues from the previous episode:

1. The "Shower Demo" - do we need to teach people to shower properly & should it have been screened?

2. The "Mud Run & the Officer's Summer Ball" - was that a reasonable juxtaposition, poor editing or a good way of showing what you have to go through first?

3. The "Shock of Capture" - was that an accurate portrayal of what it is like, day one, when you arrive at Lympstone?

I'm interested to hear your opinions guys, so please feel free to have your say.
 

southerncomfort

Active Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2007
Posts
61
Reaction score
0
I watched the Commando program and my first reaction was that I wanted it even more and even considered joining the regs instead of the Reserves. In response to your first 3 points Ninja....

1) I thought the shower demo was good in that in drives home the importance of hygiene and cleanliness from day one. A friend of mine was a medic in the Army and has always said how easy nasty little infections and rashes can occur in the field which can bring a man down a lot quicker than the enemy can.

2) With regards the ball I do think it was a bit bad on the editing to show along with the mud run. I know the officers would have gone through their training and had endureed the same hardships that these recruits have but to common joe watching it could be seen as they have the easy life whilst the lads are out grafting in the mud. I would have liked to had all the parades and balls at the end as something to look forward to after all the training.

3) I'm not keen on the title "Shock of capture". It just sounds bad... As all the lads that get there have aready passed the PRMC they would have an idea of what to expect and would know the way the military works. It will be a shock to be away from home and having to do a lot of the things for themselves for the first time, especially for the younger recruits but the word capture I think gives a bad impression.

I think the first show was very lighthearted which was good as it showed the training staff to be approachable which, when the chips are down they are also there to talk to which is a good thing.
I have seen the promotional vids for the marines and the "Glory shots" but I want to see the harsher side of the job and hope this program isn't going to just be another promo. I know it's not all going to be victory and high-fives through training and when they are on the front line, but thats the part that I am more concerned about handling.
How they deal with the pressure of the training, the loss of a comrade, the pressure of combat. Thats the side of things that don't really get displayed a great deal but is very much a part of the job.

I appreciate how showing a harder side of the job will do recuiting numbers no favours but I think it will filter out the glory boys that think its all fun and games from the guy's that have the upmost belief that this is the job for them.

That's just my opinion though...
 

Phoenix

Valuable Contributor
Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Posts
294
Reaction score
0
Hi,

Thanks for creating this post Ninja I feel this will turn into a very good myth buster and reference guide. I at first was a bit worried about watching this program. I thought that it worry me and knock me for six however I was surprised. It has made me even more motivated and positive I now feel that I can definetaly do this and really do want it even althought it wont be easy.

1. As for the shower demo I dont think it is necessary to be shown how to wash. I feel that the calibre of person who actually gets through to RT should be high enough to assume that they can take care of their own hygiene. Perhaps a lecture on personal hygiene and the dangers it presents if not looked after properly especially in the field would suffice.If the recruits find that there is one person(s) amoungst them who still do not demonstrate and good level of personel hygeniene then they should be allowed to throw that person in the showers and scrub him with road brushes whilst being dowsed by a high pressure cold hose *text deleted*. This would shock the smelly git into being clean *text deleted*. Perhaps a bit extreme but in this day and age we need to go back to being extreme.

2. I think this was good for me it was a good visual aid to represent the hard work and the life style. The mud to me represented all the hard work the slog the pain etc that you go through to become an a marine. The officers ball this was alot more refined, quiet relaxed and for me that represented the good lifestyle that can be had. Im finding in it difficult to put into words what I mean for this question. I know that when you pass out its not all party's and fine wine but it represents that life does get better after RT.

3. It should have shown more of the chaos that goes on when getting the kit issued and prepared and then stowed away. The program just seemed to make it look like everything was put away with minimum of fuss. I dont think the program showed enough of the fear and doubt and worry that they would have been feeling. This may have been boring but its a documentary on life in RT. I feel this series will work well for the royal marines. I remember my first day in the RAF it was chaotic, getting issued kit and then trying it on and returning what didnt fit and ironing it all then stowing it away properly. I was pleased to see quilts as we had jaggy blankets and had to make bed packs every morning with hospital corners. I just feel that the program showed two recruits feeling like they wanted to quit one left and the st vincent lad stayed, it then showed a few others leave later on. If i didnt know anything about RT in any of the armed forces I would have thought what are you moaning about whats the problem as the film crew didnt show why they felt like that very well. Perhaps Im wrong but thats how it appeared to me :)

Anyway thats my two penneth worth.

