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POC/AIB guides by Kwew, 2003

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kwew
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POC/AIB guides by Kwew, 2003

#1 Post by kwew » Wed 29 Oct, 2003 11:16 am

POTENTIAL OFFICERS COURSE (POC) BRIEF
Once you have received a letter from AIB informing you of the date of your POC, you should ensure that:
a. You have seen the POC video. All the RN & RM AFCO's (Armed Forces Careers Offices) should hold the video (note any Army AFCOs will not). You do not need to make an appointment to watch the video, just drop in, but bear in mind that others might be using the television and you might have to wait. Some of you might also have seen the Horizon video on RM selection, which is also informative, but not the official version. If you are experiencing genuine problems then we might be able to send you a POC video by post, if one is available, which you would then have to return to us. POC videos are like gold dust, though, as they tend to go missing from AFCOs, so this is unlikely.
b. You have read in detail the POC booklet (CP94 Dec 2000, AS size, green cover). This contains a breakdown of the POC and also gives a very good physical training program, which you are advised to follow prior to going on the course.
c. You have had a POC Medical. You will be sent a letter in due course, informing you that you
should attend a Medical at your local AFCO on a certain date. This is a basic medical to ensure that
you are medically fit to undergo the physical strain of the POC. If you are not, then recommendations will be made and you will have to comply with these before you attend POC (which means you will have to have another Medical to check). You need to have had your Medical within 3 months prior to attending POC. If you have still not heard from us regarding the Medical 4 week before your POC is due, then please get in touch immediately (by phone). In exceptional cases candidates can be given a Medical at Lympstone on the first morning of the POC.
d. You have re-read this brief. I have written several pieces of " Advice" that are normally given out during a verbal brief. After that you will find "Frequently Asked Questions", a list of questions that candidates have bombarded me with in the past, some of which you may also have in mind to ask.
e. You get in touch with me with any outstanding questions you have. There are no stupid questions (that have not been asked before!) and I am here to help. Do not suffer in silence, just send an email (s2c@dnr.mod.uk) or telephone my mobile (07977982115).
Advice
Training Programme -Although the training programme in the POC booklet is 6 weeks, I
recommend that you give yourself much longer. The programme is a guide only. Being that way inclined, I would advise you to maintain a fitness level around Week 4, then build it up gradually in the month or two before your POC. This way, when you go down there, you should be well beyond the recommended Week 6.
Warm-up- You should ensure that you have given yourself a comprehensive warm-up prior to
1 commencing the Royal Marines Fitness Assessment (RMF A), as on the POC many are surprised by the amount of work they have to do before the tests begin. You might go for a 3-mile run before your circuit.
j
Exercises -At the end of the POC video, after a pause, you will see demonstrations on how to do each :i exercise correctly. Of note are pull-ups (arms fully
extended, over-arm grip), sit-ups (hands touching il' head at all times, knees together, head & elbows back to floor, elbows to knees), press-ups (arms
shoulder width apart, chest down to 5cm off the ground, straight back). If you do these wrong, the PTls and Assessors will deduct points from your score.
The bleeps are about a second apart. For press-ups
i and sit-ups on each bleep you do one rep. For pull-ups it is "bleep" up and hold, "bleep" down. Slow down your training reps to make it more realistic. If you are using a tape to practise in a gym, be aware that tapes can become distorted over time. We use a CD to ensure timings are spot on. Do not be fooled by the pass marks -you lose a lot of points for not getting 100% on a test, but the rate of point deduction declines the lower you go. To ensure success make sure you are well beyond week 6 of the recommended training programme in the back of the old POC booklet.
Endurance -Many train for the gym and forget the endurance part. Passing the RMFA allows you to
commence the course. Doing well on the rest of the course is another matter. Endurance training is


mainly running, but by getting yourself to a level of upper body strength well beyond Week 6 of the programme, your overall stamina will have improved. Running should be cross-country running wearing trainers and normal kit. Avoid gym running machines. Vary your route to include steep hills and some obstacles (gates, walls, streams), if possible. Vary your speed -sprints followed by a steady climb, possibly stop for some press-ups or pull-ups if you pass a suitable place. All this will improve your stamina. In addition, any sports or activities endured for long periods of time will help develop this quality.
Lecturette -3 minutes long. Prepare well. Rehearse (in front of people for comments). You will have an overhead projector, but no other equipment (although you might have a chalk board or marker board in the room (but bring your own chalk/pens». By all means bring view-foils and props, but bear in
mind that the time taken using these will reduce the verbal part of your presentation and could send you over time. One or two relevant view-foils would be enough, if you need it. Use notes well -do not read off a sheet ...anyone can do that. Project your voice. Enthuse the audience.
Attitude -Enjoy it. Treat the POC as an acquaint visit (which are few and far between) as well as an assessment. Soak up the atmosphere. Most go home, having passed or failed, saying that they had a valuable experience. It may be that life in the Royal Marines is not for you and you might feel this during your POC. If that is the case then you will have benefited from the course. Most find that they enjoy being there and it therefore increases their determination to be a part of the organisation. Your attitude throughout will come under the close scrutiny of the assessing staff. Be yourself and give your all.
RMFA
I. The Royal Marines Fitness Assessment (RMF A) on the Potential Officers Course has now formally changed, in case you have done a POC in the past. The aim of this brief is to highlight the changes that have occurred so that you are fully prepared.
2. The grid sprints and burpees are no longer done. The RMFA now consists of the following exercises: a. Press ups. b. Sit ups.
c. Pull ups.
d. Progressive Shuttle Run (the "Bleep" Test).
3. All tests are conducted to an audible timing whereby you complete an exercise to a bleep, as
~instructed and demonstrated, and record a score when you can no longer maintain the set rhythm. Each test has a maximum score of 100 points giving a maximum total of 400. The pass mark is 160 and if you fail to achieve this mark you will be withdrawn from the course. Repetitions are counted and recorded by the training team.
4. The important distinction between completing exercises whilst training and during the test is the ability to keep in time with the set rhythm. For the first 3 tests a repetition is conducted approximately every second with a pause at the full range of each movement. A 2-3 minute break between each serial allows for a brief rest and a thorough explanation and demonstration of the next test.
5. The maximum repetitions attainable are as follows: a. Press ups -60.
b. Sit ups -85.

