I completed the PRNC last week at MOD Caledonia in Rosyth and thought I'd relay my experiences. I know we have a lot of curiosity surrounding this element of the application process and so every little helps.
If you've been scheduled to go on PRNC (whether it be Rosyth or Collingwood) you'll have been (hopefully) issued with train tickets to and from the location - if not, check with your AFCO.
As well as travel arrangement, a kit list should have been issued and I strongly advise NOT deviating from the lay out (don't be a twat).
I went by train to Inverkeithing as per my instructions and whilst changing at Haymarket to go over the Forth Bridge, I met (guessed) a bunch of smartly dressed guys and girls who were also on their way. I'd been a little apprehensive and so finally having a chat with some others brought me to ease. We stepped off the train at Inverkeithing where we were met by PO's and lead on to a comfy wee van. I'd been freezing all day since it'd been icy and snowy, so **** yeah, get the doors closed and lets go. There were 34 of us and the van only took 15, but I pushed up and got on.
We took a short ten minute drive into MOD Caledonia and were lead off the van into the main building to a classroom type setup where more people were waiting. We waited for the last of the squad to arrive before being lead outside to identify smoking areas / fire muster points and other useful places. Back in and given a quick brief before being issued with a locker key and told to take our bags to our room and get changed into the kit we'd just been issued.
We got changed and went back downstairs and had yet more briefings and ice breakers.
Off the back of the ice breaker session a Class leader, Deputy Class Leader and Mess Boson were picked - I was to be Class Leader.
There wasn't much more to Monday other than a quick basic drill and marching exercise before tripping over ourselves and marching to dinner (3 courses and good nosh too) - back to briefs, ironing session and bed making then bed.
Call the Hands is 05.45 but I'd set my alarm for 05.30 to beat the shower rush and as Class Leader - make sure that everyone would be aware of the itchy jumper they were to wear. I was cold, so they'd wear the jumper, that's how it goes.
I made my bed to required standards, hospital corners and a tip top pillow and laid out my kit on the bed, spaced A4 and crisp, then made sure the rest of the squad were ready and we had no struggles before appointing one from each room to stand outside of their mess so that I could report to the PO that the class was ready for standing rounds.
After rounds were completed and 90% of folk were told they'd been shite, we fell out on to the road in the snow and sleet. I had to make sure everyone was dressed the same, that water bottles were in the left trouser pocket and topped up and that everyone was stood still at ease before reporting again to PO's that we were ready (at 06.45) to march to breakfast.
*CLASS! CLASS HO! CLASS BY THE LEFT, DRESS!* and so forth.
Down to breakfast where there lay the pick of a full English, fruit, cereal, juices, tea, coffee - they didn't skip out.
After breakfast we marched back to HQ and had a quick brief before getting our kit in our bags for our run and heading down to the gym. It was far too snowy and icy to run so we did a bleep test instead. Happy to report that I bossed it but 11 failed and the PT freaked the **** out. THE SHAME. The run was then scheduled for (hopeful good weather) the Thursday because there was apparently no way 11 people could fail.
I was happy, at least.
Back up to HQ for briefs, health and safety, branches, promotions etc and then off to the armoury.
There we got to handle a machine gun, a Glock 9 and of course the SA80 with bayonet - you'll be using this one at Raleigh and on your post given your chosen branch.
After this we had an hour of Marching and drill in the freezing wind a sleet before heading to lunch.
After lunch it was back to the gym for team games - I'll leave this a surprise (dull).
Back to HQ for more briefings and then march to dinner) back to more briefings, briefings and briefings then cleaning rounds. The mess Boson chose candidates to do cleaning jobs and no relaxing until all was complete.
Again up at 05.30, showered, bed made, kit laid out neat and made sure everyone knew the drill. The rounds were done and we'd been off to breakfast.
It was time for a brief THEN the swim test.
Step into the pool unaided in your swimming gear and swim 50 metres, to the flag and back, in 4 mins, pulling yourself out at the deep end. EASY. Then, put on a boiler suit and do it again, but tread water for two minutes before you do the swim. We had one fail and a bunch of really bad swimmers.
