Its basically: first aid, chemical drills, map reading, marching and fitness among other stuff. Part of it is spread across 6 weekends and the rest over 2 week camp.
It is hard but well worth the hassle.
You think that just because the army may be low on troops its going to pass untrained soldiers?
Theres no point in an army if the majority of its soldiers cannot perform the simplest of tasks and commands.
I've never been in the cadets but Basic Training is hard: early mornings, late nights, minimal sleep, lots of physical excercise, death by powerpoint and lesson upon lesson of which you are expected to remember every little thing or you will fail and will have to repeat.
Thats just AlphaBravo (the six weekends) Ive just passed that and at least you get to go home after two days for which I was very thankful. I'm now waiting to go on Charlie (two week camp) which I think will be even harder.
Just go in with an open mind and do what your told and you should be fine.
Take notes during classes they will come in handy for the tests at the end of the weekends.
I've just passed phase one a few weeks ago now - However, I did 2 weekends (lncluding my RSW) and then did a two week block course up at Barry Buddon in Scotland - rather than doing odd weekends for months on end.
I'm not sure how often those come up, or even if it's a new thing for the TA - but, if you can ask about getting on one of them - go for it. Although I didn't do any more than 2 weekends at my RTC (Rippon) I think the knowledge you learn sticks to your brain more in a two-week phase one block.
I'll tell you what I know and hopefully it will be of some help, laurencarter.
First off, it was pretty damn tiring. Reveille was at 05.45 (on a couple of occasions earlier) and we trained until at least 20:00 each night. Though I suppose if you do the mods at an RTC you won't really have that problem.
anyway, heres a outline of what I did.
First week - a lot of CBRN, BCD, Ethics and Standards (Powerpoint Heaven) SAA and meaty portions of drill. Along with daily PT - which during the first week concentrated on getting your 1.5 mile time down, and passing your sit-ups and pushes.
The first week ended with a night in the field, where we were shown and taught about flares, grenades, smokes and such but also about identifying noises, camoflage and a lesson or two on target spotting, and we touched briefly on section attacks. There was quite a lot of patrolling round everywhere, but as with all the training you get, it's mega useful to put theory in to practise.
The morning after we did Fire and Manouvere tactics with blank rounds, and on the evening we had R+R.
The start of the second week was all about passing tests. We had a BCD test, a written CBRN test and a nice little "confidence" test in the gas chamber - along with your Weapon Handling Test - Everybody was reallyt shitting it about failing, but all of the tests are nothing to lose sleep about. Just make sure you take on the information given to you and you will have no problem. The best piece of advice for your weapon handling test is just use common sense and don't rush.
Aside from that, the PT stepped up a gear and we started doing 6 mile endurance runs and half-CFT's.
2 nights were spent in the field near the ranges, and we started live firing and doing the whole introduction to stag and all that bollocks - then basically we spent a further 2 days live firing from the 300 metre range.
On the last two days we did a final PFT (1.5 mile + pressups and situps) and further CBRN practise (though I think they were just filling up time with that ) and a 3 hour drill lesson. and then on the final day we did the CFT.
As I said, it got pretty tiring into the second week, especially after 2 days in the field with stag duty involved - But it's nothing to worry yourself about. With a little bit of determination you'll get through no problem. The PT was pretty tough at times - but it does nothing but benefit you. You will probably get pissed off at some point, by something or other - but just remember to bite your lip and crack on. Remember, you are basically being assessed the while time.
Luckily for us the weather was okay in general, was pretty warm, and resonably dry - Though it pissed it down in our first night in the field. But in my opinion, the harder the weather conditions means it's tougher, and if it's tougher you get a better sense of achievement at the end. Though I probably wont be saying that when I go to do my CIC at the end of November!