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Para and Royal Marine Recruit courses

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How do the recruit courses for elite British infantry compare between say 1980 and today?

What is easier, what harder (if anything)?

fitness, shooting skills, general toughening, etc...

What has changed and why?

Mainly interested in hearing from long service types who can actually compare.

Please note this is not a comparison between the RM and the Paras, since both will always get the job done, I'm more interested in how recruit training has changed, or not.
 
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Current Affairs ?


Yes I would say it was really, but the mods can feel free to disagree and move it if they like. Most interested in stuff like shooting skills, etc.
 
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I believe the Royal Marines have toughened up their recruiting procedure since the '80s. Prospective recruits are now required to be able to carry off strappy sandals with a split down the side ensemble, as well as a good working knowledge of non-primary colours such as taupe, teal and eggshell blue.
Hope that helps.

Edit: They can now elect to wear socks during naked rollmat fighting - to the utter disgust of those who...'in the day'...
 
How do the recruit courses for elite British infantry compare between say 1980 and today?

What is easier, what harder?

fitness, shooting skills, general toughening, etc...

What has changed and why?

Mainly interested in hearing from long service types who can actually compare.

Please note this is not a comparison between the RM and the Paras, since both will always get the job done, I'm more interested in how recruit training has changed, or not.

This is not going to end well for you....
 
Hasn't this topic been done to death in may other threads?

I believe that there will always be old and bold who will drip that it was tougher in their day etc etc. But the simple fact is that the modern recruits are every bit as capable as those that went before.
When I went through Lympstone (1991) the training was starting to involve the early stages of Sports Science with specific focus on feeding recruits, and weighing them at evening scran to understand the nutrition that nods were getting). It seems that there is a good understanding of the Science of fitness now with an emphasis on coaching recruits in the areas that they need to work on, less emphasis on trying to bin as many recruits as possible.

The Commando tests have not changed, but you now complete these before the final exercise. When I completed my tests, they were not hard by the time you got to that stage, however starting them 1 day after a bloody hard yomping and advance to contact style exercise with tired legs and feet made them more gruelling. I'm sure there is a good reason for changing the order, but someone who knows more will have to answer that.
 
This is not going to end well for you....


Very likely, but I have heard too much criticism of recent shooting skills etc, not to ask.

British soldiers became big time marksmen after the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 (they earned extra money for good shooting) and it served them well for many years with the SMLE, No.4 rifle and the SLR. I am just interested in how top flight units now do this stuff as compared to the old days. Also I am an advocate of giving better shots slightly higher pay, at least in Infantry units.
 
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Very likely, but I have heard too much criticism of recent shooting skills etc, not to ask.

British soldiers became big time marksmen after the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 (they earned extra money for good shooting) and it served them well for many years with the SMLE, No.4 rifle and the SLR. I am just interested in how top flight units now do this stuff as compared to the old days.

Royal Marines are actually in the Royal Navy. Ask a bootie what it says across his ID card! Never fails to grip their $hit!

I accept I'm gonna get bollocked for posting this in CA. My defence is - The duty Mod should have been more 'on the ball' and hoofed it to naafi earlier :)
 
Royal Marines are actually in the Royal Navy. Ask a bootie what it says across his ID card! Never fails to grip their $hit!

I accept I'm gonna get bollocked for posting this in CA. My defence is - The duty Mod should have been more 'on the ball' and hoofed it to naafi earlier :)


Yes I know that very well. But if I was asked to send the very best British infantry anywhere they would include both the Paras and the Royal Marines, before anyone else. So what they do about shooting, etc, is, I hope, best practice.
 

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@IronDuke99 - this is not current affairs and has been moved. Stop posting in the wrong place. It's not hard, current affairs would indicate some sort of now criteria.
 
British soldiers became big time marksmen after the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 (they earned extra money for good shooting) and it served them well for many years with the SMLE, No.4 rifle and the SLR. I am just interested in how top flight units now do this stuff as compared to the old days. Also I am an advocate of giving better shots slightly higher pay, at least in Infantry units.

I don't think enough emphasis was put on 'sharpshooting' when I was in. I was envious of the US Marines and their extra day rate depending on shooting skills and I would have liked to have seen that brought in to the RM.
Also, although we had/have one of the best Sniper training course in the world, it was unbelievable how little reliance company and unit commanders (in the 90's) had on blokes who had passed the course. I know of at least two guys who gave regular briefings to the 'powers that be' regarding how useful a Sniper team could be as the eyes and ears of an advancing company but it did little good at the time. I believe that has also now changed and snipers are now a core element to operational planning.
 
I will resist the temptation to say a word about modern soldiers being able to hit the enemy, and hope for some more informative replies...

Me, I was Queen's Regiment when that Regiment was still around because my family were mostly Middlesex Regt 57/77 foot (in those days, in public, both the Paras and Royal Marines could have gone **** themselves, while in private I knew they were damn good soldiers, far better on my side).
 
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New recruits have to carry several hundred pounds of bitter crusty cold war warriors on their shoulders.
 
The Royal Marines are not infantry, they are marines.

(Clue is in there somewhere).
 
Not forgetting that back in those days you didn't get a broken leg, broken bones were only introduced by the playstation generation to skive off from PT.
 
Like I said I'm really looking for an intelligent conversation about shooting skills.
 
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