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South African just finished recruit training. Questions?

Discussion in 'General Royal Marines Joining Chit Chat' started by SaffaGuy, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. SaffaGuy

    SaffaGuy Royal Marines Commando

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    Good day all!
    As the title suggests, I am a South African who has just finished recruit training. The reason I am starting this thread is because before joining I found a lot of very useful information on here. The one thing that was lacking however was details for us commonwealth applicants. So please, fire away, and I will try my best to help where I can!
     
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  2. Johnwayne

    Johnwayne Member

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    @SaffaGuy congratulations brother! Happy to hear you made it through!

    Anything particular in RT that stood out as difficult (in a course that’s already described as extremely difficult :D )

    Also, any recommendations on injury prevention during RT?
     
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  3. anon1234

    anon1234 Member

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    Passed AIB
    Huge congratulations!

    Best and worst moments of training?
    Hardest commando test?
     
  4. SaffaGuy

    SaffaGuy Royal Marines Commando

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    Thanks @Johnwayne!
    The toughest part for me was the mental side of things. I am quite a bit older than most of the lads, and had been living in my own house for about 10 years prior to joining, so the adjustment was quite tough. Saying that, you learn to love living with your oppos, but yea, sometimes you just crave your own space! Other than that, as you say, recruit training in general is pretty tough, but I was lucky enough not to struggle too much with any of the physical aspects.

    Injury prevention? Stretch, stretch and stretch! I only learned this very late on training, but it made the world of difference. A have an old knee injury that played up after violent entry, and got pretty bad towards final ex. My section corporal at the time got pretty mad at me when I told him I don't stretch, and pretty much gave me an order to start doing it. After that the pain in my knee subsided quite a bit, and I definitely felt better for it. It sounds super easy now saying that you must stretch out, but when you are only getting a few hours sleep at best, you truly couldn't be arsed to stretch and take up that precious sleep time. My advice is just suck it up and do it, even if it's only 15 minutes and the most important muscle groups. Other than that, some injuries are not preventable. We had a few lads go down with cracked ribs, stress fractures, etc, that were just from doing the job. Just be cautious, don't take unnecessary risks and look after your oppos!
    Good luck mate, see you on the other side!
     
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  5. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    Good effort, well done.

    Obviously recruit training was no different but it would be great to get some feedback on how it went applying from overseas.

    South Africa was unique, inasmuch as recruiting teams visited the country to conduct preliminary selection elements in-situ, prior to completion in UK. Apart from St Vincent, in the West Indies, this had not been undertaken previously by the Naval Careers Service in recent years, so feedback would be useful.

    At present however, overseas recruiting is on hold due to the Covid-19 outbreak, so whether this method of recruiting is repeated in future is anyone's guess.

    For those who applied overseas, without the benefit of recruiters visiting the country, it would also be extremely useful to hear feedback (good and bad) on how it went, timelines and cost to the individual.
     
  6. SaffaGuy

    SaffaGuy Royal Marines Commando

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    @anon1234 Good question!!
    Best moment? I'd have to say the final attack on Final Ex! Took down a Fort together with an actual commando unit, holding about 30 "enemy", it was absolutely killer! Other than that people call me crazy but Hunters Moon and Violent entry were two highlights for me.
    Worst moment? God there are many! Some of the thrashings were pretty nasty, but the worst ones definitely involved getting in the water on pretty much freezing conditions while on exercise. Being from South Africa, I wasn't too good with the cold, and having all our toughest exercises from December February, it was pretty *text deleted*!
    For me the commando tests weren't too tough, I think the endurance is by far the worst just due to how long you have to push yourself at 100 percent! The 30 miler is hard, but it's more endurance than cardiovascular, and just requires a bit of grit, however the endurance you're you need to push yourself to your max during the entire thing. But by the time you get to commando tests, you are ready for them, and I wasn't too worried about passing them, just wanted to get them out the way and get my lid!
    Good luck mate.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
  7. Johnwayne

    Johnwayne Member

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    I’m also heading towards the older side of applicants at 28 years young, but feel better now than I ever have.

    I’ve been making stretching habitual, so I’m happy to hear that it helped you out in training!

    Again man, massive congratulations. Here’s to a long and successful career! See you on the other side!
     
