ADSC Glencorse - weekend summary

Here's a summary of my ADSC weekend, held recently at Glencorse near Edinburgh. Most of the attendees were going for Reserves, but there were a couple going for Regs too.

· Arrived in Edinburgh and went to where we were told to meet up. It quickly became apparent who was also there for ADSC and waiting for the bus – plenty of folk in suits with rucksacks. The majority of people were however in smart casual dress e.g. Jeans, shoes and a shirt/jumper.
· Bus arrived at 1950hrs and a Corporal jumped out – to my surprise he was very friendly and welcoming, which put the whole of the group at ease. We lined up at the side of the bus, got our names ticked off and were each given a number which would be ours for the rest of the weekend.
· The journey to Glencorse was pretty quick, the Corporal kept us entertained with his patter and gave us a heads up as to what to expect over the next day and a half.
· Arriving at Glencorse we made our way in to the briefing room, signed a few forms, a few folk got their valuables locked away (optional) and we made our way to our dorm.

· Alarms started to go at half past five, we had to be downstairs at the front reception in two ranks for 0615hrs. We all showered, shaved and changed in to our various versions of PT kit (ranging from short and t-shirt, to full on addidas tracksuits, which in hindsight were a good idea as there was a lot of waiting around this day)
· We had breakfast (cooked)
· Made our way to the briefing room for our official ‘welcome address’ by the sergeant, who we were told to call ‘Staff’. We actually were to call all the assessors ‘staff’, regardless of rank (with the exception of the gentlemen conducting the interviews on Sunday that we were asked to call ‘Sir’, as they were Majors).
· Next we were taken across to the Medical unit, given a clipboard and told to sit down. We watched Ross Kemp in Afghanistan.
· The waiting room itself was split in to various sections (A, B, C, D etc) for eyes, ears, asthmatic checks, doctor medicals, etc. and the group slowly began to filter through these.
· Some folk were taken away in groups of 4 or 5 to do their BARB tests:
o BARB tests were fairly straightforward – sat in front of a computer, you would be presented with a series of sums / number patterns / spot the odd word out / do these shapes fit / etc – you had to answer accurately, but quickly i.e. no point in getting them all right but taking ages, that would be a low BARB score. There are loads of examples and scenarios before each round, so don’t worry about this – just pay attention. It’s touch screen too, don’t use the mouse.​
· Back to medical bay – watched more Ross Kemp – the eye test was straightforward, read out the letters on the board, go through the colour blindness book (i am severely colour blind, but luckily doesn’t have an impact on my job choice). I did an additional colour blind test, which was calling out coloured beams of light projected on to a mirror, which confirmed my degree of colour blindness.
· Handed over our urine samples (oh yeah, we were handed a small beaker to wee in the previous night, I waited until the morning to fill it).
· Next up the doctor called me in – he basically asked me about my health history, family health history, any recent injuries, major injuries etc. he then checked my joints / flexibility (including manipulating knee joints, bending the knees and ankles and hip – one guy was deferred for a year after this check, he had a dodgy knee – but it was all pretty straightforward. Yes, at one point you do have to strip off so the doctor can check all is ok ‘downstairs’, it’s not a big deal, just get on with it.
· Then back to more Ross Kemp before getting your admin forms all signed off and approved – you then exchange your clipboard and number badge for a coloured bib (you keep the same number)
· Lunch
· Saturday afternoon was spent waiting for other people to finish their medicals and then on to the lifting and jerry can carry. Both were straightforward and you shouldn’t have any dramas with either of these – listen to your assessor, he will give you tips on how best to pick up / technique etc. – you can’t really go wrong here.
· Dinner – briefing on what lies ahead tomorrow
· Most of us were in bed early i.e. half 8 / 9 and by 10 all of us were fast asleep, probably dreaming of Ross Kemp.

