Ever been RTU'd from an important course?

Funny how some careers go. Some people are destined to fly through the ranks to full Colonel from the day they joined boy's service... others should never have walked through the ACIO doors in the first place..... and in between there are a variety of folk who got to where they are through luck or circumstance. At the bottom end of that mid range is me. Sat in the garden this afternoon with a beer or three with a couple of mates reminiscing back to army stuff and one drags up "You were nearly RTU'd from your SNCOs course weren't you? What would you have done if they had kicked you off?"

An instant horror moment flashback... (after momentarily thinking 'That was over 30 years ago you bastard!! WHY hasn't that been expunged from your memory banks like it has with mine?) I can visualise it now and the sweat pops from my brow. 'Fail to prepare and prepare to fail' and all that. I'd been a Sgt about a year and my SNCOs course at last came up...

Checks No 2s... nuts... they don't fit... borrow a mates set and head off back to UK.... "Don't be a twat, it's a piss-up course" was the advice I'd had from a few... Bulling boots wasn't a favourite pastime and I didn't want to ruin my mate's 2's by putting creases in those smooth round sleeves of his.....

Morning One.... I should have realised from the course notes that I'd been given duff info about the course - if only I'd read those notes... 'Parade outside the block and march up to the square for inspection'.. I knew things were going wrong when I saw that 80% of the course were Clerk of Works lads that seemed to have been in for as long as it took to complete the CoW claasroom stuff straight out of boys service and were as keen as mustard... the corridor was full of the smell of starch and polish and Duraglit and they were checking each other over. The 'Short Walk' to the parade ground was one I made with some trepidation... and sure enough it was justified....

I was third rank. When ranks 1 and 2 were getting bawled out I could feel the sweat start to drench everything I wore and fill my boots up. My turn eventually came and I remember to this day the look of utter confusion in the RSM as he stood before me... moving from one side of me then to the other, thinking it was a trick of the light that he couldn't see creases on my arms... couldn't see his reflection on my toecaps... couldn't get his head around the state of my hat (I had a size 59 but think I should maybe have got round to exchanging it for a size 62... melonhead....).... but the intake of breath and squeaking noise he made when he used his stick to pull back the collars of my jacket and check the state of the brass plates made me fear for his life and mine..... even when I was a sprog I'd never been shouted at so loudly and so closely, once he'd recovered from his confusion.

I learnt I was an absolute finger tip away from being RTU'd apparently when we marched off... the rest of the course was a real pain in the arse due to having given myself such a red mark from Day One and the large clique of young thruster CoW types made it difficult to enjoy the course from that moment on. Unfortunately, definitely not a piss up/attendance course.

I survived. Skin of my teeth stuff...

Could so easily have been the end of my few years in the Army then. Where would I be now if that had happened. Don't know, I can only fantasise about an imaginary life. The reality would have been no resemblance to the fantasy I'm sure.

Gobsmacked that I ended up doing 24 years before they kicked me out....

Anyone else had a narrow escape when their careers could have ended in a ball of flames?
 
197#, RTA one dead, the judge said 50/50 blame, the brief said if convicted 2 years hard in a boxhead jail, I got a driving ban, 6 months, and 2500DM fine. The closest I ever got to losing it all, career, wife and pension.
 
I ALMOST got RTU'd from an A2 course in Sennelager when some scrote wrote "NOT FUKKING INTERESTED" on the other side of my desk name tag, it took quite a bit of ass kissing to stay on the course although we did laugh about it afterwards though.
 
Funny how some careers go. Some people are destined to fly through the ranks to full Colonel from the day they joined boy's service... others should never have walked through the ACIO doors in the first place..... and in between there are a variety of folk who got to where they are through luck or circumstance. At the bottom end of that mid range is me. Sat in the garden this afternoon with a beer or three with a couple of mates reminiscing back to army stuff and one drags up "You were nearly RTU'd from your SNCOs course weren't you? What would you have done if they had kicked you off?"

