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FellowshipOfTheRon

Anyone know about Army/NZDF training?

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Sorry just meant using your own shoes for running, you will have to use their issue boots. Just if you have any at the moment to start wearing them to get used to walking around in them over long distances.

Things like the gas cooker, and frying pan are probably frowned upon, so just don't mention it and take them in your pack along with the issue stuff, so if they pull an inspection in the field you have all their issue gear to show. Trust me you don't want to be stuck cooking with hexamine tablets.

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Few things you may want to buy to make life easier during basic.

-Gas burner similar to this. You want to keep it small and compact. Preferably one that folds up and comes with a case.

http://www.equipoutdoors.co.nz/contents ... Stove.html

-Small frying pan, the stuff they gave you when I was in was shit. Something with a folding handle

http://www.equipoutdoors.co.nz/contents ... p1292.html

-Decent pair of running shoes(no flashy colours, try for plain white so its not noticeable you arent using issued shoes). You will be issued some, but may not like them. I used my own since I had been running with them for some time and was comfortable with them.

-Iron (good quality) - This is a must in camp, otherwise you will be stuck with the shit crap cheap ones they have in the barracks along with having to wait for other people which is something you don't want to do as you will often be pushed for time.

- Pack of small zip lock bags, cover in black race tape, to take off the shine. Helps to protect maps, notebooks, pens, lighters etc from rain/river crossings swimming :P

-Set of small precision screwdrivers. Extremely handy when having to clean your rifle.

Obviously things like the zip lock bags, screw drivers aren't essential, they are just handy things to make life a little easier.

Will add items to this post as I remember things that can be helpful.

If you have any work boots, you may want to start going for long walks in them so you harden up your feet as not to get blisters when you go for pack marches. Pumas also works to harden up your feet, as does walking on the beach. If you have or can borrow a camping back pack load it up and start walking with that as well, 20-30 kgs doesnt sound like much but if you aren't used to long distance walks carrying gear it can be a little painful first few times.

Learn how to iron properly before going down, you will get hammered on any little creases in clothing.

This will sound stupid, but learn to shave properly, slight stubble will f*ck you over, this is a favorite for a lot of NCO's to pick up on.

Like I said before ill keep adding small things as I remember them, both items to acquire and things to work on before and during your basic.

p.s. Good post from Tom before on the requirements. The beep test must be something relatively new as we didnt have it when I was in. Work on your swimming though, as you will have to pass the test during the basic, so the more swimming you can get in now if you are an avg swimmer, the better.

I dont know how long ago you joined up but Im pretty sure youre not allowed to use your own gas cooker or frying pan on any of the field ex's (Kaimanawa Retreat / Final Chance). You have to use the standard issue crap i.e. hexi cooker / tabs and mess tins.

Also everyone has to take an iron and ironing board down to basic, that is a prerequisite. I can never recall there being a barrack iron to use...

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Im pretty sure youre not allowed to use your own gas cooker or frying pan on any of the field ex's (Kaimanawa Retreat / Final Chance). You have to use the standard issue crap i.e. hexi cooker / tabs and mess tins.

Read above ^^^^^

Its frowned upon, but if nothing is said that you can't take it with you and its compulsory to use the hexi its not a problem. More depends on your commander. My first ex we used the hexi, 2nd ex I had my gas cooker.

Regardless you will still be buying this gear anyway after basic even if you can't use it then, so its handy to have.

*Edit.

If you read my other posts I said I was in for 5 years and got out a while ago, hence some of the info may have changed. During basic all the barracks had shit irons and ironing boards, which is why I mentioned it. Obviously if its already on the list of items needed to bring with you, he can disregard it. But thanks for pointing that out :roll:

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Cheers guys, just had my initial aptitude/physical testing done and it went awesome all things considered (especially considering just 6 weeks preparation time).

Info about NZDF is not documented very well online whereas Aus/US/UK have tonnes available though it's not applicable to us so here is some info for anyone interested. I'm applying to join the Army but as part of the 'Triforces', this stage of testing is all the same for all NZDF non-civilian staff so the following information is applicable whether you are joining the Army, Navy or Airforce.

