Maroon Beret

As we neared the end of the course, the fifty-one surviving recruits were mustered before the Dakota for a group photograph. We lined up on the grass in our crap hats. The two rows at the back were… Read More

Salisbury Plain

After another day’s training, we were on the parade square as the Sergeant and an Officer melted away to leave Corporals Wild and Savage prowling at the front. It was early evening and the atmosphere grew tense. Anything… Read More


It was made clear we had to run everywhere and work hard. We were supposed to rise at 5 a.m. and finish at about 9 p.m. But I got up at 4 a.m. each day to get ready and… Read More

Two Corporals

We were introduced to the soldiers of D Company, 4 Para, who were not impressed. Sergeant Hunter told us we were in peak physical condition as we’d just passed P Company, but were untested in the battalion so… Read More

P Company – Log Race and Result

The final event involved an eight man team carrying a one hundred and thirty pound log over undulating terrain for just under two miles. This race represented carrying a quick ammunition resupply. I was originally at the back… Read More

P Company – Stretcher Race and Trainasium

We lined up on the parade square for the stretcher race. In teams of eight, we would carry a stretcher made of metal poles with welded corrugated iron sheets, weighing one hundred and seventy-five pounds, over a distance… Read More

P Company – Assault Course and Steeplechase

I got an early night and slept well. At 5:30 a.m., I was up and my muscles ached. I went to the shower block to get ready for the day and inspected my knee. The swelling had come… Read More

P Company – Milling and Battle March

P Company is a test in life that can make or break you. The first event was milling or sixty seconds of controlled aggression against an opponent of similar height and weight. The rules were punch to the… Read More

I Have A Problem

The battle marches were getting longer, faster and we carried more weight. We wore our usual issue kit, but now also a helmet – the metal inner rattled against my head and gave me a headache – and… Read More


Later that night, we took turns on guard duty (or ‘stag’), two hours on and four off. When it was my turn, I engaged the night vision goggles and scanned the area. Through the ghostly green haze, about… Read More