Military Proficiency Course
The Military Proficiency Certificate (MPC)is a 2 week long course run at Prince William of Gloucester Barracks, Grantham by the Military Training Wing for The Royal Logistic Corps. Its aim is to train Lance Corporals to become Corporals and thus as Section Commanders.
In order to attend you should have spent 1 year substantive in rank as a LCpl and also be recommended for promotion to full Cpl in your last Confidential Report. However, the courses are often not fully loaded and some attend without either of the above, however you should be substantive in LCpl rank as a bare minimum.
The courses are run 3 times a year in February, May and November over 14 days and has a course loading of 30 soldiers.
The course is heavily infantry based, considering that that is your job first and trade second. So expect it to be physically demanding, as well as mentally draining.
The course is based as mentioned on basic infantry skills and develops junior leadership and command.
On arrival you are put into one of the lovely barrack rooms at Grantham(!) of which the other guys in the room plus any females in their accommodation become your Section. Section sizes of course depend on attendees but range from 7 to 13 ish.
- Day 1: Admin(bedding etc), issue of weapon ancillaries (4 blank and 4 live mags, sling, BFA, cleaning kit), opening address, A2 weapon revision and Weapon Handling Test.
- Day 2: LSW lessons 1-4, WHT. This includes all arms air defence. It lasts all day.
- Day 3-9: Command Tasks, Navigation revision and testing, Section battle drills, combat estimate, harbour routines and routine in the field, drill - inc drill test under the SSM, the orders process inc model making, Personal Fitness Test, PT - endurance training.
- Day 10-13: 4 Day Exercise. Deployed to a training area about an hour from Grantham by bus, the exercise tests many things taught the previous week. Concentrating on Harbour Routine, each of the Section are appointed Command of the Section and also a 2IC appointment. During their time of command they are issued orders for extraction from the Troop Commander, which they then have to prepare and deliver to the rest of the Section. Plenty of time is given to this as a good set of orders takes an 40 mins to receive, 2 hours to prep and 40-60mins to deliver. This amount of time is given as this is typically the first time anyone would have done Orders before. The orders are typically Recce Patrol or Replen Patrols. However, 1 lucky candidate will get the Quick Battle Order on the final morning where 3 full section attacks will take place back to back. The 2IC is also assessed on their ability to back up the Sect Comd by organising the Stag roster, making his model and so on. don't expect much sleep on the exercise! Once dug in to your shell scrapes, its all hands on as 4 go on patrol and 4 remain behind to stag on (based on 8 pers sections). When they get back, count on it you're on patrol next either as the boss, Light Support Weapon, patrol 2IC or point man. Pray for good weather too! Nothing worse than waking up in 3 inches of water...as I did :) But then as they say - "you aint trainin' 'less its rainin'". Always keep your sense of humour in your top left hand pocket, you will need it fairly often. On return to barracks after the section attacks and very short tab back to the coach, its an afternoon of everyone's favourite job of weapon cleaning. Blank really does a number on your weapon and the Grantham armourers are infamous for the cleanliness and over oiled weapons. Once all done, its off down town for the course social :)
- Day 14: Pretty much a final admin day, closing address, but also a final lesson in Military Law. Certificates and bombburst home!