c. Pull ups -16.
d. Progressive Shuttle Run (the "Bleep" Test) -15.5.


6. You should aim for maximum scores on all the tests and not just to achieve a marginal pass. Your ilL attitude and work rate in the gym will be closely monitored and a less than determined approach may
~ -detract from a good RMF A score in the final grading.
Freauentlv Asked Questions "Do I need to buy apairofboots?"
You do not have to, but I would recommend that you do. Go to an Army/Navy store and get a pair of
black combat high boots. Failing that, any boot with a decent (2cm) heel-block and good ankle support will suffice. If you turn up without a pair, you will be issued some, but then your feet will not be used to them and this might impair your performance. Buy a pair, walk in them for weeks to break them in, apply liberal amounts of polish (do not brush the polish off though) to soften the leather, especially when they are drying. Then in the last few weeks prior to going down on POC, go for a few runs in them to familiarise yourself with the feeling. Note -be careful not to run too much in boots as many people injure themselves by doing so. I also recommend that you get them wet when you are running, again for familiarisation. You might also go for a run in wet trousers and wear a heavy rugby shirt instead of a light T -shirt. All other kit is issued.
"How Inuch current affair.\' do I have to know?"
The Admiralty Interview Board (AIB) will test you more thoroughly on your current affairs, but you need to know as much for POC. Although not tested in the interview at POC, you have to write an essay on a current affairs topic (which could be domestic or foreign affairs). During the Discussion Exercise your knowledge will determine whether you can contribute sensibly. You are marked down for speaking nonsense and for not speaking at all. With an arsenal of up-to-date information on a wide range of debatable topics, your confidence and contributions should be considerably improved. Read the Economist or broadsheets and have balanced views and an open mind.
"I can'tdo sit-ups -will lfailthe RMFA?"
Not necessarily. Each exercise has its maximum score. You should be aiming higher than a narrow pass. A weak performance in one area can be supported by a strong performance in another. Aim for overall performance to be strong.
"What sorl of topic should I choose for my lecturette?"
Without giving you an actual topic, I would say that you have to remember what is being tested: your ability to stand up in front of an audience and convey your knowledge in a confident, enthusiastic and well-prepared manner. Note the word enthusiastic. The subject itself is not that relevant, but the delivery is. I would recommend avoid anything to do with the military and also avoid the "What I did last summer" talk, although you may be able to pull it off. Choose a subject that you are enthusiastic about, that the audience will probably be interested in listening to (something unusual, something that might help them) and something that fits into 3 minutes easily. You can not cover a whole topic, so limit yourself and do not rush. Try to sell your qualities -if you have a sense of humour , make sure you get that across!
"What if I get injured before Iny POC?"
Go and see your doctor for an assessment of the injury. If you will recover in time then take no action, but if you are not going to be fit, then telephone AIB and POC immediately. AIB is important, as they are the main administrators for your application. Contacting the POC staff (telephone number on their joining instructions to you) is only courteous and avoids them putting you down as "Failed to Attend". Please bear in mind that if you leave it too late (thinking that you might recover, when you know that you will probably not) means that someone else can not be allocated your place. AIB will either offer you a later POC or postpone your application until the next year's intake (earliest POCs in October). Please do not forget your good old ACLO -keep us in the information loop as we are sometimes left out at this late stage. There is no point in you attending with an injury -the course will,exacerbate it and could cause permanent damage and your performance will not do you justice.


