PRMC PASS - 25th February 2019 Thought I’d write a PRMC diary as I read every single one in the build up to my PRMC and picked up some useful tips. We started with 39 lads and finished with 24. It’s quite lengthy so bare with me.. Day 1 - Tuesday I arrived at approximately 13:30 with 4 other lads that I met on the train. We arrived at Lympstone Commando station and the rain was horizontal and wind blasting as we looked up at bottom field. I let security know we had arrived and we were told to wait until a Corporal was ready to come and get us. About 10 minutes later another 2 lads arrived and a few minutes after that a Corporal come down to collect us. We were showed to our rooms. Each room had 8 bunk beds (total of 16 beds). We were then told to collect our kit and boots. As we arrived early we had the best pick of the kit and boots which was satisfying as some kit was in bad condition. We then unpacked our bags into our lockers next to our beds and began to polish our boots in the quadrangle in the block. After we finished we helped the training team with some laundry from previous a POC and PRMC. Over the next 2 to 3 hours more lads began to arrive. Our first detail was to be ready for 16:45, to go for tea at 17:00. I had BBQ chicken leg, a good two handful of potatoes and pasta, huge slice of sponge cake and custard - eat as much as you can stomach, you’ll need it! After tea we had a briefing by the Chief Instructor, who gave us his expectations and answered any questions we had. This was followed by the filling out of various forms and a Q&A session with a corporal who was part of the training team. We were then all briefed to be ready to go for 9 o’clockers (more food at 21:00) - this consisted of chicken and pasta, again pile your plate - you’ll need it! After 9 o’clockers we got back to our grots and did our cleaning duties of the corridors, showers and kitchen. Followed by showers and bed at approximately 22:30. Day 2- Wednesday We were briefed to go for breakfast at 06:00 in our suits and recommended that we woke up at 05:30. Our room set an alarm for 05:00 and were all ready in our suits to go for breakfast by 05:30 and got down to breakfast for 05:45 ensuring we beat the queues. Breakfast was my favourite meal of the day. Full English breakfast plus as much toast and porridge as you wanted! After breakfast we all returned to our rooms and changed into phys rig ready for the RMFA test. We were given some down time for our food to digest before the RMFA test. After a couple of hours we proceeded to the gym where we were met with our PTI for the week. Who explained we were there were two levels of movement in the gym completely still (ZERO FIDGETING) or moving as fast as humanely possible. RMFA began with the bleep test where it was explained that our pass mark was 10.5 but we were expected to get above 11.0 as we were the last PRMC to have this lower pass mark and upon the beginning of RT we would be required to achieve at least 11.0. We lost 4 lads on the RMFA, I think we lost 2 to the bleep test and 2 to the body weight exercises. We returned to our rooms, showered and then went for lunch at approximately 13:00. I piled my plate knowing I’d need the calories for day 3. We changed back into our phys kit and made our way to the beginning of the BFT run. The best score during our bleep test was 13.8 so I decided that I would do my best to stick with the lad that achieved this score during the BFT. I managed to keep up with him up until the 500m to go mark. It worked a treat and I smashed my PB by 20 seconds. After this we returned to our rooms and told to collect our swim kit, and we made our way to the pool for the swim tests. Swim tests are fine as long as you’re confident in water. Compose yourself before you dive down for the brick! A few lads dived down without taking a deep breath which resulted in them having to repeat it which made them panic, and some had to repeat it 3 times. We then showered, into suits and then had q&a session with two marines that had passed out approximately 3 to 4 weeks ago and were at Lympstone for their driving qualifications. This was an informal honest chat between all the lads, they were comical and told us what to expect during training. After this we ate and returned to the accommodation and went for tea. After tea we had a couple of hours to relax and get to know each other. I took the time to organise my locker, compose myself for the next day which I knew would be a grind and get to know the other lads in our room. The atmosphere was good as we’d passed our first day but nervous for what was to come! We then went to 9 o’clockers and got our heads down as soon as we could as we knew the next day would be a long day! Day 3 - Thursday Again, alarms set for 05:00, shower, shave and into suits for breakfast. I ate the biggest breakfast of my life here, 6 pieces of toast, handful of bacon, 3 sausages, loads of beans and 3 eggs and a huge bowl of honey and porridge. We were then told to get into our combat trousers, combat jacket, combat shirt and boots ready for bottom field. At bottom field every obstacle was demonstrated to us by a PTI then we were given the chance to have a go at each one. I personally struggled with the rope crossing and fell off it 2 times out of 3 during practice, I found it difficult to balance. I can’t stress enough how much you need to listen to the PTI’s during this session. Concentrate on the technique of each obstacle, not the outcome - for example on the technique of