New female infanteers - how's it going?

IIRC, if a recruit said he wanted out he was usually gone that day. Sometimes he might be told think about it and come back tomorrow, but not often. The discharge took about 3-4 weeks to process, and once started if he decided he wanted to stay, tough. The first recruit left our platoon after about three days, we started with forty (?) and had maybe ten or eleven originals out of twenty one at Pass Out.
I watched that series at the time, I might have been influenced to join by it but I knew I was not fit enough for Para Reg.
Stonker was a Pl. Commander at Bassingbourn, his experience, earlier than mine, may have been different.
Was your battalion and the other two in the RRF well manned? or in the battalions of the Queens Div as a whole?
 

Mr_Relaxed

War Hero
Most of weeks 1 to 4 will be “cutting about”, not running or tabbing. Undoubtedly hard on the shins, but not running or tabbing as structured PT. They won’t be going into 10 milers every day during week 2. The training programme is, contrary to what many seem to believe, structured and progressive.

Perhaps more telling, that means that line Inf recruits must barely get out of bed, let alone run or tab anywhere. 4 to 10km per week based on 1/10th of Whittle’s numbers for total distance moved for Para Regt recruits?
Is it possible that this is all data gleaned from a Fitbit style type system? If they were publishing, there must be some sort of defined methodology to support it, it can’t just be anecdata, which is how the 10x for para training is making it sound on the face of it.
 
Was your battalion and the other two in the RRF well manned? or in the battalions of the Queens Div as a whole?
All three of our regular battalions were reasonably well manned, at that time. We sent the best part of two companies to reinforce 2RRF when they went to Ballykinler but that was 1991.
The Queen's battalions were pretty short handed, don't know about the Angle Irons.
 

Mölders 1

War Hero
All three of our regular battalions were reasonably well manned, at that time. We sent the best part of two companies to reinforce 2RRF when they went to Ballykinler but that was 1991.
The Queen's battalions were pretty short handed, don't know about the Angle Irons.

I take it that undermanning among the Infantry Battalions has been a problem for far longer than in generally realised?
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
Is it possible that this is all data gleaned from a Fitbit style type system? If they were publishing, there must be some sort of defined methodology to support it, it can’t just be anecdata, which is how the 10x for para training is making it sound on the face of it.
I suspect that the problem lies with mixing and matching data sets.

The Whittle study (low sample numbers, not peer reviewed) tracked total distance covered using GPS tracking. What granularity of location data? +/- 1m? 5m? 10m? Controls etc? It reflected total movement not scheduled PT, so also includes all general "cutting about", to and from scoff, lessons, general duties, drill lessons etc. Useful for indicating a causal factor to injuries, not so much for comparing training systems. I actually know Rich Whittle and have no reason to suppose anything underhand but without knowing the exact parameters of the experiment (and I have no intention of paying for the report), all you are seeing is the headlines.

The 1 in 10 should (in theory) be made by comparing scheduled and recorded PT sessions of running and tabbing between the various training companies. Given that Para Regt recruits have a higher entry and exit standard, it makes perfect sense for them to be clocking up higher mileage. For it to be 10 times as much suggests that Para Regt recruits must be clocking up very serious mileage and other recruits are doing far less than I would expect them to be doing in order to deliver their output standard. For example, the later training weeks show 40Km to 80Km per week for Para Regt (including all movement), meaning line Inf doing 4 to 8Km per week. Or perhaps line Inf started really slowly but ramped it up in the later weeks so in effect they were doing 1% of Para Regt for some of the course, but as much as 30% or 40% at other times to balance the whole thing out? Does that sound reasonable? It doesn't to me, as their physical progression rate would be way too steep.

There must be some sort of justification behind it, but without knowing how the data to justify the x10 statement was collated and compared, I would be wary of reading too much into it.

Lies, damned lies and statistics.
 
I suspect that the problem lies with mixing and matching data sets.