General words of caution : Through my initial 4 weeks of training I had gotten my 2.4km run down to the 10 min mark but due to doing too much too soon (I ended up only having 6 weeks to prepare rather than the 3 months I initially thought I had), got some pretty bad shin splints leaving me without ability to train on my feet for the last 2 weeks before the testing. Made up for it by doing a fair bit of high intensity work on the stationary bike but ultimately this didn't help me very much when it came to the beep test where I only came out with a 9.7 ... there were kids who went on all the way up to level 12 and 13, good on them for putting in the work! If you are looking at joining, don't put off preparation work just do it immediately. Go out and get yourself some running shoes (proper for your feet, if you are a pronator get proper support shoes to suit) and get started early, tapering your way up with the mileage and speed... if you try too much too soon you will just get injuries so give yourself time and take it easy.

Now the structure of the testing....

- Once you've satisfied the initial requirements like initial medical/security clearance (http://www.defencecareers.mil.nz/army/j ... pplication) , you will be invited to a 'ALL DAY ASSESSMENT'. If you're in Auckland, it's based in BDO Tower on Albert Street, I found the cheapest parking option to be the Atrium Carpark (conveniently right next to the tower) before 8am for the Super Earlybird deal which is just $11 as long as you leave by midnight.

- You are to be at the event by 9am but if you go earlier you will have a much easier time (I was there at 8 and got things done nicely where as others had to rush their initial forms) doing the initial stuff like filling out a 'Biography' for the psychologists/interviewer to use later on and having someone there validate/verify all your forms such as NCEA credits/tertiary qualifications, passports/citizenship, drivers license etc.

NOTE : More than half the people came with only a drivers license even though the email said to bring this whole list of stuff.. bring everything and there will not be any hold ups in processing your application.

NOTE : It's not a formal occasion so you can just come right in with your gym clothes on dressed for the fitness test (no suit required!) but still treat it like any other job application and properly introduce yourself to the sergeant up front.. he was evidently unimpressed by the young ones who strolled in past him like they owned the place and didn't make any eye contact. Looked like he was taking notes on that stuff too but for all I know it could have been anything.

NOTE : The biography is kind of annoying.. will ask you questions like "tell us about yourself" so if you don't want to sound stupid by writing random things on paper on the day, start writing weird stuff about yourself from now.

- After document validations/biography stuff, the Aptitude testing begins. There are no calculators but more than half the papers are multichoice... use that to your advantage especially on the maths ones. E.G. sometimes it can be tricky to work out the entire solution but given 4 possible answers, work through process of elimination and you'll get your answer faster that way than trying to calculate the traditional way. Everyone at least three tests - basic maths, english and problem solving tests (all equiv. of NCEA Level 1 work) and depending on the trade you apply for, you will do up to around 7 papers. I only applied for rifleman but according to the guy who was validating my papers, it will be too boring because I won't be able to use my brain (lolwut, overqualified?) so he had me sit all the tests so if I change my mind in the near future my options are still open without re-sitting... if you have specific questions about any of the papers you can ask here. I'm just a computer geek and ended up getting good marks even on the carpentry / mechanical papers thanks to process of elimination so you really have nothing to worry about if you know your trade even a little.

NOTE : All the tests are timed so if you've been out of school for a while or maybe if school wasn't so much your thing, you will want to put in some work a couple times a week to do timed tests without use of any calculators. The times for each test are short like 8~10 mins for the most part but you get 20 mins for the 'Advanced mathematics' one (it's NCEA Level 2~3 stuff, can be tricky if you were the type like me who got through high school with convenience of scientific calculators). Lots of resources online, check out YouTube for stuff like 'mental math tricks' which will teach you methods on how to do complex calculations quickly in your head (eg.

)

- If you do the basic set of testing, you will be out by 11am. If you do the full set of tests, you'll be there up till around midday. When you leave the aptitude testing area, you are given a map with walking directions to get to the Physical test area (in Auckland, Spec Force Gym : http://specforce.co.nz/) and told to be there ready to go by 1pm. Manage your fluids well in this time and if you can get a small meal in, it will help you a lot. I was out at 12 and thought I'll get by without any food (didn't bring any, would have to buy junk food which would prob slow me down/give me stitches, not familiar enough with area to find something good etc.).. boy did it hurt me later. Breakfast was at 5am today and wasn't prepared because thought the Physicals would be first so now that you know, bring along something to snack on!

- Getting to the gym by foot from the Albert Street office isn't hard (1.8km) so just walk it if conditions permit and you are not too short on time. You will arrive reasonably warmed up, leaving you with some time to stretch which should work in your favor. Lots of people drove up to the gym and just sat around before the test, it was in use by other paying members (pretty hardcore training too btw! judging by the cars outside I'd say they were police).. just make sure to keep up your hydration levels.

