EPC 1983. Day 1. Anyone got Colloquial German? I had Linguist. You're exempt Army in the Contemporary World.
Military Calculations. Anyone got a Maths qualification? A level. You don't need do the first two weeks. Go away. See you Monday Week 3. Lad next to me, also 12 Armd Wksp, Tiffy Maths. Same detail.
Week 3. Welcome back to Mil Calc. We're doing a Double entry bookkeeping (or something) exam mock. Three hours, Go. Half an hour later, instructor catches us playing Battleships cos we've done it and we're bored. Come back next Monday.
Exam day. Three hours. After half an hour I'd finished, Redone the entire paper neatly and without crossings out, checked it again. Walked out. An awful lot of heads turned. 100%.
EPC? Waste of my time. Oh and I think I was promoted Corporal on Day 1. The course was intended for senior corporal due promotion to sergeant.
Thinks: did someone (who looked just like me 20 years ago) perjure himself by writing something strongly recommending you for that selection, while you were a Staffy in deepest West Wales?I did my EPC in similar circs. Despite excellent German I had no formal skills so did the lot., the mil calcs was easy. In those days you could do the 4 subjects individually. There was this Bdr who had been trying to pass mil calcs for years. In the end the redoubtable Capt JD (an Ed Corps LE for the RE) sat him on the same table as three of the high flyers and tipped a big wink, he still only just passed. JD fired my own interest in the Ed Corps and years later as a newly commissioned LE I worked with the now Lt col JD. Sadly, I learnt of his death last week from the Big C.
Well since you asked....
My Force Reconnaissance platoon was attached to a MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit---basically an infantry battalion plussed up with assorted attachments for self-sustained deployment) and we were on exercise on an island in the Caribbean.
It was tough duty---my unit was separated from the rest of the larger group since we had to conduct diving and parachute ops and needed to have better water and DZ conditions that prevailed on the other side of the island (at least that is the reason we gave to the Colonel commanding all of us).
Conveniently, we were co-located with the SEAL Platoon (that used the same excuse to get away from the humdrum --the term "Mickey Mouse" comes to mind--routine of an encampment with all the HQ staff), and most important, the Seabee Det that of course had a mahoosive generator that gave us electricity for our makeshift pub (palm fronds on frame with CONEX box).
There we were, for 30 days on a Caribbean beach, working hard during the day so as not to feel too bad when the sun set and the bar opened. Our routine typically included a SCUBA foray at dusk using flares to spot the many langusta and fish that would provide a welcome change to Meals, Ready to Eat.
Well, as these things tend to go with a bunch of Type A's always seeking a challenge and more to the point, very easily bored, the lads came up with a plan to alleviate the "horrible" routine that I suppose set in after about a day in paradise. I should have realized something untoward was up as they suddenly took a great interest in doing nighttime training in the zodiacs, going out for several hours over the course of a few nights to "train."
Curiously, during one of these "training" forays, we heard an explosion in the distance emanating from the direction of the main camp, some 6 miles as the crow flies from our location. Immediately, the radio came to life, with a rather rattled radio operator telling all units to conduct a muster of all personnel which we dutifully did. As luck would have it, one of my teams and some of the SEALs was still out in the zodiacs and we could not raise them on the radio (radios in those days being notoriously unreliable).
Suffice it to say, eventually our guys returned, a bit more tight-lipped than usual but by this time I and the SEAL Det OIC knew better than to ask any questions. The next morning, all officers were summoned to HQ by the Colonel where we leanred the reason for the explosion. Apparently, the Colonel's personal privy (a rather elegant affair with a porcelain toilet) had mysteriously exploded--luckily he was not in it at the time.
Of course none of us knew anything about it but the suspicion settled on the attached contingent of combat engineers since they had been working with demolitions during the deployment. In spite of an investigation, the culprits were never found.
At a recent reunion of my unit, I learned the truth of what I had long suspected. The Marines and SEALs that went "training" that night made a stop at the munitions dump, infiltrated past the armed sentries, appropriated a 1/4 lb block of C4, continued in their zodiacs around the island, sneaked into the HQ compound and eliminated the privy. I am thankful they used a command-detonated fuse rather than a time fuse.
Fun, Travel and Adventure, surely?On my Jncos cadre in 79. some cnut wrote FTA on the classroom blackboard before the first lesson one morning. I didn't even know what it meant then. Anyway, the WO2 ic of the cadre went ballistic when he walked in and saw it. I don't think the culprit ever owned up to it but we got beasted for days afterwards. If we'd found out who did we'd have probably given him a FGK but I suspect he would have been binned if the Sgt Major found out who was responsible...
RE's are always Bolshi, so you were only being on form! but well done on your achievements!Similar detail here. Did 2 subjects in Belize(!) and then 2 subjects in NI, to which I went to the Mil calcs passing in test and the exam. I missed a month in Fermanagh on the checkpoints as a bonus too!
Enjoyed my EFP2 even more. By then had a degree in politics and economics via the OU which I had started as a full screw. My RE pl comd of the time, failed to let the RAEC staff know this little gem, and was roundly castigated by the RAEC instructor in the Mess, as he was a little ‘underprepared’ when he strayed into my areas of interest.