An instant horror moment flashback... (after momentarily thinking 'That was over 30 years ago you bastard!! WHY hasn't that been expunged from your memory banks like it has with mine?) I can visualise it now and the sweat pops from my brow. 'Fail to prepare and prepare to fail' and all that. I'd been a Sgt about a year and my SNCOs course at last came up...

Checks No 2s... nuts... they don't fit... borrow a mates set and head off back to UK.... "Don't be a twat, it's a piss-up course" was the advice I'd had from a few... Bulling boots wasn't a favourite pastime and I didn't want to ruin my mate's 2's by putting creases in those smooth round sleeves of his.....

Morning One.... I should have realised from the course notes that I'd been given duff info about the course - if only I'd read those notes... 'Parade outside the block and march up to the square for inspection'.. I knew things were going wrong when I saw that 80% of the course were Clerk of Works lads that seemed to have been in for as long as it took to complete the CoW claasroom stuff straight out of boys service and were as keen as mustard... the corridor was full of the smell of starch and polish and Duraglit and they were checking each other over. The 'Short Walk' to the parade ground was one I made with some trepidation... and sure enough it was justified....

I was third rank. When ranks 1 and 2 were getting bawled out I could feel the sweat start to drench everything I wore and fill my boots up. My turn eventually came and I remember to this day the look of utter confusion in the RSM as he stood before me... moving from one side of me then to the other, thinking it was a trick of the light that he couldn't see creases on my arms... couldn't see his reflection on my toecaps... couldn't get his head around the state of my hat (I had a size 59 but think I should maybe have got round to exchanging it for a size 62... melonhead....).... but the intake of breath and squeaking noise he made when he used his stick to pull back the collars of my jacket and check the state of the brass plates made me fear for his life and mine..... even when I was a sprog I'd never been shouted at so loudly and so closely, once he'd recovered from his confusion.

I learnt I was an absolute finger tip away from being RTU'd apparently when we marched off... the rest of the course was a real pain in the arse due to having given myself such a red mark from Day One and the large clique of young thruster CoW types made it difficult to enjoy the course from that moment on. Unfortunately, definitely not a piss up/attendance course.

I survived. Skin of my teeth stuff...

Could so easily have been the end of my few years in the Army then. Where would I be now if that had happened. Don't know, I can only fantasise about an imaginary life. The reality would have been no resemblance to the fantasy I'm sure.

Gobsmacked that I ended up doing 24 years before they kicked me out....

Anyone else had a narrow escape when their careers could have ended in a ball of flames?
Excellent post and thread. I often tell others when referring to my service that I retired just before they caught up with me, thinking back to some of the hijinks, rather inexplicable decision-making and perhaps most of all, some completely insane subordinates for whom I was accountable over my 34 years.
 

RigPig

War Hero
On my SNCO course one lad I knew didn’t turn up as expected on the Monday. Wednesday morning he’s there and as confused as the rest of us about what is going on. They tried to RTU him, as he missed 2 days of the course. He produced his joining instructions, which said Wednesday X XX 20xx. They tried to bollock him,saying he should have known better, he argued back that it was an official joining instruction from them and that we were always told the RAF week began on a Wednesday. Did they really expect everybody on the course to ring up and check they’d been sent the correct info. He completed the course.

RP.
 
On my SNCO course one lad I knew didn’t turn up as expected on the Monday. Wednesday morning he’s there and as confused as the rest of us about what is going on. They tried to RTU him, as he missed 2 days of the course. He produced his joining instructions, which said Wednesday X XX 20xx. They tried to bollock him,saying he should have known better, he argued back that it was an official joining instruction from them and that we were always told the RAF week began on a Wednesday. Did they really expect everybody on the course to ring up and check they’d been sent the correct info. He completed the course.

RP.
Tippex..... it was a wonderful thing.....
 

