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RMR training - overview from start to finish

Discussion in 'RMR Section and RMR Selection' started by posh_punter, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. posh_punter

    posh_punter Royal Marines Commando

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    This is based on my personal experience and hopefully this will be useful for those trying to get a better understanding of what the RMR training process looks like. I'm not going to do a blow by blow account of each exercise, but this should help give an idea of what you're getting yourself into.

    Nov 2016 - applied via the usual route, went to intro presentation at my nearest detachment. The staff there were very helpful and better placed to answer all my questions than those at the AFCO.

    Jan 2017 - started attending holding troop. This was basically just a load of phys with the other blokes on the weekly parade night. Was a great way to get to know the other lads. We pretty much did an RMFA each week (gym tests + bleep test), so by the time it came to PRMC I was very confident that I could pass all the gym tests. There were also monthly RMFAs on a Saturday at the HQ that you needed to pass before they put you on a PRMC.

    March 2017 - PRMC. I'd done a lot of preparation for this and knew that I could smash the gym tests regardless. It was a tough few days, but I went into it feeling confident and didn't have any dramas. Once you complete PRMC you get a cool Gibraltar Troop t-shirt and start getting paid for attending the weekly det nights. Again, was a great bonding experience with the other blokes. I kept on attending the monthly RMFAs at the HQ because I wanted to keep tabs on my phys and also get to know the other blokes better.

    March 2017 to August 2017 - PHYS.............. as more and more blokes joined holding troop, numbers started to swell and the appalling whatsapp chat started to pick up.

    August- September 2017 - Foundation. Couple of weekends at the HQ learning the basics of washing yourself, how to wear all your rig, bit of drill, phys etc. This is alongside lectures at your local detachment one evening a week. We also had a weapons training weekend too.

    October 2017- March 2018 - Phase 1A training. I think we had 8 or 9 field exercises in this phase. During these weekends you're learning how to live and administer yourself in the field as well as basic soldiering skills such as navigation , cam & concealment and identifying targets. Some of it is horrendous (getting dunked, so you can practice your wet and dry routine), some of it is quite good (stalks, night navs). You'll do plenty of yomping and speedmarches too. Time is at a premium during the weekends, so it's literally non stop activity from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. Expect it to be awful and then any fun stuff is a bonus. At the end P1A you have a confirmation exercise that you need to pass in order to go down to Lympstone. Field weekends were approximately one per month.

    April 2018 - 2 week phase 1A course down at CTC. This was pretty good and it was cool to finally get down to CTC. We were lucky with the weather, worked hard and stuck together as a team. You have the RMR version of ex. Baptist Run here, which basically tests everything you've been taught in phase 1A. Once this was done, we had a few more advanced lectures and then our first phase 1B field exercise as well as a few bottom field sessions and other bits.

    May 2018 - October 2018 - Phase 1 B training. This is where it starts to get really good and you start doing the tactical stuff, with NVGs, radios and all the other good bits of kit. A typical weekend involves recces, then orders, then a troop or section attack then more recces, more orders and then more attacks, with a yomp(s) and speedmarch thrown in. On most of these exercises you get no sleep at all, as there's just not enough time and you're constantly doing things. These exercises seemed to go a lot more quickly than the P1A ones though. Towards the end, we were in the field or at CTC every other weekend, which was pretty grueling.

    October 2018 - November 2018 - Commando Phase. We spent a few weekends down at CTC getting to grips with bottom field. We also did our 6 mile speed march and bottom field passout.This was followed by our final confirmation ex. before we went off to CTC for the Reserve Forces Commando Course.

    November 2018 - RFCC. Horrendous two weeks. Definitely the hardest two weeks of my life, both mentally and physically. We lost 50% of our troop on this course. However, getting that lid at the end is worth it. What it says on the tin. Basically a week on Dartmoor then a week doing the commando tests. At this point, the only thing that will stop you is injury.

    Hope this is useful. P1A training isn't so bad, but by the time you get to P1B it starts to significantly impinge on your personal life, due to the tiredness and the amount of phys you need to be doing in your own time.
    I basically gave up my social life and didn't drink for 6 months. Likewise, Mondays at work were a write off for me - and the rest of the time I was distracted by laminating route cards for the boys or watching videos of how to do a regain..... People also start to pick up injuries in the second part of training as you start running around with a lot more weight.

    Phys: in terms of phys, you don't need to go too crazy during P1A. I tended to do a minimum of a 10k run per week, along with some sprints and then couple of bodyweight circuits and a 8-9 mile yomp most weekends. I stayed clear of running with weight as much as possible, due to the injury risk and just tried to run faster instead or up hills, to compensate for it. I picked up an injury during P1A so did a lot of leg work and injury prevention exercises to make sure it didn't happen again.

    In P1B I followed the same plan as before, but upped the intensity. I also put a lot of work in on the ropes, and did at least one ropes sessions per week, with full weight and a rubber rifle at my detachment. I also upped the yomping speed and weight too and did 1-2 yomps per week. Basically at this point you have no life anyway, so you might as well just do more phys. I was training 5-6 days a week, with additional rest day after a field exercise.

    A huge part of this is staying injury free, as with one troop per year, you're looking at a 12 month wait if you get backtrooped due to injury. Each bloke approached their phys in their own way. Some didn't do enough and some did too much. You've got to find that balance, as you're smashing your body for 18 months. We tried to train together as much as possible, as you end up pushing things much harder this way. I also identified my weak areas very early on and made sure I focused on them in my training.
     
