BRNC course

Hi Everyone

I'm off to Dartmouth this weekend for the 2-week course for new RNR officers. I've already been working on my fitness and I shall make damn sure I don't forget to take my sense of humour with me, which I've been told are the 2 most important things.

However, I'm sure there must be a few more words of wisdom which the good folks on this forum could supply that will help me get the most out of the course. What are your top tips?

Well... I've not been to BRNC so you'll have to excuse the generic side of this but this is based on a more Tri-service commissioning course/college sort of slant.

- Spare kit. If you haven't got spare uniform beg/borrow/sign out more.
- Laundry facilities- I think as you'll be in the gun room you'll have access to this service, check the capabilities though. If only open 0900-1200hrs best to take your own iron.
- Boots- if you have your own set of boots, black, militaryesque, take them. New boots are asking for disaster on an assessed task.

On a personal gripe note-

Polish your shoes/boots. Nothing looks less professional except...

A dirty cap- I have seen some atrocious cap covers, I bought my own as I couldn't be bothered waiting for a kit issue, it is white (cloth) and next to a standard cap you can see the yellow stains etc on the standard cap (plastic).

Other than that, as you said fitness and a sense of humour are paramount. Do come back and put your own perspective, I'd like to know what the BRNC course is like, as I say I have only given a tri-service generic point of view.
Never done the RNR BRNC course, but I have done the 12 month regular one and thus seen the RNR come and go. Take a few more of anything than the kitlist may say- if you've got spare 4s etc, take them.

Take an iron- laundry facilities will be available but the ironing is not to parade standard. little bits of things like twisties, etc, can be bought from the naafi.

Cap covers- agree with who_blue that cloth looks much better, but bear in mind that certainly when I went through there was a definite plastic covers only rule on the parade ground- which was enforced with relish by the WO GI and his friend. Seeing an ammo boot go through a cap cover was enough to make sure we remembered. (This was 2002 mind).

Other than that, just follow the kitlist- there are all sorts of cheats and shortcuts that could make your life easier if you were going as a regular, but tbh, you're not going to be there long enough to feel the benefit. Just suck it back and try and enjoy yourself.

DON'T FORGET THE IRON- there's a whole newbiews thread you could read about what sort to take, but let's just say that so long as it puts out more steam than the Flying Scotsman you won't go far wrong.
Take a cummerbund for a quick and easy red sea rig; saves time having to faff about getting changed into jacket/tie for dinner.

Laptop is really useful but we had no secure places for these, so at your risk...

Agree on previous posts - iron is essential!
Thanks for the tips everyone. The iron and the cummerbund were certainly not things I'd have wanted to be without.

Well, I've done the course now, and thoroughly enjoyed it. So here's my new perspective on preparing for the course and what to take with you if anyone going on the course in future is reading this.

Most important is fitness. I'd prepared reasonably well with running and had built up my stamina to a level that got me through, but I don't think I'd appreciated how heavy the rucksacks would be in the assessed exercise. If I were doing it again, I'd put on a very heavy rucksack and run around with it on as part of the training.

Sense of humour is a must. You get out of the course what you put into it, and if you go there determined to have a good time, you will. If you go there intending to moan about things, you'll find plenty to moan about, and you'll be miserable. Just rise above them and keep telling yourself that it sure beats being at work.

Another piece of kit I took with me, not mentioned above, was a little microfibre towel. This was fantastically useful. You get wet in the assessed exercise (the weather was fine when we did it, so they made up for it by making us all get in a big pool of muddy water), and the rucksacks are heavy enough without taking a normal towel around with you. It's important to keep your feet dry if you're going to be spending 3 days running around with combat boots on. Good socks are essential too.

An ironing board is a useful thing to take. Not essential, as there were one or two available, but there was often a bit of a queue for them.

There's quite a bit of parade drill and marching around on the course. I'd done a little bit of this in my new entry class at my unit, but to be honest I would have benefited from doing a lot more. I'm sure my marching looked pretty crappy.

But, overall, it was tremendously good fun, and the joining instructions tell you most of what you need to know.

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