Dicky Ticker

War Hero
Caused much confusion and almost got sent back to base when three of us rocked up a day early for a driving course. For some inexplicable reason it was supposed to start on a Tuesday, we travelled down from the North of Jockland to South Wales on Sunday to start bright and early Monday morning because we were given train tickets from SHQ for that day. Spent Monday sweeping out things and tidying shelves which SNCO i/c school muttered under his breath and tried to keep us out of the site of the training WO.
 
2 of our Full Screws were booked onto the 14 Int course back in the 90's when the IRA were planting bombs in train stations.

They had to transit Euston Station to get on the course. As they got to Euston it was being evacuated following a bomb warning. They called the venue of the course letting them know they would be delayed and might not be able to get to the course on time or at all that day due to the security situation.

The sympathetic response from the course instructors was - "No problem we'll see you when you get here at the time stated, if you don't think you are going to make it then RTU yourselves immediately back to your barracks in Northern Ireland - good luck", and hung up.

They did attempt to get there by other means, but failed and did indeed RTU themselves as instructed before the course had even started!
 

ColdWarWorrier

Old-Salt
I joined the RCT as a junior bleeder. It was quickly spotted that I had O-levels and could write my own name unassisted, so I was put on a Clerk’s course. This meant I was getting trade pay (B3) when all of my contemporaries were still on recruit pay until they (and I) completed our Driver B3 training. I was earmarked to progress further and become a Movement Controller, at the time, one of the few A-trades in the RCT (even more money!).

A few months after posting to 17 Port and Maritime Regt, I was sent to Buller Barracks (the grown-ups recruit depot) in Aldershot for my Mover’s course. As ‘trained soldiers’ we had many more privileges than the Buller recruits, including being allowed off camp during the week to drink large amounts of alcohol. On about the second night of the course, we hit the pubs of Aldershot.

On returning to camp, we were challenged by the (recruit) guards on the gate. I don’t recall exactly what happened, but I found out from the RSM the very next morning that two of the guard needed medical attention and it took four of them to get me into a cell. Somehow I sustained some bruising and lacerations getting into the cell.

I was RTU’d before lunchtime. Then posted out to Germany within a week, reverting to Driver trade. I later found out more about the Mover trade and how despised they were and realised what a lucky escape I had.

Much later I managed to get on a Pilot’s course and was very nearly RTU’d a couple of times, but made it through and eventually transferred to the Army Air Corps.


Edited to correct mong spelling. Obviously a waste of a clerk’s course.
 
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In the late 90's I did back-to back 4 week Signals and 4 week RMA 3 course, the latter at Keogh Bks. The first four weeks having my head battered by bleepy shite at Leconfield, the second four weeks of booze, hitting my old stomping ground and eyeing up QA's and Medic birds seemed about right. It was December, so it meant missing most of the pre-Xmas bullshite.

In the middle of the first week, we were asked to do a 500 word essay on one of the body's systems (MR C SENDER) for homework, in by Thursday morning. No big deal. I blagged it large about the Circulatory system, something I knew a fair bit about.

Come Friday morning, in the classroom. "Right guys, those who failed the homework will be RTU'd today!"
'WTF, I can't be sent home, I have the whole of Surrey's beer quota to drink in the next 3 remaining weeks'
, I thought

They started reading out the names, and one by one, all my drinking buddies that week starting falling away. It wasn't alphabetical, so I was sweating hard. I felt sick that I would have to go back to Germany branded a failure for such an easy course.

Somehow I managed to pass. A chunk of lads I got close to had been binned and would never be seen again. The following week, we all suddenly seemed really interested and studious in case they fancied a second cull
 
I knew a couple of guys RTU'd from Sandhurst while on a Battlefield Tour to Ypres. In the midst of an exuberant party in the hotel gardens, an irate old man stormed towards them demanding they go to bed forthwith.

My friend Malcolm turned his head while pssing into an ornamental pool to ask "And who the fck are you?"

