Final Tests

After lunch, the recruits were led to an assault course made from scaffolding and planks of wood. It was an aerial confidence course between three and fifteen metres high designed to test the recruits’ suitability for military parachuting. Steve climbed a metal ladder about ten metres high to a platform. Up there, he ran along planks, jumped between gaps and then ran over horizontal ladders. He had to swing across ropes and leap off ramps above the trees without anything to break a fall. Several recruits failed this event and were removed from the course. One unfortunate recruit fell from height and was taken away in an ambulance. The recruits never saw him again. At the end, Steve lined up with the men who passed.

And that led them to the final event called the log race. An eight man team had to run while carrying a heavy log with looped rope handles. The teams were to compete against each other. Steve stood at the head of one log and sucked air in to get as much oxygen into his lungs as possible. A Corporal let a thunder flash off with a loud bang and billowing red smoke. The teams ran to their logs, picked them up and sprinted. This was a hard event for Steve as the rope cut into his wrist and both the pace and the weight of the log made it difficult to breathe. Some recruits fell and dragged their team to a halt, but Steve’s team kept going up a sandy hill, around the top and then back toward the finish. Over the final stretch, Steve’s lungs felt like they were on fire as they all sprinted over the line. Dropping the log, they were ordered into a line and times were noted down by the Sergeant.

Copyright © 2022 Callum Stanford.  All rights reserved.

Author: callumstanford

Writer, blogger, outsider, survivor.

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