- The guy that ran us through our aptitude tests showed up to the gym at 1pm on the dot and we started right away. First event is The beep test in which they say as a male you need to get at least 8 on, 7 for females. This wiki page shows you the kind of average speed you'll have to maintain for your target level : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-stag ... lculations . If you can get some practice in earlier that will help a lot. Do some high intensity cardio work too to help your ability to deal with lactic acid build up

NOTE : There is another guy there (the main reason they do the testing there) who was a Army Physical Training Instructor so he's very strict with form and quality of exercise. If you are struggling, better avoid him.

- Straight after the beep test is push ups, you have to go right down until your elbows are at 90 degrees (which of course you can't tell while you're doing it but if you have the PTIs attention, he will tell you) and make sure to keep your head forward the entire time. Lucky me I was stupid enough to line up right next to the PTI who made me do it again after my first set wasn't good enough.. on second attempt on my count I hit 40 but only 25 were counted. I don't feel cheated at all and respect that he doesn't lower his standards but this is just a warning for those who may be struggling or who have issues with people yelling at you that you're doing something wrong (well in that case don't join the Army lol).

- Straight after push ups is situps, you are told to partner up with someone who is to count your reps for you. It is overseen by the staff so don't try cheat but - strong recommendation - make a friend to partner up with. I was a typical anti-social NZBBer too slow and ended up without a partner, had to wait until the rest of the guys were done. When I done it, the PTI was my 'partner' and not even a 3rd of my reps counted.. where the rest of the guys got away with using momentum, lifting foot off ground, no control on negative rep, the PTI had me do full controlled motion the entire time and told me 'this is pathetic, that's enough you're done get up' and stopped counting while I still had lots to go. Was initially pissed off but found out later that this was just an initial performance test and the only thing with entry criteria at this stage was the beep test *phew*. Not sour about it at all now, I appreciate the experience and have come out with better knowledge on how to prepare so I don't get in sh*t with the PTIs once I hit boot camp.

NOTE : This is the correct form for the curl ups at this stage of testing :

NOTE : When you are training, do some sessions where you simulate the session so beep test max effort-> pushups max effort -> situps max effort. It is so much harder this way but you'll get an idea of how well you perform this day. Also for some risk management, do one of those sessions on an empty stomach (like a intermittent fasting type thing) as you could possibly find yourself in this position and believe me, it is not a good feeling to be in when you're not ready for it!

- Don't run off at the end, you'll be called up by the instructor and told whether you've made it through to the next stage or if your aptitude test results were not up to standards (they offered those people resits though)

W'hoo, waiting on my call for the next stage now - Interview :P

Hope this helps someone out there. Any questions, just ask. Will update later as I progress through the stages.

-----------

Just adding some keywords to this thread shows up for anyone who might be searching for similar info in the near future : NZ Army, NZDF, NZ Navy, NZ Air force, Defense Force

Great post FOTR! :clap:

Cheers, I find your signature shockingly relevant :pfft:

inb4 someone says my whole post could have been replaced by those 5 words

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Not fitness related, but a few tips that might smooth your way through basic. Admittedly it's been a long time since I was in, but the basics remain pretty much the same.

Regarding the Gucci gear... non-stick frypans, gas cookers, racing boots etc are all nice to have in the field, but the purpose of gear during basic training is to provide a level playing field. Uniformity. Everyone has the same gear, no advantages. Further, you need to be able to operate with the basic gear. That go-faster kit will be great once you're with your battalion, but what happens when it breaks or runs out and you never bothered learning the basics? (See a common thread here? - Basic) Reminds me of some yanks I met once who thought their shiny new GPS units were the bees' knees...until they were told that their batteries had died and they would have to complete the NavEx with map and compass :lol::lol:

As for trying to sneak it into basic... things must have REALLY changed if the DS aren't carrying out inspections. You don't have any private space in barracks, anything can be pawed through, ransacked and then thrown across the barrack. You will not be able to hide your gas cooker and frypan ANYWHERE. In the field, you will be inspected to ensure you have properly cleaned your mess kit (dysentry in the field is not funny). If you hold up you nice new Briscoes Special, expect some very inventive consequences.

Also, if you are going to travel by Herc, gas cannisters are VERBOTEN. Hercs aren't pressurised, so Bic lighters, butane cannisters etc are on the Air Farce's shit-list. We were always told that if the loadies smelt gas, the rear doors were opened and everything jetisoned...can't say whether or not that was true, but none of us was ever willing to put it to the test :pfft:

Ok, some general tips...

