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Corona

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A mate did this, it was the equivalent of the PRMC in my day *text deleted
What was the reasoning for introducing prmc? I can see why it's there but was there anything that kicked off the decision to add it?
 

Caversham

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What was the reasoning for introducing prmc? I can see why it's there but was there anything that kicked off the decision to add it?
Before PRMC there was the PRC (Pre Recruit Course), before that nothing! When I joined it was the recruit test, interview and medical, all done within a short space of time and within weeks you were on your way to The Depot, Deal.

When I asked my CA what I could do fitness wise before joining I was told to do nothing, as "that's our job to get you fit". Those first gym sessions at Deal were horrendous! But by the time we left for CTC we were fitter and leaner than ever before.

I think the main reason back in my day was due to most of us coming from work involving manual labour, (I worked on building sites) and we tended to walk everywhere when not working. Despite all of this the numbers reaching KS was around 50% or less. We had a 12 week opt out window, where you could buy your way out the gate for £20, after that you were in for the duration. Out of around 50, (we had a number of Junior Marines join the original 38), that left Deal for CTC around 18 passed out, including some who had been back trooped, I was not one of them. In the Troop that I did pass out with, around 8 weeks later, there were 11 and of those, only 9 originals.

So I believe that the PRC/PRMC was introduced to try and stem the dropout rate, because of the perception that the generation applying in the 1980s did not have a baseline level of fitness that my generation had. Judging by the numbers reaching KS these days, not a lot has changed.

I do believe that that the reason that the standards for entry are more stringent is because of the long term injuries that we are now suffering with. Myself and most of the former Marines that I know are in receipt of a pension for injuries. Mine is for knees and hearing, which was a common ailment and the cost must be huge to the public purse. I believe that I would not have made the start line had the current requirements been in when I joined. I weighed 9st 10lb, around 60kg and I had a pre existing injury to my knee, as well as various other "problems".

I also believe that the training is more structured and even "harder" than before, (mine was around 30 weeks), although it still follows the same principles as today, as gym, bottom field pass out and the Commando Tests are exactly the same. However the equipment is far superior now. I have mentioned before that some of our kit was from WW1 and the webbing and boots were not fit for purpose. The only decent kit was our rifle, which was the SLR and the GPMG, all the rest was gash. No Gortex, no sleeping bags, no Jet Boils etc etc.

However, when I see what the guys who went to Achnacarry had to contend with, I expect they were saying that we had it soft when compared to them! I think they were right!

Alan
 
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The only decent kit was our rifle, which was the SLR and the GPMG, all the rest was gash. No Gortex, no sleeping bags, no Jet Boils etc etc.

Ref sleeping bags, what did you use for kip/sustainment in the field? How about Norway trips? Take it you used hexi to cook with?
 

Ninja_Stoker

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In simple terms the reason the PRC was introduced was cost due to lifestyle changes.

PE used to be mandatory in schools until school leaving age, typically 15 or 16 for the majority of potential recruits. Nowadays the majority don't leave education until aged 21.

There will always be exceptions but, for example, most students nowadays seem to get a lift to/from school and indeed to play football or go to the gym.

The spin-off was training wastage was running between 25-50%. The wastage burden was then shifted to the preliminary selection stage.

Interestingly, we've gone full circle by introducing the ROP, which is effectively an extension of paid recruit training. The wastage burden and costs have shifted back to training.

Although ROP is undoubtedly a good idea and reduces recruit training wastage, I guess sooner or later the wheel will be reinvented to reduce the cost of achieving a Royal Marine trained rank. In wages alone, each recruit troop of 50 will now have cost in excess of £85,000 to get to day one, week one.

At present applications are up by around 30%. In other words, nearly a third of applicants currently joining CTC would probably not have joined had circumstances been different.
 

Caversham

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Ref sleeping bags, what did you use for kip/sustainment in the field? How about Norway trips? Take it you used hexi to cook with?

We had a pusser's blanket, but if that got wet then it was like lugging a corpse around, so we got a sleeping bag inner, which was light and could dry easily when wet.
I didn't get my first slug until I joined 45 after pass out. I also didn't do a Norway, as after a tour in NI I was on a plane out to Singapore until the withdrawal.

All meals/drinks in RT were cooked on hexi, but once in the Far East we used camping gaz stoves and we also used Australian rat packs, which were far superior to UK ones, which were based on US MRE meals, probably from Vietnam connections, which was still going at that time.

Alan
 

Chelonian

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1960's and 1970's privately purchased equivalent of a Jetboil.:)
An accessory was a two-part cylinder aluminium mess tin which it fitted into.

camping_gaz.jpg

One flaw was that butane performs poorly in only moderately low air temperature (+2℃).
A propane/butane mix canister was available and that burned better.
 

Former AE

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Our troop originally had 62 in and we passed out with 12, had the lovely 58 pattern gonk bag full of feathers that if wet weighed the same as all your kit plus weapon all stuffed into a pack the size of a day sack, wasn’t until you got to a unit you could buy your own stuff ie cyclops roc, bluey cooker and metal mug.
 

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I no idea that Royal was issued with the Armalite?

Not uncommon, I'd guess. From a Para perspective the M16 would be deployed on rural patrols in NI when required. A patrol in a rural environment might carry a mix of SLR, M16 and L4 Bren.

Close Observation Platoons (even the Royal Marines had platoons in this context) might also have deployed with L42 Lee-Enfield and a shotgun depending on tasking.

The weapon in the image above appears to be a first generation M16 (no bolt assist and with early pattern flash suppressor).

Nice to see Royal with authentic issued 'tache. :)
 

Corona

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Not uncommon, I'd guess. From a Para perspective the M16 would be deployed on rural patrols in NI when required. A patrol in a rural environment might carry a mix of SLR, M16 and L4 Bren.
'

Did most people have a preference between the m16 and slr?
 

Chelonian

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Did most people have a preference between the m16 and slr?

As mentioned by @Caversham the M16 was considerably lighter than the SLR so I guess that practically influenced most blokes' preference. :)

Interestingly, the relatively small pistol grip of the M16 and its light weight made it a weapon well suited to physically smaller-framed adults of Asian heritage, female and child insurgents during its evolution in the Vietnam era. A design 'plus' some might think.
[Can't find a 'morally dubious' emoji].

Unsure if M16s were ever used on urban patrols in NI. As mentioned in the caption of the image posted by @Johnny_Anonie the M16 was associated with Special Forces. The 'optics' of a couple of blokes in an urban patrol carrying M16s might have been unhelpful. Only my speculation... it's all way above my pay grade.
 
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