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First Week at RMAS

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#1
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I invite contributions to this thread from those who have been through this particular formative experience, in order to entertain and inform our young colleagues who are about to go to RMAS. Easy on the BS please, though there is no reason to spare our young colleagues some of the delights that they are about to experience.

My own personal take:

It was a ghastly shock to my timid, civvy, system. I'd been in the OTC and TA before going to Sandhurst and had achieved JNCO rank (wow!), thus believing myself to be the dogs b0llocks. I had a reasonable familiarity with the weapons; I could use the radios; I could press my kit; I could bull my boots; I could read maps; I knew a bit about tactics, etc etc... or so I thought. I can't claim to have been very fit: I'd run a 3hrs 34 marathon in May of the year I went (for September entry), but had done fairly little phys thereafter: bad mistake!

What this meant was that: I was cocky - definitely not a good thing; I thought my knowledge of certain matters military was on a par with that of the DS - wrong; PT was an effort - oops. Combined with this, the dreadful 'Boots, combat, high' that we got issued then (the first course to get them after DMS boots), and ran in from day 2, shredded my heels and gave me Achilles Tendonitis. Ouch.

So, the advice I give to those of you starting next week is:

1. Nothing you've done before counts for sh1t. Use your experience but don't bother to tell the DS about it: they've been there, seen it and, for the most part, done it. If anything, use it to help your fellow cadets and don't wait for the DS to appear before you do.

2. Have a positive mental attitude; you will not enjoy a lot of things in the first five weeks, but it gets better. If you respond positively to Sandhurst, you will benefit from it throughout your life.

3. Get everything on the kit list. Lesson One: do what you're told!

4. Fitness. It's too late to worry now, but if you aren't fit don't make it worse by turning up hungover or - even worse - clapped up (don't laugh, one of the guys on my intake turned up with the clap).

5. Spread the word about Arrse: this is a valuable resource which I wish I'd had access to when I was going through RMAS.

Finally, good luck to everyone who starts next week and please make sure to let us know how it's going as soon as you can.
 
#3
Thanks cpunk, I look forward to reading this lot - anything that can dampen the shock you describe will be greatly appreciated! Do the BPFA's normally take place on the first day, or does it vary throughout the week?
 
#5
1Windy1 said:
Thanks cpunk, I look forward to reading this lot - anything that can dampen the shock you describe will be greatly appreciated! Do the BPFA's normally take place on the first day, or does it vary throughout the week?
Mine was Friday of week 1. I think the three companies spread them out over Thursday, Friday and Saturday - if I recall rightly.

Oh, and don't brace up to Lucknow platoon, just because they're in DPM and you're not. It's embarrassing for them and you. You may well be impressed by their already-officerly stature but the limp and RMAS cap-badge should be a giveaway that they're the same rank as you!
 
#6
Ninja_Turtle said:
Thanks for the advice, and the luck, I think we'll need all that you can muster.

Any happy stories come out of the first 5 weeks?????
Passing off the square to go home and get leathered i think.
 
#10
Arfur said:
1Windy1 said:
Oh, and don't brace up to Lucknow platoon, just because they're in DPM and you're not. It's embarrassing for them and you. You may well be impressed by their already-officerly stature but the limp and RMAS cap-badge should be a giveaway that they're the same rank as you!
Absolutely nothing has ever impressed me about Lucknow Plt, nor the cnuts contained within.
 
#13
Barbs, is it worth taking something like mars bars to supplement your energy needs if you don't eat quickly enough (provided they're hidden from DS)?
 
#14
Hey good luck all of you.

If they are still strict on what you can have in your room, there is a shelf at the back of your desk, just underneath the desk top, they never inspected that in my time. Use coke to soak your gas parts while you are cleaning the rest of your rifle, when you see the effect it does make you wonder what it does to your insides, and Jiff mouse is a great cleaner! If you are still having to fold your pants in to small squares then fold them round card, much neater and have spare ones to use else where.
Keep smiling and don't fight it.
Remember it will all be worth while when your CSgt or SSgt has to salute you at the end.
 
#15
If they are still strict on what you can have in your room, there is a shelf at the back of your desk, just underneath the desk top, they never inspected that in my time.
Except that they definately know about it now. Old troopie of mine that went reg advised that they survived on nutrigrain bars and jaffa cakes when things got a bit hectic, I expect you'll all survive.
 
#16
Don't stress about the first five weeks. It really isn't that bad. You do need to eat quickly as you are constantly mucked about. The DS are looking hard to see who the tossers might be. Don't worry about hiding choccy and stuff. You can buy it there! It is largely CSgt dependent but we never had our radios permanenty on radio 4 or any of that crap. We all kept our phones, laptops etc. Other platoons were not so lucky however. Sandhurst is hard work but well worth it. Just don't psyche yourselves out before you go about what you think it might be like. And don't be a tosser.

Regarding the massive kit list they give you, common sense prevails. Don't worry about dressing gowns, PJs, plain cufflinks (any or none are fine) slippers, singlets(some sort of vest apparently). Get the obvious, eg a decent iron, decent shoe polishing supplies, laundry detergent. You will be able to buy the odds and sods you need at the academy.
 
#17
degsy said:
Just don't psyche yourselves out before you go about what you think it might be like. And don't be a tosser.
Probably the best advice so far. Most of the pressure at RMAS is self imposed. Just listen to what you're told, work hard (for others, as well as yourself), and have a bit of fun...

CHILF
 
#18
Have recently finished at sandhurst. A few bits of extra kit that you deffinetly need.

Laminater. You have to laminate prety much everything and as many sleeves as possible I took a hundred and used them all.
Black biros and Lumicolours. You are expected to take notes during everything. You will never read them but it keeps you awake possibly.
Brasso Wadding not the liquid stuff
Several rolls parcel tape for defluffing kit
Laundry Bag Whilst there write your name in everything several times if possible, your kit will go missing from the wash.
Chocolate, enough for a few weeks till you can get to the shop
zip seal bags loads especially big ones. They sell them there but they will run out.
Optional
Mini hoover not a dust buster but something with some actual suction that you can keep under your bed or in the store room. You will be expected to share it but you will not be queing for the platoons one issue one.

If you have a car bring it. After the first five weeks it means you will be able to get out when you want. It is a good place for storing even more kit. There is a storeroom where you can keep all of the stuff i have named here in your lines. The first five weeks are not that bad. I quite enjoyed some of it. Most important thing on the list is the laminator.
 
#20
I remember walking up the Old College steps on the first day and after that everything's a blur of boredom, pain, frustration and alcohol until I found myself marching up the same steps fifteen months later.

However, I would say: if the DS ask if you have previous military experience, don't count anything less than Regular soldier service as a "yes". I got stuck with a floppy to "mentor" on the strength of a few years' dossing in the OTC and so got blamed every time he screwed up.

IF
 

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