Level 3 Public Services students from Oaklands College stepped into the shoes of a new recruit in the British Army, as they braved one of the coldest weeks of the winter so far in a week’s residential training.
The team of 21 students spent five days at a military camp in Essex, experiencing first-hand the same very same training experienced by the Army’s newest recruits including rifle training, assault courses and intense physical training sessions.
Kitted out in full uniform, the recruits were plunged straight into a 1.5-mile run, exercise challenges and patrol exercises. They also undertook tasks in personal disciple such as early morning room inspections with just 30 minutes from waking up to being inspection ready for the existing soldiers.
The five-day away session took place during one of the coldest spells of the winter so far, with the temperatures reaching sub-zero conditions and flurries of show hindering an already challenging week for the students.
The student’s midweek expedition saw them set up camp under the stars with only tarpaulin for cover to replicate an operations environment. A late night ambush staged by the base soldiers taught the students about the realities of life on the move for many soldiers in service.
Throughout the week they were taught to behave correctly for a military environment, skills such as team working, discipline, communications, personal presentation and punctuality – all skills that will stand them in good stead for the working world.
Student Jamie Head said: “The week was both physically and mentally tough. The physical training was tough, but they pushed us beyond what we thought we were capable of to teach us discipline. As the week went on, we definitely got closer as a group and learnt to help each other. We learnt quickly in that sort of environment you need to have yourself in order but it’s also important to pick up other people in the team when they need it. “
Public Services tutor Ian Morrison said: “These students had no idea what to expect – we threw them in at the deep end and they thrived. The challenges they face took them out of their comfort zone and without doubt aided their personal development. Thank you to the British Army for such a fantastic opportunity – it will stay with them for a long time to come.”