To you guys heading off for Raleigh

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Leatherland_NJ, Dec 24, 2008.

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  1. I just done my week 1 and have come back for Christmas leave. I suspect everyone had a million questions like I did, so I just want to talk about week 1, how it was, what we did, etc. It's possibly not a 100% accurate account of week 1, as a lot happened and it's difficult trying to recall all of it. Week 1 is a bit of a blur looking back.

    You'll meet a PO at the main exit of the train station where you'll board a coach, and you'll hang around on there until it fills up with recruits. When it's full you'll head off for HMS Raleigh. When you arrive you'll be taken to a classroom where you'll have a little introduction and you'll go through some basic medical things, a few ground rules which you would of been briefed on by your AFCO already. After being assigned to your class (port of starboard) you'll head off to your mess deck. When you get to your mess deck you'll be shown to your bed, you'll find a big bag full of all your clothes. You'll be asked to empty the bag, and take all the clothes out and make sure they fit properly. After it's all cool you'll hang out for a bit then go for a late dinner. You'll start making friends straight away. You might find for the first few days people are in little 'groups' etc. But by the end of week 1 you'll be one big group of friends. Also on this evening you'll be shown how daily orders work by your PO. He will hang up a schedule of the following day, so you'll want to check that out.

    Day 2, we was in civvies again. You'll be up at 5:45am and fall in outside by 6am. Then you'll march to get Scran. Sausage, bacon, fried or scrambled egg, as many beans and boiled tomatoes as you can fit on your plate, and help yourself to some coffee and toast. Or you can skip the line for hot food and go straight to the cereals/porridge. Same goes for lunch and dinner, if you'd prefer salad skip the line and go straight to the salad. You'll find most days you'll get 20 mins before your to fall in outside, and by time you get your food and sit down 20 mins is up. Everyones in the same situaton, but try to eat quick and get outside ASAP. If you went for cereals or salad, no problem you would of skipped the 15-20 mins of lining up.

    Our first few days was all about paperwork, we spent all day doing paperwork. The following day we just done dental and medicals. If your a Submariner expect to spend extra time doing medicals. You'll spend at least a whole day on just medicals, and a whole day on paperwork.

    After your medicals are all done and your cleared you sign on and get your hair cut. That'll cost you £5. Everything you do takes a long time, because your in a group. No one goes until every person has signed on, no one goes anywhere until everyone's had a hair cut. No one goes until everyone's had a medical check up. You can't move around between buildings by yourself, only in groups with a PO. So expect to spend a lot of time hanging about chatting to your new mates. Tuesday (if memory serves) you'll be doing your 2.4km run. You'll be doing this after not sleeping properly for days, and the warm up is pretty intense. Most guys complained of being too tired to give 100% effort by time the run started. But do your best anyway. Your class PO's will be there supporting you, and the PTI's have a special way of making you give extra effort. If you fail you can retake it again and again until you pass it within your 9 weeks. If you think your an awesome runner do not sleep or eat properly for 2 days, work for 16 hours a day dure in this time then do an intense 30 minute warm up followed by the 2.4km run and see if your still getting those good times. Our best runner was 9 mins 30 seconds. Worst male runner was about 13 mins. I normally do it in 10:30 but finished at 11:50. It's still a pass anyway. You have to do the first run in 12:20 if your 18-25. Your expected to of knocked a minute off that by the end of your training.

    By Wednesday we finally got into our proper uniform, combat boots, Barret, cap badge and all that. When you shape your Barret you go into the washing room where as a class you soak the Barret in hot water, cold water, hot then cold again, then whilst it's soaking wet you stick it on your head for an hour and shape it. Expect to get blue dye all over your forehead. You'll also spend the best part of an afternoon putting your names into everything. Remember to bring your black permanent markers and white pens.