The Whittle study (low sample numbers, not peer reviewed) tracked total distance covered using GPS tracking. What granularity of location data? +/- 1m? 5m? 10m? Controls etc? It reflected total movement not scheduled PT, so also includes all general "cutting about", to and from scoff, lessons, general duties, drill lessons etc. Useful for indicating a causal factor to injuries, not so much for comparing training systems. I actually know Rich Whittle and have no reason to suppose anything underhand but without knowing the exact parameters of the experiment (and I have no intention of paying for the report), all you are seeing is the headlines.

The 1 in 10 should (in theory) be made by comparing scheduled and recorded PT sessions of running and tabbing between the various training companies. Given that Para Regt recruits have a higher entry and exit standard, it makes perfect sense for them to be clocking up higher mileage. For it to be 10 times as much suggests that Para Regt recruits must be clocking up very serious mileage and other recruits are doing far less than I would expect them to be doing in order to deliver their output standard. For example, the later training weeks show 40Km to 80Km per week for Para Regt (including all movement), meaning line Inf doing 4 to 8Km per week. Or perhaps line Inf started really slowly but ramped it up in the later weeks so in effect they were doing 1% of Para Regt for some of the course, but as much as 30% or 40% at other times to balance the whole thing out? Does that sound reasonable? It doesn't to me, as their physical progression rate would be way too steep.

There must be some sort of justification behind it, but without knowing how the data to justify the x10 statement was collated and compared, I would be wary of reading too much into it.

Lies, damned lies and statistics.

is it not just using "10 times as much" in a vague sense to mean "more" without really thinking about what "dividing by ten" would mean?
 
I take it that undermanning among the Infantry Battalions has been a problem for far longer than in generally realised?
We amalgamated with 3RRF in 1992, that pushed the numbers up. Dropped off steadily over the next two years, Demo Battalion was pretty crap, but there is always quick turnover in the infantry anyway.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
is it not just using "10 times as much" in a vague sense to mean "more" without really thinking about what "dividing by ten" would mean?
Possibly. There is also the issue of creating the data to prove your point. The worst para sorties to be on were the ones when the AFPRB were on board to see if para pay was justified. All containers to the max weight, bucket loads of low level and loads of time stood up.

The roar of the engines, the smell of the puke and the strained faces achieved the desired effect - but were not representative of “the average”.
 

4(T)

LE
I suspect that the problem lies with mixing and matching data sets.



There must be some sort of justification behind it, but without knowing how the data to justify the x10 statement was collated and compared, I would be wary of reading too much into it.

Lies, damned lies and statistics.


The 10x might be plausible. Eons ago, running a pre-para beat up, the norm was a 10 miler per day plus another running event (eg BFT), plus the gym stuff and various beastings. The truly motivated would even go for a wind-down jog in their own (limited) evening time.

Its easy to envisage that that accumulated weekly mileage would be 10x that of other units doing conventional basic training activities with, say, a CFT or BFT once per week.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
The 10x might be plausible. Eons ago, running a pre-para beat up, the norm was a 10 miler per day plus another running event (eg BFT), plus the gym stuff and various beastings. The truly motivated would even go for a wind-down jog in their own (limited) evening time.

Its easy to envisage that that accumulated weekly mileage would be 10x that of other units doing conventional basic training activities with, say, a CFT or BFT once per week.
Years ago, quite possibly for a pre-para beat up for trained soldiers lasting 3 or perhaps 4 weeks.

Are we really suggesting that the rest of the infantry recruits do only one run or tab per week, not exceeding 8Km at the later stages of their training?
 
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Possibly. There is also the issue of creating the data to prove your point. The worst para sorties to be on were the ones when the AFPRB were on board to see if para pay was justified. All containers to the max weight, bucket loads of low level and loads of time stood up.

The roar of the engines, the smell of the puke and the strained faces achieved the desired effect - but were not representative of “the average”.