Never volunteer for anything. Ever. If you're asked "Who has a driver's licence?" and you put your hand up...you'll end up driving a broom.

Never be caught with nothing to do. Ever. There is always something for a soldier to be doing, especially on basic. If you think you're ready for an inspection...you're wrong. The NCOs have a lot more experience than you when it comes to finding fault. And if you seriously cannot think of anything you can be doing for yourself, find a platoon-mate and give him a hand with something.

Which leads on to...teamwork. It is the backbone of military life. "There is no I in TEAM" originated on a parade ground somewhere. There is nothing lower in the eyes of an NCO than a soldier who won't help his mates. But that swings both ways. They won't want to see you doing everything for a slacker either, they'd rather see the platoon work together to bring him up to scratch. Always be looking for ways you can demonstrate teamwork. If the platoon is on a run in full gear, offer to switch the gun between soldiers so the poor gunner isn't carrying the bitch all the way. Simple things like that will go a long way.

Never be last. Ever. Almost as importantly, you don't always want to be first either. During basic, you are expected to show improvement. So if you set a record-breaking time on your first run, you're going to struggle to improve. Don't be slack but leave some room to show development. This only applies during basic though, where surviving it is what's important. Once you join your battalion, go balls-out.

Look after your body. An injury will f*ck you up. Nuff said.

NCOs do NOT like to be called Sir!!! (Escept WO1s of course, for whom "God" is an acceptable alternative). Likewise, Orifices will not appreciate being addressed as anything other than Sir.

Lastly, and this cannot possibly be stressed enough, especially on basic...THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS "CLEAN ENOUGH"!!!

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Nice post Ronin and like you said never be first or last be the grey man as they call it. Also there will be dust where you never thought dust would get to,Barrack Inspections are so much fun specially after the Platoon Sargent has tossed your kit across the ten man room. and always keep your weapon clean that's your lifeline.

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Also FellowshipOfTheRon when one of the NCO's is giving you a tune up standing a inch away from your face yelling and screaming his lungs off don't take it personally they are just doing a job, they are trying to break you and mold you into a soldier. If you become a Riflemen (Grunt) and do your training in Burnham you will be better for it, being in the Infantry you get treated a whole lot differently. You have to be your job is the front line of any conflict ONWARD.

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Also FellowshipOfTheRon when one of the NCO's is giving you a tune up standing a inch away from your face yelling and screaming his lungs off don't take it personally they are just doing a job, they are trying to break you and mold you into a soldier. If you become a Riflemen (Grunt) and do your training in Burnham you will be better for it, being in the Infantry you get treated a whole lot differently. You have to be your job is the front line of any conflict ONWARD.

LOL good times :pfft:

Standing to attention on parade, Platoon Sergeant walking past behind you, you can hear him stop and hear him breathing. Then you feel a slight tug on the back of your hair. He screams in your ear..."Can you feel that Private!!!!?"

"Yes Sergeant!"

"Good, because I'm bloody standing on it~!!!! Get a f**kin' haircut!"

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Thanks for that Ronin! Good lot of advice there, Won't try to sneak anything in and won't volunteer for anything.

Also FellowshipOfTheRon when one of the NCO's is giving you a tune up standing a inch away from your face yelling and screaming his lungs off don't take it personally they are just doing a job, they are trying to break you and mold you into a soldier. If you become a Riflemen (Grunt) and do your training in Burnham you will be better for it, being in the Infantry you get treated a whole lot differently. You have to be your job is the front line of any conflict ONWARD.

Cheers, I really got no problems with that.. it's pretty much how I grew up. To be honest, most worried about how well I'll cope physically especially when it comes to walking around with 50kg bags on my back (I'm only 63 kg atm lol)

About the hair - Since I joined the gym I got rid of my 'trendy' spiky hair style anyway. I sweat way too much it's really not practical to have hair so have since been shaving it off myself every week with a No. 1. Am used to the 'style' now and saving heaps of money in the process (like $500 a year including hair cuts/product not to mention the time in the shower washing it off and styling it up)

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About the hair - Since I joined the gym I got rid of my 'trendy' spiky hair style anyway. I sweat way too much it's really not practical to have hair so have since been shaving it off myself every week with a No. 1. Am used to the 'style' now and saving heaps of money in the process (like $500 a year including hair cuts/product not to mention the time in the shower washing it off and styling it up)

Might want to let that grow out a bit to a number 2 mate, especially if you're as white as me. A sunburn qualifies as a self-inflicted injury ie a chargeable offence. Number 2 is the standard haircut length. And yeah, you'll appreciate the time savings of not having hair when you have a whole platoon clamouring for shower time in the mornings :lol: We ended up having a good system going...3 in the shower stall at once, one stripping off while one was in the shower and a third was drying off. It's that "teamwork" thing again...no point half the platoon being all clean & shiny if the other half looks like shit cos they couldn't get near the shower.

