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Army Physical Training Corps

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The Royal Army Physical Training Corps (RAPTC) is the British Army corps responsible for physical fitness and physical education. Its members are all Royal Army Physical Training Corps Instructors (RAPTCIs).

The motherlode of the PTI.


In 1860, following the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny there was an outcry over the poor standard of fitness and health of British troops. The War Office concluded that physical welfare and fitness should be introduced into the military curriculum and in 1860 a Major Hammersley and twelve selected British Non-Commissioned Officers attended a 6 month intensive course of physical training at Oxford University run by a Mr A McLaren. This course was the beginning of the formation of the Army Gymnastic Staff (AGS), the forerunner of the RAPTC. The excellence of the work carried out by the AGS was seen to bear fruit in the magnificent fitness of the “Contemptible Army of the British Expeditionary Force” in 1914. Schools of Instruction were set up in all theatres of war and instructors were posted to front line units. Many AGS were decorated and thirty three were killed in action in the First World War.

In 1919 the AGS became known as the Army Physical Training Staff (APTS) and on the 16 Sep 1940 the APTS was granted Corps status as a combatant unit. Training then was specifically designed to prepare soldiers for battle. On disbandment in Apr 1992, the ‘Women’s Royal Army Corps’ physical training branch was subsumed into the ‘Army Physical Training Corps’ making the latter a fully integrated, modern, gender-free organisation. The Corps is fully engaged on current operations and has over 15 personnel at any one time committed to operations overseas. The Corps’s current main role is preparing soldiers for the levels of fitness and robustness for war fighting in the harsh hybrid conditions encountered in Afghanistan but The Corps is also heavily committed to the rehabilitation of Servicemen and women injured on training and operations, taking great pride in its high standards of professional competence and success in the rehabilitation of the injured.

2010 marks the 150th Anniversary of the APTC and its forbears. In recognition of their dedicated and loyal service to The Crown, Her Majesty has been pleased to bestow the title ‘Royal’ on the Corps.


The corps cap badge, which is also worn on the front of its vests, t-shirts and tracksuits, consists of crossed swords surmounted by a crown. The corps motto is Mens sana in corpore sano which means 'a healthy mind in a healthy body'. Its quick march is Be Fit, with words taken from Land and Sea Tales by Rudyard Kipling. It is headquartered at the Army School of Physical Training (ASPT) in Aldershot, but instructors are attached to every battalion and regiment in the British Army, with the senior instructor in every unit usually being a Warrant Officer Class 2 (Quartermaster Sergeant Instructor) QMSI.


It is not possible to join the RAPTC directly from civilian life. Prospective PTIs must first join another regiment or corps and then qualify as Regimental All arms Physical Training Instructor (AAPTI) after a nine-week course at the ASPT. They then return to their own unit and only after further experience can they attend selection for the RAPTC. If they pass the selection course they follow a 30-week training course before qualifying as Advanced PTIs and transferring to the RAPTC as an RAPTCI.

Famous former RAPTCI's include Olympic medallist Warrant Officer Class 2 Kriss Akabusi.

For details of the TA RAPTC and TA PTI courses click here.

Special Joining Requirements

Joining the RAPTC demands a rigorous adherence and observation of certain requirements.

1 - You must believe you are fucking gorgeous and routinely preen yourself

2 - You must be able to wear a tight, white vest that is at least one size too small

3 - You must have a membership with a local tanning salon

4 - You absolutely [b]must[/b] use your role as a pickup line with any girl you see / hear / smell

5 - You should be able to easily define when your friendship starts and stops with fellow soldiers. It stops, basically, when you're thrashing the utter shit out of them. It starts...well.... never, really, after that thrashing, you cunt. Even when your absolute best mate looks up at you from the stress position he's in (yeah, like we still don't do 'em) and pleads at you with those puppy eyes and you scream "KNEES TO CHEST, STANDBY,GO!"

6 - You must have an ability to forget that you don't actually have a rank until you put that red belt of power and white vest of sheen on.

Official Site