Take care
 

lord_carl

Valuable Contributor
Joined
Sep 15, 2007
Posts
260
Reaction score
5
I dident understand the title untill the corporal said about the lerning curve, evan tho the lads have been on PRMC and know what to expect to some extent its not RT is it.
 

alan wilson

Valuable Contributor
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Posts
358
Reaction score
0
well my views........as like i say ive been through army basic training and can see both sides of the coin.


point 1.......yeh show you how to shower..i agree with it......because it shows the future marines and the public that the royal mainres pay attention to every last detail (even the corporals tiny knob).. some lads when i was in basic training would come out of the shower still humming.....if you an infantry soldier out in the field...not takin care of your self will get you in the *text deleted*...poor hygiene and admin can bring you down....being couped up in HMS big boat...one lad goes down with summit....they all go down with summit..if hygiene their aint taken care of.

point 2....in a very small way if you watch that scene again with the mud run..it almost looks like as if the officers and the others are watching the mud run...but they arnt......99% of the officers would of gone through it them selfs..as all officers go through the same training....but in fairness it was pointless to show their ball.

point 3....yeh shock of capture...that is what its like...first day...no turning back.....oh *text deleted* *text deleted*! i want my sky tv and my bed!!
 

Ninja_Stoker

Admin
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Posts
35,131
Reaction score
16,891
Wow, that's *text deleted**text deleted**text deleted* me off!

There's not a comment I entirely disagree with! (D'0h)

Excellent replies so far, Thank you. I hope you don't mind if I quote (with appropriate credit) some of your comments, in the hope that we can continue to "get it right" from a Recruiting perspective and into the Recruit Training phase.

Yup, Recruit Training is the real thing, but I'm trying to ensure the selection at AFCO level is as good as it could be. In other words, feel free to criticise!
 

alan wilson

Valuable Contributor
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Posts
358
Reaction score
0
the one thing i thought they could show more of is..

in basic training there is a lot of laughs...most of it is banter from the nco's towards the recruits.....

personally i cant wait...i really cant wait to get in...im either stupid...or mental...but im loking forward to basic training.
 

Ninja_Stoker

Admin
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Posts
35,131
Reaction score
16,891
alan wilson said:
i really cant wait to get in...im either stupid...or mental...but im loking forward to basic training.
Yup, I'd go along with both Al!

Nice one.
 

GreyWing

Nobody
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Posts
5,453
Reaction score
3,850
1) Regarding the showing, Possible didn't need to show it but like the film makers says, they were given access to everything. I certainly remember them giving me the demonstration. The bit they didn't show is where he puts his finger between his legs and on the end of his finger is a lump of brown stuff which he proceeds to put in his mouth.

Of course everyone is think "what the hell?" but it's chocolate that they put there just to wind people up sometimes. Although I didn't realise till someone mentioned it a couple of days later, least I hope it was chocolate.

The whole demonstration only lasts 20 minutes so it's nothing major.

2) Mud run, the training team looked pretty p1ssed to me about the troop being late for detail on several occasions. I honestly don't think that was for the camera's now that I look back at it. I guess cutting the clips and integrating them with the officer's ball was a little strange. I think the guy that made the film is aware of this site and may come on to give his reasons although he may not have had anything to do with this bit of editing.

3) Shock of Capture, was spot on my opinion. You see it on people's faces. I imagine it's the same in the Army, Navy and RAF.


3)
 

Phoenix

Valuable Contributor
Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Posts
294
Reaction score
0
Hi,

I agree alan since watching the first episode i actually cant wait to get in there and get cracking. Im thinking back to an exercise i was on in the T.A. I thought nothing of it at the time until now thanks to the shower topic. We had "settled" down" for the night and myself the staff sgt and two others went and had a wash etc. I thought nothing of it as it seemed normal to me to go keep yourself clean especially in the field. I heard that during WW2 there were more casualties and deaths due to pore hygiene and disease than from actual shelling etc.

As for me feel free to quote me Ninja if I ever write something worth quoting *text deleted*.
 

alan wilson

Valuable Contributor
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Posts
358
Reaction score
0
im over the moon with the duvet cases...was STUNNED to see that!

no bed blocks... get in!!
 

Oz21

Active Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Posts
50
Reaction score
0
I think that people who are sensitive need to grow a thick skin, cause it looks like there in alot of piss taking in training! :wink:
 

Ninja_Stoker

Admin
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Posts
35,131
Reaction score
16,891
I've changed this to an announcement so will stay at the top of this particular forum.