    Friday you should do your military swim test. 3 metre high jump off a diving board, tread water for 2 mins and swim 50m in overalls within 4 mins. A few people failed because they were not confident swimmers. If you can't swim and your joining the Navy you need to have a good think about learning to swim, because you'll do several military swim tests at Raleigh, including a similar swim test except where you collect objects from the swimming pool floor, then you run 1.5 miles with a 12 stone stretcher, then do an obstacle and assault course, then run 1.5 miles back with the stretcher. Doing this in 40 mins is considered a good time. Anyway if you fail the military swim test you can do swimming lessons and retake the test until you pass it.

    The first week comprised mainly of introduction classes, introduction to drill, gym introduction (followed by 2.4km run). You'll do classes on Navy Law, Military Ethics, about comradeship, and not giving up. You'll go to church where you'll find out about how that works. You'll be learning how to iron and fold your clothes correctly. The first week is pretty easy going discipline wise, you won't get screamed at for getting things wrong. Everything is very progressive. It's a lot to take in on week 1, and by the end of week 1 you'll be getting into it. For me the hardest time was day 2, when I hardly slept the night before and we was expected to sew our name tags into our t-shirts, and I couldn't sew. So felt pretty low then because I just wanted to sleep and I had to really concentrate to get the sewing done, the thread kept coming out of the pin and it made me want to cry, remember to double knot the thread 1 knot just comes undone :p Little thing's like that can get you.

    Anyway it's a brilliant time and I have no negatives about it. The PTI's are strict, don't mess them about. You'll spend a lot of week 1 dossing in classrooms etc. Quite easy to be honest. Don't take week 1 too seriously just try to have fun. You'll find the drill guys, the gym guys, the church guys all do things slightly different. So you'll be learning about all that.

    If anyone want's me to elaborate on any specific bit's I'll try my best, just ask.
  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    A good insight for those that follow.

    As a matter of interest, did anyone have second thoughts about signing-on, given that now you join on a Sunday, you have 24 hours before you attest?
  3. Regarding the sewing on of labels, I was advised to bring iron-on labels to save a load of time and hassle.

    Apart from perhaps "cheating", is there any problem with this?!
  4. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    There is no requirement on your kit list to provide any labels of any description.
  5. Ninja: Everyone signed on. No one had second thoughts. However after 28 days you can leave if you still don't like it. You get 24 hour's to think about it anyway. The contract is explained in full detail, and your told pretty straight up what is expected of you, and what your getting into. So there should be no surprises that make you regret signing.

    MK8_: You get supplied the name tags BTW. Are you on about bringing some sort of glue instead of sewing? Because you have to use the name tags your issued. But if you wanted to use an iron on glue similar to the stuff found on iron on band patches then I can't see a problem with that. It's not like anyone would know the difference. As long as it's stuck down properly. I've found they can come undone on the corners, so might be worth sewing them down if they start curling up. You only sew 2 name tags onto your 2 blue PT t-shirts. Your proper shirts get taken to a tailors for professional sewing. Baring in mind your sewing t-shirts for PT lessons, and the PTI's pick you up on dirt, creases of improperly sewed name tags on your t-shirts. You don't want to get picked up by the PTI's lol. So just make sure it's stuck down properly if you want to iron glue them.
  6. Thanks for that. I'm still a long way from starting so haven't recieved any kit list yet - but I think I'll keep in order and get my sewing skills up to scratch instead!
  7. You only have to sew two name tags in, so you don't need to be pro at it :) when you get your kit list you'll see what you need to take with you. Thing's like sewing, ironing, folding clothes etc you want to have a few go's at before you arrive, just so it's not completely brand new. I got caught out because I was totally knackered, and the last thing I wanted was to improvise learning how to sew on the spot right before bed time.
  8. At the risk of sounding like a silly old fart, does that mean you don't get the wooden block with your name on anymore?
  9. The what?

  10. Wooden blocks went out about 10 years ago. The training commander at the time wanted people to earn a new skill (sewing) along with the navy saving some money.
  11. That would of saved a lot of time :p
  12. Every penny counts I suppose, and all those blocks and paint must have added up. Still, it's got to be neater than having hand written names on your kit (I presume the pens are to write your name on everything).