balancing on the rope, pulling with your arms, pushing with your leg, keeping your hanging leg straight and looking forward, don’t think about crossing it as fast as possible, the technique will make you cross it as fast as possible. After struggling to cross the rope a few times I was apprehensive about the confidence test even though I am completely fine with heights. But I blocked the height out and listened to the PTI’s voice and crossed both high crossings with ease! After this we did the bottom field course. It’s harder than it looks, it’s exhausting, be aggressive and attack every obstacle with confidence! I think the best time for our group was about 3:50. After the bottom field course we did the determination test, bottom field was in a terrible state due to the terrible weather and was basically a mud bath. During the assault course run through it stopped raining and I don’t think the training team were happy about it so we told to jump in the water below the monkey bars after we finished the assault course - fully submerged, this took your breathe away as it was so cold, made you a lot heavier but all the lads agreed it gave us more energy due to the shock! Then it was onto the determination test, which consisted of loads of duck walks, crawls, more duck walks and press ups. Our duck walks lasted longer because people kept standing up, don’t stand up - it will end! We then did duck walks up a steep hill a number of times. Approximately 5 lads VW’d during this. Just dig out, block it out, it will end soon! After approximately an hour and a half it ended and we returned to our rooms for showers and had food from the canteen brought to us at our accommodation. Again, I ate as much as I could possible stomach here. I was starving and knew I’d need the calories for the afternoon. I also had taken a nasty fall off the climbing wall during the bottom field so was hobbling a bit before the endurance course. We then got into clean combat trousers, combat T-shirt, combat shirt and back into our soaking wet boots (that was vile for the first 20 seconds but they soon warmed up). We loaded onto the bus and it was a apprehensive trip to the endurance course. Morale was high though as we all knew that we just had to dig deep during this course and we’d passed all the physical tests. I enjoyed the endurance course, it consisted of chasing the chief instructor through Woodbury common. He was stupidly fit and fast. The chase was up and down hills, rivers and thick swamp. Peters pool wasn’t too bad, the worst part was that it made you heavier after it, and it was approximately 1/3 through the course. During the course we fought each other, did firemans, seatbelt and baby carries, a piggy back race. Sheep dip was fine, just communicate with each other, the lads that didn’t ended up with a mouth full of stinking water haha! The course ended with a piggyback race, which was tough but you worked in a team as pairs which was really good! We arrived back to the bus, got out of our wet kit and loaded back onto the bus. The morale on the bus was the best yet and we all shared stories and had a good laugh! We travelled back to CTC and arrived back at about 15:30 and got showers, showers took a while as were head to toe filthy! We got into our suits and then down for more food. Again the atmosphere was class knowing we’d passed and we all knew we just needed to keep our heads down and do as we were told for the next 24 hours. We then had some down time after a brief on what admin needed to be complete before the morning. So we cleaned, sorted our laundry and relaxed. Day 4 - Friday We again woke up at 05:00, showered and shaved. After breakfast we had an input from a sports psychologist, who was very very interesting. He explained coping mechanisms for training and some very useful tips in how to manage your time. Listen up and make plenty of notes! Then we had some downtime as some of the lads had appointments with the doctor. Then we had a footfall study with two ladies from a local university. Finally we had short interviews with one of the corporals who gave us feedback on our performance and answered any questions we had and then were finally presented our certificates with handshakes by the Chief Instructor and sent down to the train station. Overall it was a really enjoyable week, work as a team to get everything done and always think the pain is worth it and will end, nothing lasts forever! My scores were - Bleep Test- 12.10 Press-ups - 54 Sit-ups - 68 Pull-ups - 9 BFT - 8:50 Bottom field - 4:16 The best tips I can give are - Try to arrive early to get the choice of the best kit. Eat as much as you can, you will need it. You will burn it off, the lads that didn’t eat much struggled the most on day 3. Make sure you have comfortable formal shoes. Mine were uncomfortable and gave me pain which followed on even after taking them off. You spend a lot of time in your shoes and suit. Do not itch and scratch in the gym. You will get extra phys for it. You don’t need the extra phys. We had at least 20 minutes extra phys for people not keeping still. Communicate with each other as much as possible during the admin. Make sure everyone pulls their weight, it makes it easier. Put your swim kit in a bag, lads got extra phys for dropping their swim kit and looking a mess while we walked to the pool. Stay as near as the front as you can during the endurance course. It pays to be a winner! Train hard with good form! I’m happy to answer any questions and can’t wait to start RT!