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  8. SaffaGuy

    SaffaGuy Royal Marines Commando

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    @Ninja_Stoker Thank you!
    I was extremely lucky with my recruitment process. I was completely unawares of the Corp's plan to come to South Africa and do a recruitment drive. My application was already submitted and being processed when they announced that they were going to be doing a pre-selection in country. The day was pretty much a condensed version of PRMC, we did all the tests and a small "determination tests". Only two of us passed on the day that I did mine. After that it all went pretty quickly. We were told to get our affairs in order and documents ready (All the normal documents, police clearances, etc). We had to apply and get visas under our own steam, with no assistance from MOD, so we had to have contacts in the U.K and apply for a tourist visa). Entering the country we had to tell customs that we were entering on holiday. After that the joining process was pretty much exactly the same, psychometric tests, hearing and eye tests and PRMC. All costs involved were off our own back, and the process costs me roughly 1500- 2000 pounds including flights, hotels, transport, etc. The entire process took me roughly 6 months from online application to beginning RT. The pre-selection in South Africa was a bonus, and definitely gave me a little warm and fuzzy feeling before departing the country, but honestly it didnt make that much of a difference. An observation that I made which was mirrored by some of the training teams and DL's on camp was that the South Africans that made their own way to the country and it the regular way were actually of a much higher calibre than the ones that did pre-selection in SA as they were making much more of a commitment going in blind. Some of the lads that were on previous pre-selections (Two in my troop) actually voluntarily withdrew themselves from recruit training, which was unthinkable in my eyes. Bottom line is you really have to want it, and the commitment shown by the saffas who come over on their own steam to do it is kind of a selection n itself!
     
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  9. Rob20

    Rob20 Royal Marines Commando

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    Good effort mate. Were you part of the recent kings squad with no guests? If so, comiserations but you've got alot to look forward to now.

    Where have you been drafted?
     
  10. SaffaGuy

    SaffaGuy Royal Marines Commando

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    @Rob20 Yes, unfortunately so, but we had a massive attendance from CTC itself, so our larger family was definitely there in full support!
    I'm off to 42 once all my driver quals are done.
     
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  11. LilInac

    LilInac Member

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    hi there

    congrats great achievement !
    Just a question I’ll be joining from Ireland abroad but still close to the uk one thing that was on my mind is that for reasons I can’t go home on the weekends etc when you do get them later on on training what did you do? Can you stay at the ctc? Just something that’s been on my mind !
    Congratulations!
     
  12. SaffaGuy

    SaffaGuy Royal Marines Commando

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    You can stay on the base of you wish. The first long weekend most lads go home, but after that the troop normally decides on a location and everyone gets a hotel and enjoys a night out. Torquay has cheap hotels and is always a nice break from CTC. My advice would be to get away from CTC as much as possible. Even take a weekend alone every now and again just to get out of the "nod" mindset.
     
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  13. Mumma23

    Mumma23 Valuable Contributor

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    You also had a massive audience online - over 900 at one point :)
     
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  14. Dvv63

    Dvv63 Veteran Contributor

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    Congratulations @SaffaGuy :D
    Good to hear you had an audience for your KSPO, along with the 9000 + online watchers :D
    Hope you got to have a celebratory drink afterwards too.
     
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  15. DutyWretch

    DutyWretch Royal Marines Commando

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    42. Best unit by far.

    J coy to complete the set.

    Don’t let any beefers on here tell you different.

    Well done
     
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  16. johno4

    johno4 Member

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    How are things with choosing your commando unit ? (Do you usually get your choice)
     
  17. Unki

    Unki Member

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    Hi there. Well done and congrats on the brand new green lid. I watched your KSPO online and really felt for you guys and your families not being able to actually be there on such a momentous occasion. My son is 28 and went through the same process that you did to get to CTCRM. He started with the dreaded and doomed T286. At the start of VE there were only 5 or 6 originals left. Only five of them passed VE but the whole troop was dissolved after VE. Those who were left were put back to week 16. It seems so wrong that after not having failed anything since the start, that they are backtrooped 7 weeks. They're now in T290. You may even know my son ... Alan B. Anyway, once again, a great achievement and all the best going forward.
     
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  18. SaffaGuy

    SaffaGuy Royal Marines Commando

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    Hi @Unki.
    Yea, we heard through the nod vine of the amalgamation of troops, very unfortunate! It may have seemed like the end of the world to him at the time, but in the long run it will just have been a small speed bump, and will probably make him a better soldier because of it! I will probably know him if I see him, but the name doesn't ring a bell. I wish him best of luck with the rest of training, I'm sure he is going to smash it!
     
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  19. SaffaGuy

    SaffaGuy Royal Marines Commando

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    Unfortunately not. Luckily I was awarded diamond recruit, so I got my first choice, but other than the diamonds nobody got their first choice. A few went to 43, and the rest 30 and CLR unfortunately!
     
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  20. Rob20

    Rob20 Royal Marines Commando

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    30 and CLR! That's a bite
     
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