    Probably. Especially if youve got a long name. I joined up with a guy called 'Wrigglesworth'. That would have taken an age to hand write in all your kit. Mind you, we had two weeks less to do everything. =)
  13. It was called 'type', there was also a metal one for stamping your name on the corner of the handkerchiefs.....Yep! we got those issued in the gspot.

    Be thankful you didn't have to sew it all in red silk thread, only to have to unpick it all at your first draft !!

  14. wawsn't that long ago they had the wood blocks with metal names. I had them 5 yr ago, still have it somewhere here I think .....
    Let me go look lol!
    One evening of week one was taken up with stamping names onto kit with black or white paint
  15. Well I joined up between the type blocks and the sewing, they produced iron on name tapes for every one made life very easy with a surname like mine (Greening- Jackson) lol
  16. When Nelson were a lad..... etc etc etc

    Wooden block, with your surname on. Dip in paint, stamp name on $clothing. Stopped issuing them in the early 90's.

    There was a phase of printed iron-on name tallies being issued, then stitched sew ons.
  17. cheers m8 was quite helpful :D
    see u down there on the 4th wen i start
    getting nervous now :dwarf:
    ellio :)
  18. The wooden blocks were still being used through 2002 and wwe ere supplied with labels.

    As for the original post, good insight and useful to those who are about to join or want to join.

    It seems easier though, than week 1 in 1999 lol
  19. Nice post LNJ. I passed out on the 19th Dec, so it's all reasonably fresh in my mind and i'd say that sums up most of the first week quite well.

    No one bailed after 24 hours in our group, but we lost a couple from the class in the 1st week due to medical reasons. 1 due to bad eye sight (wouldn't pass the shooting in week 4) and 1 due to a curve in the spine. I would advise anyone who is trying to hide medical injuries/conditions to be prepared to be booted out. 1 lad was gutted, but he thought he could keep it quite and get through.

    Remember everyone is in the same position as yourself. You're all alone/lonely, you're all wanting to make friends etc, so just try and be sociable and friendly and you'll get along just fine.

    Keep your heads down. Obviously you'll want to have a good time and you'll no doubt mess around somewhat whilst you're there, but don't go overboard. If you are playing pranks etc, make sure you know your target or you will find yourself at the table/ with warnings. The class idiots/clowns will soon be recognised. In school/college they probably got away with being a fool and abit lippy, but it's no coincidence that as the weeks went by it was these people who went to the table for X and some also went to the main gates and home....

    As you get further into it you will get more freedom, again don't go overboard. In week 5 you'll have a kit muster, if you pass you'll get your station card which means you can go to the bar for a drink in week 6 after Dartmoor :thumright: . It might seem like common sense, but don't be stupid with your alcohol. We had a lad kicked out on Tues week 9 i think it was because at the end of week 8 he had 6 pints of cider between 8-10 went back to the mess, pissed his bed and then pissed in the class leaders locker. I actually heard him on the phone the day before he was booted, telling his parents that he thought nothing would happen due to it being week 9....

    What i'm saying might seem like common sense, but you'd be amazed how many people start picking up warnings later on because they start switching off as they think they've made it. They start going to the bar or diner and stop doing kit. Until you are out that gate, you haven't made it. We lost a guy thursday week 9 due to general sh**ness. He had scraped through all the way, being backclassed into our group along the way and hadn't shown enough effort/improvement to suggest he would handle phase 2, so although he got that far they said, you aren't ready, see you later.

    Try to have fun, make friends and enjoy the good bits along the way, but remember where your are and what you are doing. Stay switched on and remember whether you enjoy it or hate it, this really isn't the Navy, it's just a 9 week bootcamp you have to get through in order for you're real career to begin.

    Also make sure you have a solid pair of flip flops. Some that will make a good sting, should they accidentally make contact with some of your seniors/juniors several times repeatedly after pipedown.

    All the best, have fun.
  20. On guy in our entry go caught trying to climb the fence at 3am, another guy got as far a torpoint ferry, from an entry prior tp ours......................

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