MAPRIC, MATT 5, GPS and all things about Navigating

Discussion in 'The Training Wing' started by Geo_dude, Sep 18, 2012.

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  1. Thought this would be the best way to get info out to certain people, short of spending endless hours phoning units. For those who don't know me I am Bill Wilkie (Boris #2) and have been teaching the MAPRIC and GPS courses for over a year now. Many things have changed and a hell of a lot of changes are about to take place with reference to MATT 5. No longer can we pay lip service to it or try and cram it into a few hours during a MATTs week (we know that is what happens). The reason for this post is simple. I have had several calls within the last month with regard to lads setting up a MATT 5 stand then informing me that they have been allocated 3 hours. That's 3 hours to teach and test. NOT A CHANCE!! This MATT WILL require at least 1 day minimum for theory and practical work prior to assessment and I recommend 1.5 days minimum with the package that will be released soon. I can only convey the results of the navigation review that were dismal and could attribute poor map reading skills as an attributing factor. Almost 50% of HM Forces cannot map read to MATT 5 standard yet that box is ticked every year saying they have passed it. Ladies and Gents, some of us need to grow some nads and inform superiors that they are not being given sufficient time to train our guys and gals to a MINIMUM standard. If not then do not sign off on the training, let your OC do that if they think it is sufficient. One poor lad has informed me that he has been ordered to carry on with his package and sign it off. The seriousness of this is that in the worst case scenario if any harm comes to an individual, under your care whether on Ops or in AT, someone is accountable and if their Map reading/navigation is to blame and they are found to have been poorly trained then guess who the spot light hits? If you have any queries with regard to navigation, especially you little G's out there then don't hesitate to call, or better still (as I hate the bloody phone) email me.

    Bill Wilkie

  2. But what about units that practice map reading regularly, and where the guys are actually pretty good? Is it still a 2 day MATT?
  3. Agreed that not enough time is spent on map reading, I think a single morning or afternoon is the most I'd get to cover that.
    I'd much rather take a few out onto the training area and do it practically rather than put them through the generic A4 test sheet with grid references, measuring distances along a road, saddles etc, last question always an intersection ;)
  4. Fair comment Screw_The_Nut. If ALL your guys practice regularly and your assessment has the desired integrity then there would not be a problem, especially if these results were to be scrutinised as they may do in future. The fact is many units do not practice regularly (according to information from Army Group). And this evidence is coming to light due to incidents in Afghanistan etc. As for you "Bath Salts" YES there should ALWAYS be an INTERSECTION :)
  5. It's easy to see where the problem lies - I passed one of your courses last December (part of the Odds & Sods Team), and immediately after I returned to my unit I was bombarded with requests to either provide a 1/2hr powerpoint lesson or simply sign the paperwork without the soldier completing a single TO. As it happened, I refused on both counts. Units are reluctant to commit guys to the training, but it's a practice borne out of laziness and poor planning rather than a lack of time/manpower.
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  6. Cheers "skintboymike" that's exactly the reaction I want. If it's any consolation mate had the same thing arise here not so long ago so I had to address the problem in a draconian manner by naming and shaming. It seems to have worked and the Commander is on board, especially since he found out he signs it all off at the end. Amazing what happens when you remind people who might be culpable.
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  7. Tallies with my experience: quick death by powerpoint, straight into the test, with the instructor wandering around to offer some advice for those that got stuck. Admittedly, I don't think anyone in our mob is special enough to be far off the min standard required (TA unit, most are familiar with maps), but for those that aren't/weren't the "just get you over the pass bar" is hardly going to produce competent map-readers.

    That, and I think our last MATT 5 instructor just left. This should be taken with a pinch of salt, I'm at the bottom of the food chain and thus don't know details of everyone in my unit's quals.
  8. Interesting you mention this geo_dude as I've recently been asked to run a number of MATT training weeks to get the guys up t the required level for their yearly training and the start state for Operations. For the first time ever I've been given carte blanch to use the time as I see fit. Not the OC or CSM sticking their 10 pence in every two mins. Actually having the time to spend a whole day on MATT 5 theory (both classroom and training area based) then half a day on fieldcraft with map reading was a bliss. I found that the guys level of map reading was greatly improved (including my own as I actually had the time to prep for the lessons properly) and they breezed the orienteering exercise which was held as a background activity to the range days.

    The unit has seen an excellent improvement in the map reading not only on the map reading stands but during the later exercises and live firing practices.

    It is a skill which if not used again and again fades over time and leaves people 'bluffing' it.

    Geo, their is only one Boris. NOOOOO. **** OFF TO THE BACK

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  9. Cheers PamHead your one of the few who are getting the respectable time required and I do hope others follow your units' example. You are quite correct, there is and only ever will be one Boris. "Angry Bill" now rules the roost with Boris's blessig ;)
  10. Anyone thought of using their MLT trained pax to lead blokes up in to the hills?

    Overnight exercise with a bit of camping thrown in. Especially if you find campsites near buildings marked 'PH' on the map. I don't know what that symbol means, but it may have something to do with the acidity of the ground in that area... possibly.

    If you have the area to do it, orienteering routes can be fun.

    I remember my first OC (ex-264) used to have us set routes up for runs on Friday. Alright, it always finished in the same place (as befits a unit in Germany during the early '90s) but it was good practice and good fitness.

    I remember his 'sketch map' run very well. Dropped off in the middle of the oulu with nought but a sketch map of the railway lines and water features of the area... and a compass. He simply dropped you out of the back of the RB-44 showed you where you needed to, and let you crack on. See you in 3 - 4 hours!
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  11. I passed MAPRIC in 2006 - The only 3 TAs on the course put at the rear line of desks so Boris could do his 'Stab in the back' joke. Great course but no reference to MATT5 which was frustrating. Is there a location on DII or ArmyNet where we can download latest MATT5 info etc?

  12. Speak with your training wing and grab hold of the MATT 5 disc or alternately type MATTS into the DII search box and follow the links there
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  13. I have set up a lesson pack on the RSMS web site for Map Reading Instructors and I also have a load of resources available for downloading straight from the site. If you email me I can send you a username and password. A new MATT 5 package will be available soon with lessons etc.
  14. Superb - that will be really helpful - email sent requestiing ID...


  15. Did my MAPRIC in 1996. Been out for a long time now but it seems some things never change, the "tick the box" mentality will always exist, it's just a shame for the enthusiastic guys who have to work under those terms. I was also a SAA and NBC instructor, and it never ceased to amaze me the amount of SNCOs and officers who would turn up for the last 15 minutes of training prior to testing, who were then surprised when I failed them.
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