PRMC 03rd July 2018 Arrival: I spent 6 hours on my cross country train from Darlington to Exeter St Davids, once the train arrived into Exeter there was about 20 lads, all looking lost, clean shaven and in suits, sure enough they were on my PRMC. We made our way to the right train and half an hour later we arrived at Lympstone Commando station. While we were stood at the gate waiting for the Corporal to come get us on the bottom field we could see the Lionesses (England Ladies u20’s football team) doing some prep for their world cup in August, quite cool to see! The Corporal came to collect us and from there he will show you the accommodation, sort out all your admin and theres a list left up outside each room explaining the equipment/clothing you need to collect from the stores and also a form to fill out with some general questions about yourself. Once everyone arrived we were asked to change into PT clothing and polish our boots, once this was done we were then told to change back into suits and we then went for some food. After food we got a briefing, explaining be up at 5am to shower and shave and clean the accommodation, breakfast is at 6am then to meet the Corporal in PT stuff at 7am (always be 5 mins early to everything!!) Day 1: This day starts with drills, we learnt how to walk and march around Lympstone, followed by a few team games, where we started to learn it pays to be a winner, the loosing teams will all do extra phys! We then go from drills over to the sports hall for the first 4 tests! Bleep test, pressup’s, situps and pullups. Make sure you’re on time with the bleep, as a few were pulled away for being off pace, this’ll aiffect your scores! The pull up bar is thick so make sure your hands are right over! One guy fell off after 1 pullup and told the Corporal it was slippy, this is no excuse and he was told to line up. Main tip for this, is make sure you well prepare yourself beforehand phys wise and do not fidget! You’ll learn how to stand at ease, just do that and do not move your hands! Many lads got told off for anything from scratching to wiping sweat off, this is not discipline and the pti’s do not like it! From here we were told to shower, get our suits on and ready for lunch, you will have plenty of time before the next test for food to digest. After this we got changed into combat trousers and our phys tops ready for the BFT. We marched to the main gate and outside near a country lane, the Corporal took us through a warm up before he leads the first 1.5 mile. The worse thing about the first 1.5 mile was the 3 lads who withdrew... this is the slow jog as well, so it just shows who is prepared and who isn’t! You’ll reach the 1.5 mile point, you’ll have a minute rest then run back best effort, you’ll feel the heat on your legs from the combat trousers, but if you’re prepared you’ll have no problem! The pass mark for the second run is anything faster than 11:15 minutes, obviously the faster the more points you get. After this we ran back to our rooms to collect our swimming stuff ready for the swim test, we had a jump off a 3 metre board, breaststroke around the edge and then at the other edge a colour sergeant threw a brick in for us to get off the bottom. Some confusion here but we were allowed to kick off from the bottom once we had the brick, bring the brick to the side of the pool then climb out, really easy then thats the first day done! After that it’s shower and suit up for dinner. While we waited a few lads were called into the corporals office, basically they hadn’t made enough points on the gym test or the BFT to carry on, some even coming in slower than 11:15 on the BFT, again all down to prep before you arrive. So the first day 10 lads were sent home. The rest of the night is your own to relax and prepare for the next day. Day 2: Again 5am wake up, shower and shave and suit up for breakfast. After breakfast you’ll have about 2 hours to clean accommodation and get changed into boots, combat trousers, shirts, jackets and a helmet and do not forgot to put your belt on! The first test of the morning was our confidence test, run along a plank of wood into a net, climb over and thats it you’re done! Make sure you do it right the first time! One lad was sent up 3 times to get it right, if your not sure on this test, search it on youtube, it’s on there! After that we then moved down onto the assault course, you watch a pti do the obstacles then you all get to practice them. Then you’ll do your timed run! Make sure on this to land everything on two feet or you’ll be made to do the obstacle again, affecting your time (happened to me on one obstacle). You’ll then be told to walk around the ‘zombie ring’, this is a circle of dead grass you walk around until the rest finish their assault course run. Do not mess up on any obstacles or any detail the pti’s give you, lads were called out of the ring who had messed up, one had even left his watch on which is a big no no when doing phys and they’re made to do extra phys (which you don’t need before you do the determination test). Also