· Up for 0600hrs – note, the Staff said to us the night before that he would wake us at 0600hrs, however a few got up earlier at 0545hrs. He noticed this and was annoyed that we didn’t take the opportunity to get as much sleep as possible. Take note!
· Breakfast – now, the Staff told us that we would have plenty time to digest our breakfast before the 1.5 miler and so to have a good feed. I had a decent sized cooked breakfast and cereal – in hindsight I would have had a little less (e.g. one sausage instead of two) and would have skipped the cereal. We ran the 1.5 miler less than 2 hours after breakfast – and i felt it affected my run.
· Warm-up – gentle jogging in the car park, round in a circle, some warm-up exercises done in pairs – nothing too strenuous.
· Grenade throw – you don’t need to be accurate – “it’s an area weapon” – but you do need to show aggression. This transpires in basically shouting/screaming throughout the short run / crawl / throw procedure you go through. Be aggressive, you’ll feel like a twat, but it’s over in less than a minute. (p.s. the staff give you an example before hand)
· Leadership tasks – you’ll be split into groups, there are 3 tasks – all involve getting from A-B without touching the lava / radioactive waste (the ground). You will be able to do this by using planks of wood of various size in various ways - - i enjoyed this, although there was a sense of pressure due to the time limit on each task. The key to success for these is your planning phase (you’re given a few minutes to discuss as a group) – make sure you have a plan and you all know it. And also specify in your plan who will be going first, second, who’s carrying the ammo etc. Also, don’t stand at the back and be quiet – you will need to speak up, even in agreement or encouragement – or else you will be scored down. E.g. i hardly took part in the last task, as I was the last person to go across and my team kept falling off before it got my turn (touch the ground = start again from the beginning) – but because I kept shouting encouragement and advice it got me good points.
· 1.5 mile run – you’ll be taken on a short walk/jog to the start line – it’s a tarmac straight line road out 0.75 miles and back – there will be an assessor at the halfway point telling you to turn around. Watch out for small dogs and pensioners. Best effort here – so basically run until you see what you had for breakfast after the finish line.
· Showered / changed
· Interviews – we assembled back in the briefing room and filled out a couple of forms and were called one by one in to the next room(s). My own interview was very straightforward, speaking about me, personal history (career / school / hobbies), why I wanted to join, what my family thought of it, etc. I didn’t have to go in to any real detail about my job / role choice nor the training aspect (unlike the Icebreaker yesterday). Overall the interview felt more like an informal chat. My interviewer was very chatty and put me at ease immediately. For some of the other potential recruits, they didn’t get it so easy – I guess it just depends on who you get, and what their first impressions of you are. Tips – be confident – when you are called, go up, shake their hand and say something along the lines of ‘nice to meet you, Sir.’ – some of the younger candidates seemed a little intimidated and they perhaps got a bit more of a grilling, as the interviewer had to probe them to get the detail they were after.
· Lunch
· Closing brief (Monty python army sketch!)
· Home

General points:
· Don’t slouch and have your hands in your pockets, be a ‘Kevin teenager’ type (if you know what that is you will know my age) – might seem simple/trivial, but there was one guy who was on his third attempt at ADSC and what was strange was that he didn’t seem overly bothered. He was pulled up a couple of times, not for anything major, but in what was ‘a very good group of applicants’ (Staff’s words, not mine) he stood out for the wrong reasons – he still passed mind you.
· Know your phase 1 training i.e. Fitness, First Aid, Fieldcraft, Navigation, Weapons Handling, Drill and CBRN - - I found the easiest way to remember this was (1) to group the first three items together because they begin with ‘F’ and (2) remember – this phase is all about turning you from a civilian to a soldier, so just think of things you would do for that (e.g. navigation, fieldcraft, weapons handling, drill etc) – all the things you obviously would need to learn to function as a soldier first.
· Know your phase 2 training – which will be specific to your chosen role (for example, the Paras have a two week consolidated block, followed by 4 days of what is known as P-Company. The eight tests conducted at P-Coy are 10 miler, 2 miler, steeplechase, log race, stretcher race, milling, trinasium (and 20 miler if going for regulars)
· Know your CDRILS e.g. Courage, Discipline, Respect, Integrity, Loyalty, Selfless commitment
· Note – I knew all of the above in advance of my interview but wasn’t asked on any of it... others were – i guess it’s pot luck and they don’t want to keep every interview the same. That said, I was asked about phase 1 items during my ice breaker.

That’s about it – your course may not match this exactly, but won’t be too far off.

Good luck.
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A good summary so I will leave it up despite it being very similar to a number of other versions on the recruiting boards.

Please note that I have removed the bits which told everyone exactly when and where to look for you.

It might seem excessive, but a quick glance at the news shows that the Army Reserve are not excluded from the attention of those who don't like the British military.