Back to HQ and then given a brief whilst we ate our packed lunch (generous by the way) and then marched to the coach, got on and departed for Faslane. Was a bit of a tease driving by my house on the way there and coming all the way back to just go home on Thursday, but **** it, it was great.
We arrived at Faslane after a two hour journey and went to see the Bish, lovely guy and had tea ready and everything.
We went upstairs to the church and he gave us a talk on how the churches can help support you through your time in the Navy.
After that it was over to the gym to meet the PT and do some circuits.
**** ME, I thought I was fit until this guy burst me.
We did some running about and warm ups before he pulled a whiteboard out of nowhere with a list of exercises on it:
Close arm press ups
Wide arm press ups
and more my mind has forgotten out of sheer terror...
We had to pair up and whilst you busted out the first exercise as fast as you could in quick reps, your partner will SPRINT 50m and once they get back they then do that exercise whilst YOU sprint the 50m...then its onto the next exercise till you've completed all ten. NO STOPPING.
So many people were shite at this that we did it a second time...except from replacing the sprint with a BEAR CRAWL.
We then did it a third time and were told that if we didn't shape up and go 100% there would be a fourth. Luckily there was no fourth and I could put my arse back together.
As Class Leader, on the base I was more or less to be the Father Figure beside the PO's and so we were limited for time and this lead me to screaming at folk to get in and out of the showers pronto and get the **** changed quick quick now now now!
Off to scran for the most rewarding 3 courses I've ever tasted and then my favourite part and highlight - The Sub Visit.
I'm joining as a potential Submariner and this was just a dream for me. Stepping onto HMS Vigilant and descending the forward hatch, i'd never imagined a boat to be just so huge, like a underwater city. Just like the movies, but better. But some dick left the scran bucket out and I nearly blew chunks all over the place.
We got off Vig and headed back to the coach, back to Caledonia and to bed.
Up again at 05.30, read the schedules and got my shit together for rounds as per the last two days.
Rounds up and off to breakfast. I advised the failures of the bleep test to eat light because this was their last chance to bust it out on the run.
We went back to HQ, got our bags and headed to the gym to meet a different PT that day, a bit less in your face he was. As CL he had me keep the class at the gym as he went to the parade ground and then instructed me to march them all up. I did that and we started warm ups before the mile and half. The warm up itself was basically a mile and half of knees to the chest, heels to the ass and toe flicks. I was fucked, absolutely fucked but hey ho - lets run.
6.5 laps of the parade ground road and were told to shout out our remaining laps as we passed the PT and when finishing he'd shout out our times which WE had to remember in a state of absolute fuckedness. 10.13 - best time on the track yet and a pass. 1 failed and the range of 16 - 23 year olds coming in with times in the late 11 minutes were laughable. I'm 30 for fucks sake.
I marched the squad back to the gym and hurried everyone into showering and changing. Fell out of the gym and on to the road to be marched back up to HQ were were instructed to return out kit, get dressed into civvies, fill out feedback forms and have a one to one.
I had mine with a really down to earth PO, such a nice guy and definitely one of the lads. He too is a submariner and is proud to be too. I was praised on my abilities to lead and organise as personal organisation is key at Raleigh. I left with a certificate, an adjoining letter and headed back to Glasgow to my final brief to collect my contract.
Don't skip or amend the kit list, you'll only end up looking like a twat.
Speak to people, the worst thing you can do is not say anything or show your true colours.
Be confident - Ice Breaker Session - this is the chance to show the PO's who you are and that you have the ability to engage people without intimidation.
Be on time - be 5 minutes early EVERYWHERE
Don't get stuck on eating all the comfort food at scran - you need to bust your arse.
Give it you ALL - do not stop until you're falling or spewing your ring. You're not doing enough if you can still talk and walk.
Do as your told - you might be young and impressionable, but be the impression and stop being a little knob.
Ask questions - everyone has something they want to know - that's why you're reading this, so ask everything you think of, it's the only chance you'll really get.
Speak up, be loud and voice yourself.
Any other info needed, hit me up by PM.
I'll be away to Raleigh on 25th Feb, so you have until then