Speak for yourself ;)
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Is it possible that this is all data gleaned from a Fitbit style type system? If they were publishing, there must be some sort of defined methodology to support it, it can’t just be anecdata, which is how the 10x for para training is making it sound on the face of it.
Doesn't seem likely it's the Whittle study linked, since that date was in 2020. But circa 2014/5 there was a RMAS study that used Fitbit type monitors to establish how much distance was actually done by cadets, that found it was fairly extreme (RMAS is a big campus and you regularly marched from one end to another several times a day). The hypothesis was that this 'hidden' activity increased lower limb injuries: I don't know how or if they allowed for certain activities (drill) and equipment (drill boots) being basically designed to cause lower limb impact stress, vs other activities (walking) and kit (running shoes) clearly causing less impact stress. Regardless they still seem to do drill, and in stupid boots.

Following that study RMAS substantially changed how their first term exercise program worked, and it reportedly reduced the injury rate. Seems likely that the study above is looking at the same effect elsewhere, or a straight replication study.

My bet would be that 10x figure is something like @Escape-from-PPRuNe suggested.
 
Whittle methodology

"
Methods

Participants

Fourteen male SUTs within CIC(PARA) volunteered to participate in the study. Participants were taken equally from three platoons. Each platoon was following an identical training programme. Participants were aged between 17 and 29 years, medically fit and free from any known lower limb injury at the start of training, and gave their written informed consent. Participants were not trained athletes but were all capable of
passing the training entry standards for airborne forces in the British Army.1 All subjects remained the same for the duration of the study, that is, the global positioning system (GPS) did not move between members of the platoon, and one subject dropped out after week 17 due to equipment failure (his data are included up to that point). Injury data covered all 276 recruits who passed through CIC(PARA) in the training year
immediately preceding the study.


Instrumentation
Each SUT was issued a wrist-mounted GPS receiver (Garmin, Olathe, Kansas, USA). This was left on throughout the day and began recording an activity within 15 s of the subject stepping outside and receiving a satellite fix. The activity ended when the subject lost satellite signal (ie, they transitioned indoors).
Each activity recorded overall metrics (distance, start time, duration, average speed, top speed) and position and time data. Data were exported weekly as a series of activities. GPS was chosen due to its small size and weight and superior performance to accelerometer-based devices in a pilot study. That study matched the results found by Feehan et al21 showing a tendency for accelerometers to underestimate distance during
fast-paced ambulation likely exacerbated by the unnatural gait imposed by military marching.22

Protocol

SUTs wore the GPS receivers while carrying out the directed CIC(PARA) training programme as well as outside of scheduled lessons. Receivers were worn daily from 06:30 to 22:00, both indoors and outdoors, between day 3 of training and the end of week 19. This included all duty weekends, but not mid-course
leave or week 12, adventurous training. We did not test beyond week 19 due to the critical output test of CIC(PARA), P Company, taking place in week 20. The GPS was removed during swimming training, when subjects were completing the outdoor obstacle course, and when using the indoor gymnasium (the last two due to health and safety). Obstacle course lessons made up only six sessions in the period covered;
hence, this exclusion was not deemed to have significantly affected the results. During field exercises the receivers were worn 24 hours per day. Injury data were collected from the preceding training year from subjects carrying out an identical training programme.


Data analysis

Each individual activity was examined manually to determine erroneous data. Short (less than five minutes) activities with average speeds over 16.1 km/hour (10 mph) were removed as errors where a GPS picked up occasional signal indoors. Location data for all activities over 3.22 km (two miles) in length were examined using Garmin Connect (Garmin) and compared with the training programme to determine whether they were
foot or vehicle moves. Activities involving vehicle moves were manually amended to include only the foot moves (normally at the start and end of the activity). For each subject, the total distance travelled was summed across all activities in a day then week in order to give total daily and weekly distances.
Injury data were extracted from a data set compiled by the ITC Medical Centre.9 The data covered only recruits on CIC(PARA), and specifically lower limb overuse injuries (both stress fractures and MTSS). Data were recorded as time of first clinical manifestation of symptoms (based on self-reporting)
rather than time of recording at the Medical Centre."

The report was internally peer-reviewed by the BMJ before publication (IAW the BMJ's published policies).
 
The good news is buns are gone

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