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What to focus on?

Discussion in 'General Royal Marines Joining Chit Chat' started by Rob20, May 21, 2020.

  1. Rob20

    Rob20 Royal Marines Commando Moderator

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    Lads, in response to a few recent threads which have seemed abit irrelevant I'd like to share some advice and experience.

    There seems to be a huge amount of worrying going on at the minute. But worrying about things that are completely irrelevant. Its absolutely awesome that you're so interested in the Corps that you want to know this stuff lads, but focus on things that do matter. Phys, Corps History, current affairs, learning to wash/iron/fold your clothes.

    Within this forum you have access to trained ranks of varying experience from just passing out, all the way to retired SF. Even PARAs! The Moderators take alot of time to provide us with this platform so lets make the most of it! These guys can help you and share all the experience they have to put you in the best position to be successful in training but recently there are alot of pointless questions.

    The only thing you should all be worried about is getting to training and passing out. As an applicant I was obsessed, and I had to be. I had no natural physical ability whatsoever and had to work damn hard to succeed. But, I studied the Corps. Seeked advice from those who had been there and done it. I didnt waste my time or energy on anything that wasn't going to help me get to where I wanted to be. Lads, gen you're not just joining a new football team. You are joining the best club in the World. No feeling will beat passing out I promise you and that will stay with you for ever. But start thinking about how you're going to get there, and how you can best use the resources available to improve your chances.

    Questions are awesome lads. Keep em coming. I can't speak for all Bootnecks on here, but I'm here because I genuinely want to help people. Im sure most of the other trained ranks are the same. Ask about training, foundation, commando tests. What trips are good. What trips are crap. Phys. Unit life etc etc. Stuff that matters. We might take the mick out of eachother for Spinning *text deleted* dits but that's part of it. Use the experienced lads on here to give yourself the best insight of the Corps.

    Knowing the cost of an accommodation refurb, or why we used a certain fitness test 30 odd years ago is completely irrelevant and is hardly going to inspire you when things get hard.

    If anyone has any questions related to preparing for training, phys that worked for me or unit life etc etc. Fire away!
     
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  2. Griff149

    Griff149 Well-Known Member

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    Fair mate!

    As a trained rank with the experience you now have, if you could go back, what would be the main thing you would say to yourself as a new recruit about to start training?
     
  3. Rob20

    Rob20 Royal Marines Commando Moderator

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    My weaknesses were core strength and technical ability on ropes initially. So I'd suggest working massively on your core. It will help with everything. Gym. Yomping. Being held in stress positions. It just makes life easier and supposedly is great for injury prevention.

    Secondly, be as fit and strong as possible on entry. This allows you to be able to put technique into practice more easily. My core and hip flexors weren't as strong as they could have been, coupled with a dodgy technique made the gym hard for me when it came to ropes. Also, being fit means you won't be as fatigued meaning you can better absorb information from lectures and demonstration periods. If you're playing catch up from day 1, chances are you'll fall short in other areas too.

    Give 100% on everything. I never particularly had training team pick on me or take a disliking to me, not because I didn't mess up. Because I did, everyone does. But If I did, it was after giving my all. And then I took the punishment on the chin and did all I could to rectify my shortcoming. With that I'd probably suggest dont fear failure. Its a tough programme, at some point you will fail things, just take it on the chin and learn from it as best as possible.

    Hope that helps. Any other bootnecks feel free to give your 2p worth too
     
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  4. Aerial

    Aerial Member

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    I've got quite a strong core (can easily do a four minute plank, can max out consecutive sets of the RMFA sit-up test etc) but I do worry the specificity of training for my hip flexors.

    Are there any exercises or stretches you'd recommended for improving hip flexor strength and mobility that are directly applicable to rope work?
     
  5. Rob20

    Rob20 Royal Marines Commando Moderator

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    Thats decent. Personally I always find anything involving keeping legs elevated or raising them hits hip flexors good. So exercises like leg raises, alternate leg raises, knees to chest, flutter kicks etc will help. But from your stats you're in a really good
    position mate

    Big one too, keep stretching off your hip flexors. I was good at speed marching but being a tall lad trying to keep step with the dwarfs in the front meant my hip flexors took a beating so keep on top of that
     
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  6. 1919

    1919 Member

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    I think it's part of the times, connected with technology, you see it all over in variety of areas of life now (most of us are probably guilty of it sometimes; I definitely am) and it probably effects the younger ones more as it's what they've grown up with: accumulating ever more data and information in the belief that it's going to solve whatever problem is faced.

    But it's an illusion and a bit of a hamster wheel because knowledge doesn't just work on data - it's connected to being and doing. You can theorize and get as much information as you want about 'gastronomy', but it's not 'really' going to tell you what it's like working in a kitchen, let alone make you a good cook.

