Joining the Royal Artillery as a Light Gunner. Also question about All Arms Commando Course.

Hello Lads. I'm inspiring to join RA as a Light Gunner.
My current fitness score is :
Push ups in 2 min - 35
Sit ups in 2 min - 45
Pull ups - 6/7
1.5 mile run - 11:00
I'm 6'4 foot / 14.8 stones. 26 years old
I work out 3 - 4 times a week. Run about 3 times a week.

Usally in my job I walk daily over 15 miles as I work as a Postie.

Which area I need to really focus to be able to make it through the basic training, I don't want to leave my current job then fail the basic and be send to Job Center.
How important is maths and good grammar when joining RA? The only formal education I have is BTEC Level 3 Public Services (Triple Distinction with star), GCSE Maths C and some English littercy certificates.

I am really interested in All Arms Commando Course, you can volonteer for this only during the training and artillery school or is there such a option after spending year or two in your battery?

What other skills should I work on before joining? I know fitness is key but also I would like to know what are the other elements ?

Are there any decent videos on YT about life in the Army and especially Royal Artillery that you lads would recommend ?
 

The_Snail

ADC
RIP

Faded

Clanker
You definitely want to get your phys stats up if you want to try the AACC especially your upper body strength. Although you will go on a 'beat up' course or Pre-AACC the better your phys the 'easier' you'll find it. I say 'easier' as the course won't be easy but it'll just make your life so much more comfortable.

Maths and good grammar? Not massively, your AFCO will tell you what grades are needed for promotion but I think it's Maths and English GCSE Grade C.

I'm not sure at what point you volunteer for the AACC but I'm sure your AFCO or training team will be able to help and guide you.

Other elements to work would ironing, folding and getting into a set routine. What catches people out at the start of basic training is the amount of kit maintenance that takes place, if you already know how to iron this will give you a big advantage. Also phys as above.

Hope that helps a bit, fire away if you've got anymore questions.
 
Hi Lynx - serving member of the RA here so may be able to answer some of your questions.

Fitness:
Standards both at Pirbright and Harrogate are by no means outstanding but aim to be firmly in the top half of your cohort physically, this will set you up nicely and people tend to brush over your other weaknesses if you are physically fit.
Aim for the following (It may seem very difficult now, but with consistent training it is very achievable.
-Push ups: 60+ (the key to these is to do them in small sets of 10-20 followed by a short rest rather than trying to whack 50 out in one go)
-Sit Ups: 60+ (Bang these out in a oner, once you have some momentum and rhythm going it is easer)
-Pull ups: 12 is a good standard, just train consistently and they will come along very quickly.
-1.5 Mile Run: This is bit that everybody judges each other on, irrespective of your other scores. Anything sub 9:30 is deemed as respectable, with sub 9 being the golden standard. Being a big guy, you'll probably either find yourself an absolute gazelle of a racing snake or being good with weight - decide which you are better at and go with that, nobody will give you jip if you're running a 9:45 PFA but can carry weight for days.
*With the running, avoid junk mileage - you'll find at Pirbright and Larkhill that running without weight will be rare and you'll do a lot of circuit type training and tabbing, this is in fact exceptionally good and will see your PFA time improve.
-In conclusion, if you can pass the minimum physical standards, then you'll pass basic training - however as stated before aim to be in the top 50% physically, people will naturally rate you more highly. If you have Commando ambitions then you should be aiming well above the minimum standards, and should be comfortably running a sub 9:30 PFA at least, and should be smashing out the press ups and sit ups + heaves.
*Note the physical tests are soon to change - weightless running is soon to go and is being replaced by weight carrying etc - however, these new tests are more difficult to train for if you haven't got the kit, so stick to training for the old PFA - if you can pass that comfortably then you'll pass the new tests. I also expect the PFA will continue to be used as a gauge for fitness, especially in basic training establishments, for a bit of time to come as it is a better gauge of best effort fitness compared to the new pass/fail standard benchmark new tests.
*The key to training is consistency and diet, whilst running a 9:30 may seem unreachable to yourself at the moment it will come on very quickly. Circuits, weight sessions and 3 mile best efforts runs are a good place to start - do not just endlessly do 1.5 mile runs with press ups and sit ups etc as this will not improve you as quickly as varied training will. If you require a training plan then give me a message.

Education
-I'm not sure what the minimum educational requirements are for RA soldiers, but if you have pass the BARB test for the trade and hold the minimum educational requirements (if you don't know then a quick google will be very informative) then don't worry about qualifications/grammar etc. If you hold the minimum educational requirements that is all that matters.

AACC
-You can apply for the AACC and 29Cdo Regiment whilst at Phase 2 at Larkhill or you can apply whilst at another artillery unit post training. Timing does not really matter. I would advise you however to do it straight after phase 2 training as this is when you will be fittest following phase 1 etc - it is easy to let your fitness slip whilst at unit. Be warned however that the phys at Phase 2 (Larkhill) is pretty pump, so if you choose to go for the AACC you'll have to do your own phys in addition to the mandatory PT.

Other
-I wouldn't worry too much about other things, they are all taught in basic training from a very basic level. Adopting some sort of a routine to condition yourself a little could be beneficial (e.g. getting up at a reasonable time 7/8am, cracking some morning phys) but don't frag yourself as you'll soon adapt in training anyway. Just turn up enthusiastic and willing to learn - be a positive influence on everything you do and never be that negative naysayer as it breeds more negativity and you'll soon get a reputation for it.
-As for videos etc, anything that crops up on youtube is a good start. I wouldn't worry too much about learning about kit etc as you'll be taught it anyway and from what I understand Pirbright starts from a very basic level.

Any more questions, just give a me a PM.
 

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