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Ah the days where you were shit shaved and showered and bed space immaculate and all done in ten minutes and out on the road formed up 5 minute's place of parade, Character building :grin:

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Haha, yeah and now it takes me that long to pry my eyelids apart and finish scratching my balls :lol:

Oooh, ooh, that reminds me...Don't EVER be the "phantom wanker" in your barracks room. Remember, no sound travels as well as the subtle rustle of bedsheets combined with the slight creaking of springs in the silence of a Waiberia barracks. :shock: :shock:

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Oooh, ooh, that reminds me...Don't EVER be the "phantom wanker" in your barracks room. Remember, no sound travels as well as the subtle rustle of bedsheets combined with the slight creaking of springs in the silence of a Waiberia barracks. :shock: :shock:

We had a guy on Basic who use to wank every night kept us up until he finished haha

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About the hair - Since I joined the gym I got rid of my 'trendy' spiky hair style anyway. I sweat way too much it's really not practical to have hair so have since been shaving it off myself every week with a No. 1. Am used to the 'style' now and saving heaps of money in the process (like $500 a year including hair cuts/product not to mention the time in the shower washing it off and styling it up)

Might want to let that grow out a bit to a number 2 mate, especially if you're as white as me. A sunburn qualifies as a self-inflicted injury ie a chargeable offence. Number 2 is the standard haircut length. And yeah, you'll appreciate the time savings of not having hair when you have a whole platoon clamouring for shower time in the mornings :lol: We ended up having a good system going...3 in the shower stall at once, one stripping off while one was in the shower and a third was drying off. It's that "teamwork" thing again...no point half the platoon being all clean & shiny if the other half looks like shit cos they couldn't get near the shower.

All good, it grows out to number 2 within a couple days and I'm dark skinned too so not so much a problem for me though if 2 is standard then i'll go with that to not stick out. might be time to start practicing fast 5 min showers or something then eh :oops:

i got confirmation of my interview comin up in a couple weeks time.

so far i'll be preparing by learning more about what rifleman does when in the country vs deployed overseas as well as what the main goal of the NZDF / Army is. any suggestions of what else to study for or what kind of mind games they might play/things they'll ask?

if anyone wants to share any more infantry experiences, feel free to keep using this thread to share your stories and such cheers!

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Jukon don't tell your NCO's that you have been a cadet they may pick on you a bit more also just work on your fitness and enjoy the training. Everyone goes to Waiberia for training a summer Basic is bloody hot there.

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Hey FellowshipOfTheRon and everyone else.

I am also applying for the Rifleman trade (did the assessment day in Tauranga in early February). I have my interview coming up next week, and am feeling reasonably confident that I will do well there.

As a note for anyone applying to join the Defence Force, who hasn't done the assessment day yet:

I was informed that Army applicants have to get a minimum of 8.8 on the beep test (but that 9 to 11 is more desireable), and at least 28 press-ups (I think 15 is the minimum, but you want to do as many as possible to make your application competitive). I'm not sure on the number of curl-ups that you have to get, but they were actually the hardest for me, as I had been training doing supported ones (sticking my feet under the couch).

I have a few questions for anyone that is prior or current-service.

Does anyone know whether recruits from the North Island are still sent to the Waiouru Army Base for the AARC? If they still are, I want to be able to prepare myself for the conditions there. I'd heard that you can simulate high altitude conditions by wearing a gas mask while you run.

Also, I was in the NZ Cadet Forces for two years back in College. I was wondering whether any of you are familiar with Cadets and could let me know whether anything is similar to what you learn as a recruit. A co-worker who was in the Territorials didn't seem to think much of the ex-Cadets that she went through training with, possibly because they thought that they knew everything already. I definitely don't want to make that mistake.

In terms of physical training, I finished the 6 week fitness challenge in January, and after that, I was mainly trying to get my timing on the beep test right. Other than basic things like running, press-ups, curlups, and pull-ups (by the way, should I be doing a front or reverse grip? I have been alternating both), is there anything else that I can do to get ready? I don't have access to a gym or weights, but we do have a punching bag. My shoulders are feeling tough by this stage, as I have been picking sweet-corn almost every day for over a month, and the weight of a full pack of corn can get up to 30kgs. I was wondering whether weighted pack marched through the bush might be a good idea, but have read that you can mess up your legs and back doing that.