If you cannot post a reply, just pm me & I'll revert it to a sticky.

Cheers.
 

Phoenix

Valuable Contributor
Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Posts
294
Reaction score
0
Hi,

Ive touched upon this briefly in the past. Im amazed and pleased at the same time when I saw duvet cases instead of bed packs, it looked as if there were enough ironing boards for everyone to have one each, lastly the sinks where they washed their kit it looked like there was enough for one sink each *text deleted*. When I was at RAF Halton doing my basic training back in 99 we had about 6 ironing boards per floor each floor had about 20 recruits on it. We had a shower block that contained hand sinks and a drying room. This is what we had to use to clean our kit. So when i saw this my eyes lit up I thought great were actually being given the tools to do whats being asked of us.

Was anyone else pleased to see this? Alan you were in army basic training what was the ironing board/sink situation like for you? Perhaps Im showing ignorance if so I apologise let me say one more thing. I was even thinking of taking a thin piece of mdf the size of my suitcase and I would have used that as an ironing board as I was expecting there to be a shortage *text deleted*.
 

alan wilson

Valuable Contributor
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Posts
358
Reaction score
0
Phoenix said:
Hi,

Ive touched upon this briefly in the past. Im amazed and pleased at the same time when I saw duvet cases instead of bed packs, it looked as if there were enough ironing boards for everyone to have one each, lastly the sinks where they washed their kit it looked like there was enough for one sink each *text deleted*. When I was at RAF Halton doing my basic training back in 99 we had about 6 ironing boards per floor each floor had about 20 recruits on it. We had a shower block that contained hand sinks and a drying room. This is what we had to use to clean our kit. So when i saw this my eyes lit up I thought great were actually being given the tools to do whats being asked of us.

Was anyone else pleased to see this? Alan you were in army basic training what was the ironing board/sink situation like for you? Perhaps Im showing ignorance if so I apologise let me say one more thing. I was even thinking of taking a thin piece of mdf the size of my suitcase and I would have used that as an ironing board as I was expecting there to be a shortage *text deleted*.
halton...ive been there playin basket ball for the army..

well in the army we had to buyt our own ironing boards....and to wash stuff it all had to go down to the laundrette...but hand washing it is quicker...to be fair not to sure if its better!?!? will have to have a bash my self.

i mean the foundation block looked ok to me....big a pretty simple to keep clean.

but i must admit...i do want my own inroing board....as i like a big *text deleted* of one *text deleted* (obviously it camn be shared around) but i do like a mint iron and a top ironing board.
 

GreyWing

Nobody
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Posts
5,453
Reaction score
3,850
they sell ironing boards in the spar shop on camp, although they might not let you buy one for the first 2 weeks.

The ones in foundation are usually obtained on a first come first served basis. Get to camp early on the monday and grab a decent one. Some are falling to bits and you really don't need one of them to start your training.
 

Gaz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2007
Posts
138
Reaction score
0
Know this mite sound silly but.... the recruits seemed to have there kit folded up. (the bit where they tossed it over there shoulders) Do you have a "locker layout" in the foundation block. Friends of mine in the Army have talked about this in training?
 

Phoenix

Valuable Contributor
Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Posts
294
Reaction score
0
Hi,

It looked like they were following a locker layout, I know during RAF basic training we had a locker layout to follow. I noticed the guys folding their stuff using an A4 sized item, this would suggest to me that a locker layout was being followed. Its a good system it makes everything easy to find and look nice and neat.
 

Gaz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2007
Posts
138
Reaction score
0
Heard horror stories about kit being thrown out of windows and knots being but in shirts that have just been ironed too. Does that sort of thing happen? Funny thinking about it but I bet it aint if it's done to you or your mates! *text deleted*

And on the programme, not many beastings were shown, but I bet they go on. Suppose there is only so much you can show on tv!
 

Ninja_Stoker

Admin
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Posts
35,131
Reaction score
16,891
There is in fact a correctly stowed wardrobe, perspex fronted, to show Recruits in foundation how it should look.

When your kit doesn't reach the required standard, you do it again. If it's still not up to standard, you do it again, etc, etc., Eventually you will get it right or go insane.

We often get potential Marines who laugh when we tell them to learn to iron properly before they join. They're the ones who find out the hard way.
 
Similar threads



Top