skill at arms instructor

A few questions on the above subject, if anyone could help:
Has anyone done this course recently? & what is it like ?
Is it all classroom based? what is the minimum rank to get a place on it?
Is it two weeks or nine days?
Is there a lot of competition for places?

thanks in advance
Why not ask your SPSI/PSI, in the new year when they are bac at work?

thanks for the tip, however i suspect he wont have done the TA version recently; if at all.

( i was hoping to get the lowdown from someone who had done that)

99% classroom based, apart from a stint on the ranges to get CMCQ Qualified.
2 weeks long, with time off on the Sat afternoon and Sunday. But you will be doing lesson prep so I wouldnt try to go home.
Minimum rank is Cpl.

The course is a pamflet mind fek. You HAVE to memorise complete paragraphs out of the SAA pam. And if you try to change the way the lesson is taught from the way they show will be either marked down or failed (unless you do a really good job when they will copy your lesson.......Sorry, only joking they will not copy your way!)

The entire course is monkey see monkey do, and the idea is so that when you go back to your unit you teach it the correct way and do not include 'fad's'. IE stuff like checking the change lever on the load or unload etc.


Book Reviewer
Carlos_Hathcock_II said:
Minimum rank is Cpl.
Minimum rank is substantive LCpl.

If you can get yourself a copy of the Rifle PAM beforehand, try to reacquaint yourself with all the basic drills as you'll have to regurgitate them flawlessly and are already expected to have a comprehensive knowledge of the Rifle. The truth is that there are a surprising number of people who are learning the correct drills for the first time on the course.
Boney2728 said:
I thought Min Rank was L/Cpl.
Minimum Rank for the Course is Acting Corporal, of Arm/Service other than Infantry, or Lance Corporal if destined for a
unit of the Initial Training Group.
I attended in 2005, so maybe not as recently as other posters on here. Seem to remember there being a healthy number of lance jacks on my course though.

As somebody said above, the course is a breeze for anyone with a photographic memory - it helps to remember great chunks of the pam. Just about every evening (other than during the range package phase) was spent prepping lessons for the following day, trying to remember how the instructor "masked his movement".

A good idea would be to get your head in the pam as soon as you can, and employ the services of a skillie to ensure that your drills are as they should be - they stress that you aren't there to learn the drills; you're there to learn how to teach them!

Hope that's of some use.

I think the minimum rank is acting Cpl. They have recently binned the AASAA instructor course in favour of all capbadges doing the first 5 weeks of junior Brecon. Which is nice.
plant_life said:
I think the minimum rank is acting Cpl. They have recently binned the AASAA instructor course in favour of all capbadges doing the first 5 weeks of junior Brecon. Which is nice.
5 weeks might be a bit of a squeeze for the TA though!

Yeah, I think you guys manage to squeeze it into 2 weeks but you don't get as many range quals etc.
So can I just get this straight? If I go on the course RMQ1-3, CMCQ qualled, will it just be lesson after lesson after lesson on the A2 and LSW?

Do you cover any other weapons? GPMG, minimi, pistol?

Once qualified am I right in saying you are then qualified to take WHT on GPMG etc as long as you have a current working knowledge of the relevant WHT and PAM?
Dev, its mostly the rifle, with the first coupla lessons on the LSW thrown in for Sh*ts and giggles, not forgetting some fieldcraft lessons. No other weapons, well not on the one I did this year, as to teaching and taking WHTs on other wpns, IIRC so long as you can pass that wpn WHT you can teach it.

Its still the SA(B) 90 qual so you wont gain in that respect however going through the CMCQ course again was a good refresher.

