POTENTIAL OFFICERS COURSE (POC) BRIEF General 1. Once you have received a letter from AIB informing you of the date of your POC, you should ensure that: a. You have seen the POC video. b. You have had the POC Medical. You will be sent a letter in due course, informing you that you should attend a medical conducted by a civilian GP under contract to the Navy, at your local AFCO, or in his surgery near the AFCO (check exact location before you go), on a certain date. This is a basic medical to ensure that you a medically fit to undergo the physical strain of the POC. If you are not, then recommendations will be made and you will have to comply with these before you attend the POC (which means you will have to have another medical to check). Your medical must be within 6 weeks of attending the POC. If you still have not heard from us regarding the medical 4 weeks before your POC is due, then please get in touch immediately (by phone). c. You have re-read this brief. There are several pieces of “Advice that are normally given out during a verbal brief. After that you will find “Frequently Asked Questions, a list of questions that candidates have asked in the past, some of which you may also have in mind to ask. d. You get in touch with your ACLO with any outstanding questions that you may have. There are no stupid questions (that have not been asked before!) and they are here to help. Advice 2. Training Programme. Although the training programme in the POC booklet is 6 weeks, It's recommended that you give yourself as long as possible. The programme is a guide only. Being that way inclined, you are advised to maintain a fitness level around week 4, and then build it up gradually in the month or two before your POC. This way, when you go down there, you should be well beyond the recommended Week 6. 3. Warm-up. You should ensure that you have given yourself a comprehensive warm up prior to commencing the Royal Marines Fitness Assessment (RMFA), as on the POC many are surprised by the amount of work they have to do before the test begins. You might go for a 3-mile run before your circuit. 4. Exercises. At the end of the POC video, after a pause, you will see demonstrations on how to do each exercise correctly. Of note are pull-ups (arms fully extended, over arm grip, sit-ups (hands touching head at all times, knees together, head & elbows back to floor, elbows to knees), press-ups (arms shoulder width apart, chest down to 5cm off the ground, straight back). If you do these wrongly, the PTIs and Assessors will deduct points from your score. The bleeps are about a second apart. For press-ups and sit-ups you do one rep on each bleep. For pull-ups it is bleep up and hold, bleep down. Slow down your training reps to make it more realistic. If you are using a tape to practice in a gym, be aware that tapes can become distorted over time. We use a CD to ensure things are spot on. Do not be fooled by the pass marks you lose a lot of marks for not getting 100% on the test, but the rate of point deduction declines the lower you go. To ensure success make sure that you are far beyond week 6 of the recommended training programme in the back of the POC booklet. 5. Endurance. Many train for the gym and forget the endurance part. Passing the RMFA allows you to commence the course. Doing well on the rest of the course is another matter. Endurance training is mainly running, but by getting your body to a level of upper body strength well beyond week 6 of the programme, your overall stamina will have improved. Running should be cross-country running wearing trainers and normal kit. Avoid gym running machines. Vary your route to include steep hills and some obstacles (gates, walls, streams), if possible. Vary your speed sprints followed by a steady climb, possibly stop for some press-ups or pull-ups if you pass a suitable place. All this will improve your stamina. In addition, any sports or activities endured for long periods of time will help develop this quality as will booted runs. 6. Lecturette. 3 minutes long. Prepare well. Reherse (in front of people for comments). You will have a overhead projector, but no other equipment (although you might have a chalk board or marker board in the room (but bring your own chalk/pens)). By all means bring view folds and props, but bear in mind that the time taken using these will reduce the time of your verbal part of you presentation and could send you over time. One or two relevant view-folds would be enough, if you need it. Use notes well – do not read off a sheet as anyone can do that. Project your voice. Enthuse the audience. 7. Attitude. Treat the POC as an acquaint visit as well as an assessment. Soak up the atmosphere. Most go home, having passed or failed, saying that they had a valuable experience. It may be that life in the Royal Marines is not for you and you might feel this during your POC. If that is the case then you would have benefited from the course. Most find that they have enjoyed being there and it therefore increases their determination to be part of the organisation. Your attitude throughout will come under close scrutiny of the assessing staff. Be yourself and give your all. Royal Marine Fitness Assessment (RMFA) 8. The RMFA consists of the following exercises: a. Progressive shuttle run (the Bleep Test). b. Press ups c. Sit ups d. Pull ups All tests are conducted to an audible timing whereby you complete an exercise to a bleep, as instructed and demonstrated, and record a score when you can no longer maintain the set rhythm. Each teat has a maximum total of 400. The pass mark is 180 and if you fail to achieve this mark you will be withdrawn from the course. Repetitions are counted and recorded by the training team. 9. The important distinction between completing exercises whilst training and during the test is the ability to keep in time with the set rhythm. For the first 3 tests a repetition is conducted approximately every second with a pause at the full range of each movement. A 2-3 minute break between each serial allows for a brief rest and a thorough explanation and demonstration of the next test. 10. The maximum repetitions attainable are as follows: a. Press ups 60 b. Sit ups 85 c. Pull ups 16 d. Progressive shuttle Run (the Bleep Test) 15.5. 11. You should aim for maximum scores on all the tests and not just to achieve a marginal pass. Your attitude and work rate in the gym will be closely monitored and a less than determined approach may detract from a good RMFA score in the final grading.