Ther journal that they all have to write at Sandhurst


War Hero
I used to do the occasional lecture at RMAS an remember that the poor kids had to write a journal that was regularly checked by the staff. What is the point of this little exercise?

Is it just to bugger them about or is it some deeply considered thought piece by a clever academic who was frightened he would loose his job.

I was far to knackered whilst at the academy to do any but the bare minimum, mind you that was a very long time ago!

I really am quite interested in the rationale behind this.
Mens sana in corpore sano?

1. Embuggrance factor (I had to do a journal on my 'O' type too...)
2. Further material for assessment? The medal thingy probably included some weighting for journal quality.
3. Identify illiterate cadets before the adjutant makes this delightful discovery?
4. Give people a record of their time at the Factory they can lovingly cherish in the years to come?

I bet the DS hated reading them though. 30 accounts of how boring it is to dig a 4 man split hairpin trench with full OHP in sub zero temperatures?


Book Reviewer
Perhaps this idea was pinched off the RN where for centuries midshipmen were required to keep a journal - and very interesting the surviving ones are now. The alleged objects were to train observation, awareness, and the writing of good English as a foundation for Service correspondence later. The text was required to be fleshed out with 'Journal Sketches' which might range from a diagram of some part of the ship or her rigging to a sketch of a harbour or coastline. Journals were reviewed weekly by the officer having charge of the midshipmen ("Snotties' Nurse") and monthly by the Captain, who might thereby become apprised of matters within his ship that had not otherwise come to notice. The Journal was ultimately presented as part of the mids' final examination. Some officers went on to keep a private journal throughout their service; long ago Captains were required to keep an official one but this was superseded by a system of periodical 'Reports of Proceedings' submitted up the CoC.
What a lot of tosh, in my day a lot of us SSC chaps were dyslexics and I certainly was majorly caught out in the battalion when the CO launched his essays for the subalterns, that was before PC and spell check!
The journal was part of the Army officer training experience as far back as the HEIC academy at Addiscombe and was also part of the experience at the RMA. Strangely enough it was not part of the RMC experience...


War Hero
I'm almost certain it's an exercise in tedium...

That said, there are those who genuinely benefit from having to write down their thoughts in a clear, grammatically correct, and (we have been told) a vaguely interesting way.
I thought the journals were a good idea - embuggerance at the time, but they are great to look back on now.

If the DS use them properly and actually read them then they are a great source of int on what's going on in the pl.



I wasn't fully aware I'd have to keep one, though I suspected as such. Regardless, I have the intention of keeping one - as I do now. Albeit it's more akin to a sketchbook (one mustn't squander their talent after all!)


I hated it and ignored it as much as posible and thus had to make up nearly 6 months worth of journal in the week before I commisioned.

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