PM me if you want more info, you know the rates! :wink:
I am interested in doing this course, i am already cmcq trained and rmq trained therefore i am exempt from doing some parts of the course. I did my rmq this year and my cmcq last year so i am fairly current.
You will still do the full course, the SAA doesn't cover Range Management, just coaching, and it's always worth refreshing and practicing those skills. If I rememer correctly (it was a few years ago) you are expected to prep a lesson every night for the first week, the Instructor will then select at random who is to deliver the lessons each day. In the second week we had to prepare two lessons, and be prepared to deliver one of them the next day. The days consist of the SASC guys giving some centralised briefs and then individual lessons to each squad, as time goes on they will then mix this up with lessons from the squad. They purposefully don't tell you who's doing what lesson next, so everyone gets prep'd, some of the guys tried to second guess (Brecon Bingo!) and got caught out! There were a couple of written tests and then your final teaching practice at the end as an assessment.
Some of the guys got really excited aout staying up until 2 in the morning thrashing the pamphlet up, but it won't serve you any good. My advice is give yourself a cut off time to work to each night, and then get a good night's sleep. There's only so much your brain can absorb, and it will function better if rested. Get a copy of Pam 5 and learn it before you go. Each lesson is split into sections, start by learning the headings of the sections, then see how much of each section you already know. If you have been taught correctly in the first place, and use the weapon regularly, you will be suprised at how much you already know, then fill in the blanks from the PAM. On the course, when the SASC wllah is doing his thing, you need to be watching how he conducts the lesson, when he moves and how he is preparing himself for each part of the lesson, how does he get the class focussed on one thing to enable him to mask his moves. They expect you to make mistakes, stay calm, if you get a mental block, don't panic, stay calm and think. It's not the mistakes you make, it's how you cover them!!
I thought it was a great course!
this is a great course.

There is a lot of prep for lessons to be done, make sure you practice practice practice.

The SASC guys are there to help you, dont be afraid to ask them. Your lessons will be delivered with your peers as students, dont worry you will make mistakes, but so will all of your peers.

Enjoy it.
i did the skillers course in 2001, good course but mentally demanding you build up to learning 3 lessons per night and DO NOT PLAY THE NUMBERS GAME at Brecon, just because you have done a lessson and your mate hasnt does not mean that he will be picked before your turn again. One guy did this on my course and got a freddie.. also the SASC guys hate DS watching so dont do it.

As said have a cut off point each night and have a chill out session. Saturday night hit Brecon and watch out for the skank who likes to sh@g squaddies in bushes on the way back to the lines, she likes to use your back as a cat scratch !!!
Truly a great course and one of the most mentally demanding. As mentioned loads above, we were given two lessons to prep for the next day from the offset, and picked at random to teach throughout the course. The first lesson is a formative one and you can make minor mistakes (as long as they’re not safety orientated) and the next is summative. Saying that, you’ll do more than two during the course and they’re not just on the rifles, some of you will get field lessons too (target indication etc). Also as mentioned above, don’t get too caught up with staying up all night and go with your gut instinct because there’ll be loads of opinions flying about, which should be irrelevant considering it’s parroted from the PAM.

You’ll have to run everywhere (except after scoff) which is highly amusing as there were some old sweats on my course who refused to and they got rollocked.

Remember your DITs training (Explain, Demonstrate, Imitate, Practice) and that’s how your lesson will flow. Also watch how to mask your movements (“Write that down” and then move position so the students are looking in to their notebooks).

Point to note – if you have a mental fart, send everyone out of the room and gather your thoughts before calling them back in again to continue. If you need help, ask the DS before your lesson as they won’t help during. And if you royally mess things up, like a few did on my course, you’ll get one chance to redeem yourself.

They’re quite strict (as they should be) and won’t just pass anyone who tips up (I passed in the middle of the class because I didn’t stretch myself and stayed well within my comfort zone) and they’ll bend you over your bunk and shaft you, over any safety errors.

Get fam’d up with PAM 5 before you go, just to refresh your own drills and to get a feel for how the lessons need to go.

Also, the AASAA (Short) course is quite hard to get on for the corps’ because the infantry need it as part of their career progression so they’ll be loads of cannon fodder there which is great banter…..I felt sorry for the MPGS guys who got sent home because the qualification only permits instruction to other TA personnel.

One last point – you will probably need to be CMCQ qualified already as the PX points raised from my course was that half of us had already done it as it was allegedly a pre-requisite so there was talk of including the M Qual instead (pyro).

Good luck, and enjoy.

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