Week Two – The shock of realisation

When I arrived seven days ago now, I took it all light-heartedly; there was no real shock of capture, instead there is what we are calling, the shock of realisation. This has happened amongst each of us at different moments, and whether it came when we were marching around Old College, or when queuing for scoff, we all have experienced it in different ways.

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What exactly is it? Well it is a simple moment when you are sat there and you think to yourself, “My gosh, I am now in the army.” This is quickly followed by, “Oh dear, I am at Sandhurst training to be an Officer.” And so comes forth all the films and books that I would watch and read as a child of daring and brave young officers leading their soldiers valiantly into battle. You start to think about who has come here before, and after the stomach churning notion, comes possibly the proudest, yet quietest moment of my life as yet. I am now in the footsteps of some of the world’s most heroic leaders.

Towards the end of the week, our Colour Sergeant made an absolutely morale-driving decision; we were going to watch the World Cup opening game whilst bulling our boots – if you do not know what bulling boots is, it is a particularly mundane and boring act where you sit for hours making small circles in your parade boots until you can use them as a mirror to shave. Usually this is also when most of the days dits (stories) are relived of guys in the platoon who may have made a slight judgement error shall we say which we can all join in and laugh about together.

But this time we were going to multi-task, a hard concept when five hours sleep is considered a luxury, but nevertheless, our boots were glistening by the end. We also started to exercise in our “streams” – fitness here is graded, and I made top stream so I am exercising with the fittest cadets in the academy, but the tempo is good and the PTIs definitely know what they are doing. My favourite snippet from PT sessions is a poster they have, “We do not use machines, we make them”.