Regular AAPPS/P-Coy (advice to the uninitiated needed)

Discussion in 'Officers' started by brave-coward, Mar 28, 2007.

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  1. Firstly I am aware that a great deal has been written on this subject, however...

    I have a few questions on the whole (regular) P-Coy process. I approach this from a non-infantry background, therefore apologies if some of the questions are a bit basic. (I have looked at the official army P-Coy website and as many of the previous post I could find.)

    Firstly I am aware that there are a number of pre-P-Coy 'beat-up' courses, can anyone tell me if there is any real difference between them, which provide better or worse preparation for P-Coy? (my cap-badge does not run one).

    Secondly kit, is it a case of issue kit only? If not, any recommendations for boots etc? Anything other than the obvious; C95, webbing, bergan, PT kit etc, required?

    Thirdly, the obvious one, fitness training and other preparation. Has anybody used the Adrian Weale Fighting Fit Book and then done P-Coy? Was it adequate? Has anybody recently done P-Coy in their late 20s/early 30s, how did you find it? Also any advice on training for heights/the trainasium, clearly its not the sort of thing most of us have access to!

    Finally, any good advice from anyone who has done P-Coy recently relevent and useful to a non-infanteer. I had considered approaching one of the co-located infantry Bns with a view to joining in some battle-PT/assault course training however this may not be possible and I imagine will be covered in any pre-P-Coy course anyway.

    Also I understand that more is expected of officers, can anyone expand on this?

    I appreciate there are quite a lot of questions here, but all good advice is gratefully recieved.

  2. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    They key to all physically arduous courses in the Armed Forces is in a positive mental attitude as much as physical fitness. If you follow the advice in 'Fighting Fit' it will get you fit enough but that is a necessary conditon, not a sufficient one. You would be well advised to do one of the pre-para courses beforehand. Back in the day, the 9 Sqn RE course was thought to be too destructive, the 7 RHA course about right, though that may have changed.

    IIRC, it was issue kit only, though plenty of extra sets of PT shirts, trousers and socks constituted an advantage.
  3. I did AAPPS last year and completed it without having done any of the various 'beat-ups.' From my experience as long as you lead a fairly active lifestyle, play sport fairly regularly and are able to pass the CFT and PFT without any trouble then you should be ok.
    There are many arguments for and against doing the 'beat-ups' the principle ones being that if you do not attempt them then you will have no idea what you are going to be faced with, however on the other hand if you do attempt these courses then unless you are very fit with a good recovery time you will be attempting P Coy whilst already physically fatigued.
    As cpunk has said a lot is about mental attitude and being able to block out the pain and exhaustion and keep on driving. As an officer it can be easier to remain motivated as the fear of 'losing face' in front of the men by not completing an event is quite often greater than the fear of failing the course by voluntarily pulling off. I found that being determined not to drop out of an event unless all of the men had already withdrawn was a ket factor in helping me to complete the course.
    Essentially, always take all of the shouting and screaming on the chin, stay with the group and track back to motivate weaker members of the group, and react to words of command and you should be fine.
  4. Thanks for the advice. I fully take on board the points about mental attitude as well as just physical fitness.

    Does anyone know what the "normal" upper age is for successful applicants?

    Also, what happens on the course between PT sessions? I understand that on the Commando Course you are taught "commando tactics" does something similar happen on the AAPPS? If not, is there any military/infantry training (as distinct from PT) on the course at all?
  5. I know an LE officer, (ex Scot Guards now RAMC) who did it after commissioning as a late entry Officer - He passed so it is not just a young mans game, also as a CSS cap badge type the last officer that we had pass was late 20's. So I don't think that you are going to have any problems. Remember endurace fitness is reputed to peak around 30 anyway.

    Good luck

    edited because it made no sense!
  6. There is a minor tactics element on the AAPPS course, but it is only for 2 days. You are taught, as a course, how to conduct a section attack, and they really do walk and talk everyone through it. Then a few hours are spent practicing and you deploy for a 2 day exercise which involves a large amount of navigation practice and then a practice of harbour drills. The 2nd day is spent doing further practice of the section attacks.
    Other than that, as far as memory serves, there is no other infantry element - oh, other than a few hours of bayonet training which conveniently forms the basis of a lovely PT session as well!
  7. Best bit of advice I can give for AAPPS. On day 1 you're given your P Company No and have to put paint it on your lightweights with white paint. Before you do so put a plastic bag inside the leg of the trousers so you don't get the number on the outside and the mirror image on the inside of your thigh: a it looks stupid and b after day 2 you will have better things to do than scrub it off in order to avoid a show parade at 9pm.

    Other than that I can honestly say it's one of the best things I have ever done- you will enjoy it far more than you expect. Don't worry too much about the fitness. If you can pass your CFT and areaerobically fit you are fit enough to start the course- the aim of the course is to get you to the stage where you can pass it. It's FAR more mentally hard than physically.

    I agree completely with bearface's comments-work hard and aim to get as many of the blokes through as you can. You will enjoy it!
  8. Good post FOO

    As a graduate of the said course I think you're absolutely right.

    It is there to be enjoyed and looked fondly back upon in future years.

    Is there still a problem with training for the jumping out of aeroplanes bit?

  9. Thanks Crazy_FOO, sounds like good advice there, especially about concentrating on getting as many of the blokes through as well. (I'll need to remember to take a couple of spare plastic bags as well for the number painting!)

    Just a couple of further questions though; firstly what exactly does go on between PT sessions on the course? Presumably it is not all "free/admin-time" and equally (and perhaps I'm wrong here) they don't just beast everyone from 0800 to 1900 daily?

    Secondly, accomodation? I assume it is all ranks dormatory type but have been told by one person (who has not done the course) that officers live in the mess (and presumably seniors in their mess). Which is correct?


  10. As I remember the day is one PT event in the morning- run or tab from 8.30-11, then one other lesson- first aid, map reading, foot admin or section battle drills. None of it is anything new and is there to prepare you for the "exercise". In the afternoon there's another PT event- normally cicuits or a gym session and maybe one other lesson.

    I remember plenty of admin time for getting kit squared away. As I said in my first post you'll get a show parade if your kit's not up to scratch but the staff are not interested in dicking you about a la Commando course. Use the time to get round the soldiers in your syndicate/from your regiment. There's plenty of opportunity for the shouting bit of leadership but not all officers and SNCOs get round the accn during the down time and talk to and encourage the blokes who are finding it tough.

    When I did P Coy (6 years ago)officers were in the Mess transit accn which was fine although I've since heard that that's no longer the case. Something to do with Catterick being a Phase 2 facility and P Coy being phase 3 training or something. Hopefully someone can give you more up to date advice on that.

    Again-good luck and enjoy.
  11. I don't recall being "dicked about" on the Cdo course!
  12. brave-coward

    PM your mail address to me and I will send you a diary I wrote whilst on the course 5 years ago. I used to give it to my blokes and was told it was useful.

  13. UO, thanks, done.