Cheers.

Edit: Oh yeah, FellowshipOfTheRon, if you don't mind me asking, are you an April intake applicant, or are you a July one like me?

Hey Jukon that's good to hear, we may end up meeting at Basic. When I applied, it was showing both April and July as intake dates (AARC 368 and 369 I think) and I don't remember having a choice of which one.

All soldiers (at least for the Army) go through Waiouru for the AARC as well as some other bits of training there. Have seen some people use special masks while doing cardio in the gym but not sure if I'd go as far as go out and buy a gas mask for it considering how much time you have. Lots of time until July, if you keep up with a nice HIIT routine you probably won't have much of a problem.

The official pullup form is something like standard grip, slightly wider than shoulder width with total deadhang (no swinging at all, legs fully relaxed) coming up to a slight pause where chin is above bar then all the way down to straight elbows.

For training you can alternate between the grips and different widths as well as the angle that you bring your torso up at to help you target a bit more of the back which you'd normally have to use barbells for (like rows) eg. looking up while doing pullups you'll feel it differently on the back than looking forward. Not sure what the training obstacle courses are like yet but have seen a few of the marines and looks like mastering the kipping pullup and muscleups would be very useful to help get through those.

As for practicing walk/run with weighted packs, I've been given the same advice about not trying it at home. Apparently it's really important that the weight is evenly distributed and that you use a proper bag as well the correct technique.

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Hey new recruits,

These guys Andriod, Shane, Pyro and Ronin know their stuff so definately take on board their points as you prepare for your AARC. I just finished basic for the Territorials (AARC 157) and it was amazing, I loved it - even though it's not really meant to be enjoyable :wink:

The number one killer on the course was injuries. Every day for the first 3 weeks we had at least 2 people from our Platoon going to the MTC. Some got medically discharged, some would be put on light duties - but that just sucks coz you have to watch everyone else do all the fun shit.

Blisters were the biggy, so when you get your new boots, prevention is better then cure. Trust me. Tape up your feet! We were issued our new boots the day prior to our first field ex and people dropped like flies due to blisters. The ones that taped up their feet were sweet. I was a lucky one and wasn't effected by them or anything throughout the training. I put this down to the preperation I put in prior to going to Waiouru, the fitter you are, the more enjoyable basic will be.

In regards to the pack marching question, your packs will generally weigh between 20kgs to 40kgs. Base weight with all your essentials sits around 17kgs, not including food or your webbing. There are differing opinions on this but I would recommend doing some form of training with a pack. So many people struggled with the pack marching and when in close country you are wearing the pack all day, and moving at a slow pace. The shoulders do feel the pinch that's for sure!

To be the best prepared for your basic as possible, I'd be taking your pack for a walk a couple of times a week, concentrating on your upper body strength and cardio. You need to get that run time down. You really don't want to be that guy that fails his RFL....It's gay. I failed the RFL press-ups twice before I nailed it, (but luckily have always been a strong runner), and the sit-ups, aim for the max, 130, almost everyone hits that mark.

As one of the other guys said, don't let them know you've done prior training e.g. Cadets. Don't put your hand up if they ask "if anyone has a degree?" That was the common question we got.

I'm also happy to answer any questions as only marched out at end of January so it's all still fresh! Have already been on a Coy Ex and it was awesome - so much better being on the other side. I think we need more females in the Infantry though! Why do they all want to be medics? Boring! :pfft:

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Nice post Samatron the main thing is look after your feet if you get blisters you are buggered. Go to the chemist and buy surgical meths it's used when you get your ears pierced, it helps to harden your feet up. So put it over your heels toes. Also go to a Army Surplus store and see if you can purchase a pack and go on pack marches. Pack fitness is something totally different and if your in the Infantry you need to be pack fit.

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A word of caution on the meths...it will harden the skin and can help prevent blisters, but if you're not careful it's very easy to overdo it and the dry the skin out too much, causing your feet to crack. Hello infections and pain. It can actually end up being worse than the blisters you're trying to prevent.

My advice (from infantry, and years of tramping) would be to wear 2 pairs of socks...one light thin pair next to the skin, and a thicker pair on the outside. The socks will move against each other, rather than against your feet, reducing friction on your skin and helping prevent blisters.

Oh and, hell yes Samatron, Infantry chicks rock!!

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