~Going to Catterick to start your CIC? ~Nervous about what to expect? Here are a few pieces of advice that every Crow should Know. GOING WITH THE FLOW Military life in its initial stages are immediate, overwhelming and surprising in its intensity. You will be stripped of a lot of freedoms, and will be treated the same as everyone else in your Platoon. There is noone special, as it can take the full 26 weeks of training to show someones full potential and qualities. Ive known ace recruits who have bombed at the last stages of field firing, and mongs who couldnt iron their kit properly for 20 weeks, excell in everything within the field. Its all about letting the course whip you up and carry you along. Military training is organised, disciplined and often dictated to an oppressive level. This is NORMAL. Dont resist it, just do as your told and go with the flow. Putting in your best effort will make a massive difference and the Corporals will notice. Dont try to impress your Section Commanders at every step, they will see through the "I'll work when they are watching" mentality. Put your best effort in ALL the time. A TEAM EFFORT Dont get swept up in the fact -you- and you alone are being tested and watched. Its a team effort at the end of the day, and constant assessment is being made on how you interact with your fellow recruits. Dont bully the mongs (It takes -all- kinds of people to be a soldier) instead, assist and guide them. Its not upto you to decide whether they are cut out to be Infantry, leave that to the Screws! Dont be afraid to talk about your problems with your mates either. Its cliche, yes, but its true when they say; You'll make your best mates through training. I still talk to guys I went through Catterick with. You will bond well, as you all go through the same struggles. BE PATIENT Everyone is treated the same no matter their age, face, race, colour or creed. It doesnt matter if your dad is Sir Richard, you will not get preferrential treatment. This means losing a few of your freedoms for the first six weeks. Stick with it, be patient. You will be treated exactly the way you act. If you are immature, you will be treated like a child. Be mature, be disciplined and you will soon find the Screws (Corporals) treating you as a Professional Soldier. Which is what you joined to be! BE PROUD As little as 20% of civilians, have what it takes to be Infantry. You are already a small percentage of the population who had the guts to walk into the Careers office in the first place. Wear your uniform with pride, and remember what you joined for. It was seeing "That guy..." and wanting to know if you could be him. PAY ATTENTION I swear... staying awake through lessons at Catterick is worse than doing a 24 hour stag shift, 2 hours on/off, staring at the Irish country side. A lot of it is as interesting as watching grass grow, however all important. Listen to what the Screws tell you, and take a lot of their private/personal advice on board. Remember, they -all- did what you are doing. And I can promise you, all had doubts and are very human... even if they dont show it for the first 12 weeks. DONT TAKE IT AS GOSPEL! Its like school, in a sense that everyone knows best. You will hear plenty of -rumours- at the Smoking sheds, or the Naafi, and you will be impressed by people in their 20th weeks of training when they tell you horror stories and offer stupid advice. They are like 6th formers at school... "Each claim to know everything. But a little of something, is the same as knowing bugger all. Useful to only yourself." DONT BE JACK! Help out -everyone if they are struggling. Dont take the easy way out. It often means other people have to work harder to make up for what YOU are supposed to be doing. It means if -you- are the mong, and everyone is doing it for you. Try to learn and better yourself, not just sit back on their wake and take the easy ride. GOING SICK... GETTING MD'd Be warned. If you go sick to get out of work/training, you will suffer for it. The doctors at the Catterick med centre are civilians, and are more than willing to Medically Discharge you at the slightest hint of any permanent or re-occuring injury. Not because its an -actual- injury, but because your showing your weak minded. One person I remember when I was in training, complained twice of migraines over a period of three weeks. He was let go, as "Migraines" are an issue for Infantrymen. Williams Coy (The Company for Injured Recruits) is nicknamed "Mong" platoon for good reason. A lot of people in their dont -want- to get back into training. Most never will. If you keep going sick you will end up there. And its simply heartbreaking to do so. Few people make it out of that place and complete training, simply because its a no-mans land that adds 3 months onto an already tough 6 month course. Dont fake injuries to get out of the course. Use your DAOR instead, otherwise you'll be at Catterick for 9 months plus. LASTLY... ENJOY IT!!! You will get upto things that you would never have dreamed of. There are a -lot- of great things about training. The Helicopter introduction into the CIC after last years Puma accident has started again, so you might even get a go! It is tough, but you will have a laugh. Even the Corporals will ease up towards the end of the course, and might surprise you with their humour. Have fun, it is a great course. There we have it. Hope it helps. If it doesnt, and you think I was wrong about something. Feel free to let me know and voice any critisisms. The Army life is easy as long as your fit, and can do as your told. Half of being a Soldier, is thinking like one. The Army does NOT want robotic, brain-washed zombies. They want thinking soldiers who can adapt, improvise and stay situationally aware without being babysat. Best of luck in your Career. ~An Infantry Private.