Time to start thinking about your own security, and the security of others around you.
Thanks, a very helpful post as I'll be attending selection at Glencorse on the 21st November.

Now I have a better idea of things to come.
Just a point:

The majority of people were however in smart casual dress e.g. Jeans, shoes and a shirt/jumper.

Jeans are casual, not smart casual.
Smart casual is trousers and shirt. Smart is a suit or other (usually specified).
It's late and I'm feeling pedantic, but this will probably help the OP in the future when he's asked to report somewhere dressed smartly!
I've just got back yesterday and the above is pretty accurate. There will be some changes due the number of candidates on the course and the times taken to process them. My only points would be that the warm up on the second day was pretty full on, loads of guys were knackered, and this affected their run times. My advice would be practice this before you go. Do a load of exercises - sit ups, squats, press ups, star jumps, sprints etc. then do your warm up run, then your 2.4km. I'm not sure if the difference in warm up was because mine was a mid week course(more regs than reserves), so we were beasted harder?? Btw I passed for the reserves, there were 4 reserves out of about 30 candidates, the rest applying for regs (obviously).

Also make sure you know your job choice run time and that you can better it significantly due to the above. One guy needed to run in 13.15 but did it in 13.16 and he got defferred. I was gutted for the guy but then thinking about it I passed him on the run and he was walking. Maybe the staff saw this, also if he hadn't walked he would have been a second quicker. The moral is know your requirements before you get here and make sure you can achieve them when you are knackered, not just when you are fresh.

In total only 14 out of us got through without deferrals. So PREPARE, give it everything you've got, but also show interest E.g. In lectures sit up straight and show interest, like making eye contact and nodding when they talk.
The staff are there to help, it's simple do as they say and you'll be fine. E.g if you go into a room and are told to pick up a clip board, don't also pick up a pen and paper - simple. Don't fill in forms until you are told to do so. Just listen to the staff - simple.
Enjoy but do as you are told, also bring some scoff for the first night as you'll be starving.

Papa Romeo69

I'm off to selection on May12th, in the Preparing for Selection document, it says that watches and phones must be handed in. I thought I would need my watch for an alarm call? Should I take a cheap alarm clock or will we be woken up in time to wash etc?
They advise you to hand them in for safe keeping, as you know nothing about the other folks in your room. The staff offer to wake you up (which we opted for) but most of us were awake anyway. Remember to leave all your rings, watches etc at home as you can't wear them at anytime. One guy got b*llocked for wearing his watch.
Not many handed in their valuables, if you don't you've got to sign a waiver. Have fun and prepare well.
I'm at adsc glencorse wednesday 10th june got to be there for 20.00hrs. Anyone else? Also is the 44 press ups and 44 sit ups still included at selection?
We weren't tested on either but we did do some during the warm up on the morning of the last day. One other thing a young lad had acne and got a defferal as he needed to get a letter for his GP stating that it is being treated. If he knew this beforehand he could have brought it with him, instead he had to attend again. So if youve got any minor medical ailments get a letter from your GP to state it is being treated and that it is under control.
Good luck and remember just do as they say and youll be fine.


I'm at adsc glencorse wednesday 10th june got to be there for 20.00hrs. Anyone else? Also is the 44 press ups and 44 sit ups still included at selection?

That is for your annual PFA for your bounty, selection only includes the can carry, bag lift and run for physical tests.
I passed selection at Glencorse a couple of weekends ago, I'd been before so it was nothing new to be honest. As it was a weekend there was less recruits than my first time, and a lot more reservists like myself with it being a weekend. Providing your running and strength is up to scratch you'll have no problems, be vocal but not gobby, interact with everyone, put as much effort as you can in and remember that from the second you're picked up from the station you're being assessed so be constantly aware of that. Keep the room tidy, other scruffs won't but either tell them to if you're confident enough, or just tidy up afterwards before you go down for the final interview on the second day (half of them left empty water bottles and crisp packets everywhere on my intake, and I knew a room check would be happening so I made sure I was the last to leave and did a clear up). And as much as everyone will be staying up late and having a lot of banter on the nights, try to get your head down at least on the second night, you'll thank yourself when you're on the run and doing the team tasks on day two. Good luck!
Got phone call this morning from my CSM been given ADSC date 14th - 16th at Gelncorse.

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