A New Recruits Diary On Joining The Army As A Tank Driver
This is a quick introduction on how I joined the army and chose the regiment of my choice. I was just 16 years old; I was in my last year in school and knew I needed to apply for a job for when I left school. I went to my local careers office and spoke to them about job choices within the armed forces. They showed me many jobs I could do, but the one that sold it for me was tank driver. I left school and two months later I was on a train journey to North Yorkshire to start my Phase 1 training at AFC Harrogate.
All adult Phase 1 training lasts around 14 weeks, with a long weekend break half way through. My phase 1 was a challenge at such a young age; having to work for myself and put everything I got into everyday life was struggle. I had never been in a strict environment and had always had everything done for me at home. It sounds like prison, but it is such a huge change in your life. You will learn many basic skills which will benefit you in everyday life, even something as basic as confidence, developing team skills and leadership abilities. You will work as a team every day to get through your time there and you will certainly you make friends for life.
After my time at phase 1 training was complete there was a huge passing out parade held at the establishment. Parents, friends and family were invited to see this parade of about 700 soldiers march around the parade square and show them the men they had turned into; it’s a proud moment for everyone.
With phase one completed, it is now that you start phase two training which is related to your job choice. Members of the infantry regiments go to Catterick in Yorkshire to concentrate on more in-depth infantry skills. Guards go to London and Knightsbridge parading outside Buckingham palace and show their protection and dedication to Queen and Country. As I was a member of the Tank Regiment I conducted my phase two training in RAC Bovington, Dorset. There, I learned everything there is to know about a main battle tank. I worked on the vehicles, drove the vehicles and also conducted lots of written and physical exams based on the vehicle and what I had learnt so far during my training. Phase 2 training also gives you the benefit of gaining your CAT B driving licence and tank licence, without actually having to pay for it yourself.
Once Phase two is complete you are then a fully trained soldier in the British Army and you will go on to your desired regiment. At regiment day-to-day jobs will consist of working on the vehicles which are based at your regiment, conduct range packages to skill you up on different types of weapon systems, PT (physical activity), preparing for operational tours and anything else your squadron has prepared for you. Day to day hours usually consist of:
- Breakfast : 0700
- Work : 0830
- Lunch : 1230
- Back to work : 1330
- PT : 1530
- Finish : 1700
I hope this page gives you a good inside of the process to joining the army, and good luck in the job you decide to join.
Image copyright http://www.army.mod.uk/
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