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  2. bcfc_4life

    bcfc_4life New Member

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    Sounds horrific! You must be so proud mate, well done!
     
  3. oldy32

    oldy32 New Member

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    Thanks for that mate, good insight
     
  4. Massey

    Massey New Member

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    Congratulations mate @posh_punter
    Just wondering if/how you struggled with your job during training and as it progressed, was it something you found hard- rocking up to work after a long weekend? Did it start to cause problems at work as in you found it hard to keep up with your job as a result of being totally knackered?

    Hopefully I'm making sense with what I'm trying to ask aha

    Cheers
     
  5. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    Your job should have a company policy stating that you require a minimum period of rest before starting your job.

    Breach of this that causes an injury to yourself or others, or a knock on effect, could result in a lawsuit or disciplinary action.

    Although you are required to attend the weekends training, the RMR try to slope this responsibility onto you, so it’s up to you to make sure you have adhered to your company policy. Ideally organised time off, it’s not ideal and it’s something the RMR doesn’t grasp.
     
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  6. Massey

    Massey New Member

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    Right ok, hadn't realised that you have that much control, I will have to look in to this policy at my work.
    So this policy applies the whole way through training then surely?

    Thanks for the help @ThreadpigeonsAlpha
     
  7. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    It’s not an RMR specific policy. Your work may have a “Reserve Forces Policy” which lays out the conditions they allow you to serve in the Reserves. It may include 2 weeks “special” holidays for continuation training a year. This will cover your annual camp/some aspects of training, for you it would be used for your 2 weeks Reserve Forces Commando Course.

    You will have other company policy’s stating employee behaviour and conduct, and this should state you are required a minimum rest period for your time at work.

    The RMR are incredibly unsympathetic when it comes to this stuff and your full time employment will always be seen as a hinderence.

    It depends on your job, a more in-depth or technical career will carry more complex policy’s than stacking shelves at Tesco for example.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  8. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    I think that this a very serious issue that many disregard. A work tragedy related to tiredness for, say, a Public Service Vehicle driver could have serious criminal implications for the individual.
    Support from Reserve Forces in such a case might be non-existent.
     
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  9. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    This is very much what the Armed Forces Covenant aims to addresss because frankly, the Maritime Reserves relies very much on goodwill to exist. Increasingly, this high dependence on goodwill without substance and support, will wear thin.

    I envisage the Maritime Reserves intention to contine to mobilise RMR & RNR personnel for routine rather than critical purposes, (due to inadequate regular manning shortfalls, for example) will profoundly effect retention. Time will tell.
     
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  10. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    Not just on the Employers, but the lads that work in RMR, if they start having to routinely take time off, compulsory, rather than voluntarily working it into their career plan, lads will get threaders and walk with their feet.
    Lads don’t want to sacrifice time, experience, pay and Overtime options to sit at a unit on a “routine” deployment.

    It’s all fine and well saying the RMR will match wages, but many of us rely on Overtime work, that isn’t measurable on the RMR. So we will lose money, lose experience and time on our main employment that pays the bills and puts a roof over our head. Not to mention being missed out for training, experience and time towards promotion.

    Not to mention taking lads away from their homes and families against their “will” as it were.

    The RMR is on a sticky wicket. More so than other Reserve Forces who seem to have their sh1t in one sock when it comes to working with employment, admin and pay.
     
  11. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Is there any other option? :)
     
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  12. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    It’s only matter of time. The Driving hours is a huge example of this.
    Lads up and down the chain of command are lying/manipulating figures to try and make things work, and it’s only a matter of time before more people are killed.
    RMR Scotland already lost 3 lads in an RTC after being involved with an RMR package at CTC.

    Not to mention the knock on affect of someone who works in an industry that provides a service to civvies, like transport. Where the knock on effect could mean the death of civvies.
    Where the RMR rank will be in the dock, and when it’s found they were involved with an RMR package the weekend before, their chain of command will be in the dock too.
    Reserve Forces walk a thin line and need to realise they come under civilian regulations more so than RegularsZ
     
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  13. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    Better retention packages, better admin and pay systems, actual better pay (not the see of RMR way of doing things)
    Better support from the chain of command, and knowledge of drivers hours, civilian regulation. And better understanding that RMR doesn’t keep a roof over my head.

    And to be told that “I shouldn’t rely on my RMR pay” is a disgusting attitude. Then they shouldn’t rely on Lads giving up their time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  14. Massey

    Massey New Member

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    Starting to understand more what I might be getting myself into with the RMR...
     
  15. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    The commitment is huge as a recruit. And it has a big knock on effect for employment and possibly affecting your employment prospects. With the RMR being unsympathetic towards fulltime employment.
    Even as a trained rank your fulltime employment is seen as a problem. But the commitment is slightly less.

    It’s something to consider. And it might be worth looking at other reserve forces.

    The RMR is more suited to ex regulars, older blokes with families who can’t go fulltime and people that are self employed or can afford to take the time off.
     
  16. Massey

    Massey New Member

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    @ThreadpigeonsAlpha so would you say other reserve forces -such as in the army- work a bit differently in regards to how they treat your employment e.g compared to the RMR
     
  17. westy

    westy Well-Known Member

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    Probably not 21 or 4 Para!!
     
  18. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    The commitment is lower for things like recruit training, and they have a better grasp of civilian employment and a better attitude towards it.
     
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  19. posh_punter

    posh_punter Royal Marines Commando

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    To be honest mate, I had an office job, that I wasn't properly invested in anyway, but yes, you will be absolutely hanging out the Monday after an exercise.
     
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