the corporals don’t miss anything, they have eyes like a hawk and in the back of their heads! After this you’re all told to find a bar on the monkey bars and wait... so about 25 of us dangling from the monkey bars until your hands give out, you’ll then land in the water below, no choice in this as you wait in the water until the last man falls in, this is just because the pti’s want you to cool down a little before you get a 'extra phys'. This was also amusing for the people on the train who went by as we were hanging there! After this you get a small briefing explaining you’re about to do the determination bottom field test. This test is very hard, it’s made to push your body to the limit, until absolute fatigue, it’s all in your head though, your body can keep going as long as you make it keep going. This test consists of doing everything uphill, squat jumps, lunges, crab walk, bear crawl, crab walk backwards, and many more things! Again don’t mess up, for example a few were made to start again at the bottom of the hill on squat jumps for their bums not being below their knees in the squat. After that you’ll then partner up and drag them up the hill in turns for every form of drag and carry there is! (This bit really is tough going, but if you’re being dragged shout at your partner some motivation, we did and it helps!). Once you’re absolutely knackered you’ll then partner up again and you have to fireman carry each other a 100 metres in 100 seconds, swapping at the 50 metre point, if you don’t make it in time... you’re going again, me and my partner came 5 seconds over the time and had to do it again! Thankfully making it the second time round! Felt sorry for those doing it a third and fourth time! After this you’re told to wait near the rope regain, once everyone joins you, you’re then told to jump into the water to cool off! Hurray! Bottom field is done! It really is a hang out, but it does end! Just keep going, it will also surprise you how fast it ends, might seem like a like time when doing it, but it does end quite fast when you think back on it. After this we went back to our accommodation for showers and changed into our pt kit while pasta was brought up for us to eat, make sure you eat plenty in preparation for the endurance course! During this time we also had a question and answer session with the pti, ask him all the questions you want! Endurance course, before we started we hopped into the minibus and had a 10 min drive to Woodbury Common. So the endurance course in 2 miles long, doesn’t sound far but you’ll constantly stop to crawl through bogs, through tunnels, through rivers, sprint up hills (loosers do it again) the sheep dip. By this point our legs were very sore! From the previous tests, but if you just crack on and not think about the pain it does end! The pace is also slowed down a lot for the tunnel crawls and we also got 2 breaks were the corporals gave us juice and bananas. The corporals will say stuff like “we’re going again” or “this is just the start”, right at the beginning one said we run it twice, they’re just getting into to your head. Also be prepared for more fireman carries, you’ll partner up at the end and be told you have 100 seconds to reach the top, swap as many times as you and your partner like, just get to the top of the hill and then it’s all done! When we got back to the minibus we got marsbars and told to swap our jackets, the ones we had on were filthy! We then got driven back to Lympstone and told to undress all our kit outside and then go get showers into our PT kit again. We got asked to wear flip flops for this as well, we then went over to the stores and tried on some boots, these were the boots we were taking home if we pass the next day! After this the Corporal gave us a list of cleaning jobs for the night and morning and a briefing for where to be in the morning. Day 3: So the last day, massive sense of achievement here from everyone! My room had gone from 11 lads to 4 lads from day 1, simply from being told to go home or they withdrew. This morning was literally just cleaning the accommodation, you’ll have breakfast and then be asked to be in PT kit. Basically a physiotherapist was coming to measure our feet for pressure, literally it was just a walk and then a run down a pressure pad so they can use this info in training in case you need insoles for your boots or if you pickup injury from running they know where the pressure comes from. Once we had done we were called into the meeting room and were told us few that remained had passed our PRMC! We got handed our certificates and then you’ll get a briefing from a corporal just explaining the importance of staying fit and healthy and of course out of trouble! After this we packed our bags and headed back to the train station in our own time, many of us calling family and friends on our achievement! 10 minutes into my journey home i got a text from my careers advisor asking how i’d done, told him and he said well done and he’d call me first thing Monday morning to discuss RT, sure enough he did!