    Sometimes you just need to do. If it isn't what you want, or wasn't what you thought it was, you've learnt something else about yourself anyway which you'd have never been told via data.
     
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  7. browner467

    browner467 Valuable Contributor

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    What’s it like going from being a big fish in a little pond on Kings Squad to joining a unit? Does it take long to integrate with other lads?
     
  8. Rob20

    Rob20 Royal Marines Commando Moderator

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    From my experience not a problem at all. I knew a few lads at the company I was joining, both marines and corporals.

    Volunteer, keep your head down and prove yourself on your first exercise and eyes are soon off of you. Have to say the lads in my flat/troop were awesome for helping me find my feet though

    Personally I don't agree with the whole sprog routine to the extreme that you used to hear about. Im mega into performance psychology and elite sports teams etc. People need confidence to perform at their best. If someone is getting ridiculed for everything they say or do, in most cases I dont think they'll be performing at their best. Similarly, its not a free ride, you're joining a Commando Unit so expect to be put under pressure initially
     
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  9. Aerial

    Aerial Member

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    Brilliant mate, I’ll definitely work some of those exercises into my routines and make sure the hip flexors are nice and stretched.

    I’m RMR (currently backtrooped and waiting to start again) so one of the benefits is being able to train any weaknesses with greater specificity.

    Do you know of any lads who do proprioception type exercises? I have a tendency to bump into things somethings so am slightly worried I could be prone to ankle injuries / slippages when walking.
     
  10. Rob20

    Rob20 Royal Marines Commando Moderator

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    I know of it and did some of it as part of my rehab whilst in hunter but no expert. Ours meant doing alot of walking/jumping/balancing on strange unstable objects one foot at a time to build that ankle strength and stability as well as improve balance. Google will probably be more help than me. But it was big in Hunter so must be some benefit to it all.

    Make the most of your time out as you say and all the best
     
  11. 06042020

    06042020 Member

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    Thanks for this, really important messages.

    Quick on one unit life from me. What's the rough split of people who stay in/go home on weekends?
     
  12. Rob20

    Rob20 Royal Marines Commando Moderator

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    Probably varies mate. Depending on age of the lads, location etc.

    Im a southerner and spent a year in Scotland, hardly went home. However northern/scottish lads went home alot more regularly. Obviously those with families go home more too
     
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  13. Royal2010

    Royal2010 Commando Training Wing Instructor

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    At 42 most people went home sadly. (I'm a "camp orphan").
    I was lucky enough at one point to be a in a 4 man room where 2 other lads were also camp orphans and we created our own "lock ins" great, great times!
     
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  14. Johnwayne

    Johnwayne Active Member

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    @Rob20 great thread.

    I am at the older end of the spectrum (going in at 28), so I’ve lived on my own for a long time and have no issues with washing, ironing, cleaning etc.
    I’ve been taking time studying Land Nav manuals from different courses. What other areas do you think would be beneficial to improve in before arriving at CTC.

    I’ve also found a few documents on the L98A2 weapons handling tests as well as an introduction to the weapon to familiarise myself with components. Do you think this is a good idea or is it better to wait to get to CTC and receive the instructions in the way the TT would want me to have it.

    Cheers!
     
  15. Rob20

    Rob20 Royal Marines Commando Moderator

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    It cant hurt to have an idea of how weapons work and some knowledge of different components. However the best way to learn it properly will be hands on with an instructor who knows it inside out, so it's not entirely necessary.

    The familiarisation with map and compass will help you out im sure
     
  16. flippertyre

    flippertyre New Member

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    Great thread - really helpful. I was wondering whether you could give a bit of insight into life beyond RT. I understand that you will pass out and move into a unit which, in a way, is a further extension of training that allows you to focus on a specialty? I am thinking of joining as a RMO for 5-6 years and would be interested to know a little bit about what life in those years would be like. Thanks!
     
  17. Rob20

    Rob20 Royal Marines Commando Moderator

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    Hard for me to say as obviously, im not an Officer. Although from what I know, your first draft will be as a Troop Commander. This will involve managing the training and careers of lads under you as well as obviously being a troop commander in the field. My first boss was class to be fair, regularly he'd take lectutes on tactics or a range of scenarios and all ranks would be involved. "Mne Bloggs, how do you think we could Secure this position?" etc. Not only did it earn respect but in my opinion got newer lads like myself thinking at a higher level and developing our tactical understanding.

    After your first draft you could take up a company 2ic pid or a more admin role. Can't really tell you much more about that.

    However, Troop Commander will be the best job as an officer most would say. All id say is the Officers who come in looking to change the world aren't always the most successful, those who have Ideas but take on advice of the juniors and stripey, and get to know/understand the men they're leading tend to be more popular, in my opinion
     
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