As it turned out, he was GOC 3 Div, and Malcolm was handing his kit in three days later.

A group were also RTU'd / kicked out after submitting expenses claims for their Adventure Training exped which proved that, far from walking the West Highland way, they were actually on the lash in Essex.
 
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Personally, at Sandhurst I was RTU'd from a mountaineering course after pulling a student in Bangor Students Union. Purple smoke enveloped me as the Emperor bade me to her Hall of Residence.

Later I left her room and staggered - naked - along the corridor in search of the loo. Unfortunately I got lost and found myself on the wrong side of an external fire door. After managing a couple of hours' sleep on the fire-escape ( it was January, fortunately ) I reported to the porter's lodge to beg a lift to HMS Indefatigable.

While the MLT course formed up in three ranks, fully kitted out & ready for 3 final days in the hills, they watched as a car pulled up to the front gate.

From it emerged a naked, hungover wretch, begging for death and all too aware that merciless justice was at hand.

Not in possession of a wallet, phone or identity card, clearly unfit for the duties I had been lawfully ordered to attend, and far from an excellent ambassador for the Royal Military Academy, I was pretty swiftly on a train home.

While rueing my misfortune & anticipating either ejection from RMAS or rather a lot of ROPS, I regretted two things -
a) putting my military career ( such as it was ) at risk for the sake of White Russians and a red haired girl with the build of a Russian hatch-back

b) that the staff at HMS Indefatigable hadn't plunged an ice-axe into my aching skull.
 
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Had a 21 SAS soldier on my ADR course who turned up for 2 of the 5 days and disappeared.
He might have gone of with Andy & Chris to do bad things and had a big chip on his shoulder.
Owner of a yellow sports car & told all that cared he used to be a full screw.

Seems his thought was if I need it I just collect it & use it.
 
Excellent post and thread. I often tell others when referring to my service that I retired just before they caught up with me, thinking back to some of the hijinks, rather inexplicable decision-making and perhaps most of all, some completely insane subordinates for whom I was accountable over my 34 years.
You can seriously expect to be allowed to leave it there JJH.
 
Had a 21 SAS soldier on my ADR course who turned up for 2 of the 5 days and disappeared.
He might have gone of with Andy & Chris to do bad things and had a big chip on his shoulder.
Owner of a yellow sports car & told all that cared he used to be a full screw.
The Cpl's from Hereford used to use our Education Center at Kineton for their EPC courses. On one particular course in late 1990, a colleague was on such a course with them when their bleepers they wore went off and they popped out to make a phone call. They stuck their head around the corner a few minutes later and said they may not be back to continue the course.

Later that day it was on the news that Kuwait had been invaded by Iraq.
 
Personally, at Sandhurst I was RTU'd from a mountaineering course after pulling a student in Bangor Students Union. Purple smoke enveloped me and the Emperor bade me to her Hall of Residence.

Later I staggered - naked - along the corridor in search of the loo. Unfortunately I got lost and found myself on the wrong side of an external fire door. After managing a couple of hours' sleep on the fire-escape ( it was January, fortunately ) I reported to the porter's lodge to beg a lift to HMS Indefatigable.

While the MLT course formed up in three ranks, fully kitted out & ready for 3 final days in the hills, they watched as a car pulled up the front gate.

From it emerged a naked, hungover wretch, begging for death and all too aware that merciless justice was at hand.

Not in possession of a wallet, phone or identity card, clearly unfit for the duties I had been lawfully ordered to attend, and far from an excellent ambassador for the Royal Military Academy, I was pretty swiftly on a train.

While rueing my misfortune & anticipating either ejection from RMAS or rather a lot of ROPS, I regretted two things -
a) putting my military career ( such as it was ) at risk for the sake of White Russians and a red haired girl with the build of a Russian hatch-back

b) that the staff at HMS Indefatigable hadn't plunged an ice-axe into my aching skull.
Excellent.
 

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