I
"When .\,hould I go down to Lympstone?"
I recommend that you travel down on the Sunday so that you have time to settle in, get to know the
others on the course and mentally prepare for the kick-off. I would take the train so that you are free to think about what you are letting yourself in for, rather than draining yourself by driving. Arriving on
the Monday is fine, but you will be tired from the journey and have the worry of getting there on time, which you could probably do without. You will be sent a rail warrant and if you are driving you can claim the petrol cost back later.
"When will I find out if I have passed or not?"
You are told on the last day, in the morning. If you have passed all the physical tests then you should
have passed, unless there is are major flaws in other areas of your performance. If you have just failed one or two of the tests, then all is not lost, as there is always a chance of redeeming yourself in another area. In the debrief interview you will be told where your strengths and weaknesses lay and, if you were unsuccessful, you will be given a comeback period. I will be sent a copy of the report, as will AIB, so I will be in touch later to go through the report in detail and give my advice.
II Looking ahead, when can I expect to get an AIR date ? "
If AIB are busy, as they usually are from February to July, you might get a short-notice AIB 2-3 weeks after your POC. Otherwise expect to wait about a month or so. Then again, this is subject to change, as if lots of candidates pass, then AIB places are filled on a "first come, first served" basis, so you might have to wait until the very end.
" I missed the first deadline, but AIR told me that they would try to give me a board- what are the chances of me getting an AIR?"
It does all depend how many candidates get through POC and how many late applications there were. Those that have not had a POC by the start of July are unlikely to be seen by AIB. Indeed, even those in June are going to be lucky, if they missed the first deadline. Some places at AIB are reserved for
overseas candidates who are attending POC (so that they do not have to return from abroad), so if some ; of them fail POC, a place may become available for you (again, if you are lucky). I
! ;
~ Please find below the contents of the new Potential Officers Course guide. This will eventually replace the old POC booklet.
GETTING SELECTED
A TEST OF MIND AND MUSCLE (as at 27 Jul 01)
In order to maintain their very high standards, the Royal Marines use a tough screening process to select Young Officers for training.
There are 2 stages:
I. The Potential Officers Course
2. The Admiralty Interview Board
Candidates who pass the first stage are allowed to go forward to the second.
Following successful completion of the Admiralty Interview Board, a Final Selection Board {which meets near the end of July) will decide who will be offered a RM Commission {this does not require candidates to be present).


Potential Officers Course (POC)
The POC is designed to see whether you are likely to meet the challenge. It is a gruelling test of your physical fitness, and we are assessing your determination and
-commitment.
But we are looking for a little more than that: your leadership potential and
intelligence, how you communicate and whether you can keep a sense of humour, for
,example when you are about to make your third attempt at the net jump. Can you , ;cc'

think on your feet when the going gets tough ?
The POC also gives you the opportunity to find out more about us. By the end, you will have had a taste of life as aY oung Officer in training. It is also a unique chance to learn a lot about yourself and your strengths and weaknesses.
The POC takes place at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM), Lympstone, Devon. The base is situated on the banks of the Exe estuary, 8 miles south-east of Exeter.
Courses run approximately twice a month throughout the year increasing in frequency between March and July. The POC lasts for 48 hours spread over 3 days from midday Monday to Wednesday.
Before you arrive
You will receive comprehensive joining instructions 5 -6 weeks prior to the course providing all administrative details and a rail warrant.
If you want to give your best on the POC, thorough preparation is ~. The POC video, available from your Careers Officer, will expand on all areas of the course outlined here. An additional Royal Marines Fitness pamphlet (CP 114) will provide a recommended training programme and advice on physical preparation.
DA Y ONE
1130- Arrival
You are required to arrive at CTCRM by 1130 on Monday. Candidates may turn up
on the Sunday if traveling some distance; the Officers' Mess should be informed of this detail by Friday of the preceding week.
Take this initial opportunity to get to know other members of the course, since you will need to work as a team over the next 48 hours. Passing the POC is about meeting a standard -the standard demanded of a Royal Marines Officer -not competing with the others.
After meeting the Course Supervisor you will be issued with kit, have your course photograph taken and take lunch. This is followed by a presentation by the Course Officer on the POC in detail and about the Royal Marines, covering recent Corps history , organisation and roles today.
1430 -Initial Fitness Test
You will then move to the gymnasium to undertake the Royal Marines Fitness Assessment (RMFA).


To begin with, the Physical Training Staff will brief you on the way you will be expected to conduct yourself during the RMF A. Then you will be taken for a small warm-up phase before beginning the RMFA proper, which consists of the following:
.Progressive Shuttle Run (the 'Bleep' Test). You will run between 2 lines, 20 metres apart, at a pace dictated by bleeps, beginning at 'level 1'. Each level has several 'shuttles' at the same pace and the pace quickens at the start of each new level. Although part of the overall RMF A, this test has a separate pass mark and you must keep up with the bleeps and reach level 11.0 as a minimum.- If you do not achieve this level, you will be withdrawn from the course. A result of 'level 15 shuttle 5' will gain maximum points for the purposes of the RMF A.
.Press-up Test -The frequency of repetitions is controlled by an audible bleep. One full press-up (down and up) is done to each bleep. 60 repetitions will get you maximum points. Your score will be recorded when you can no longer maintain the set rhythm.
.Sit-up Test -Again the frequency of repetitions is controlled by an audible bleep. One full sit-up is done to each bleep. 85 repetitions will get you maximum points. Your score will be recorded when you can no longer maintain the set rhythm.
.Pull-up Test -This exercise is also controlled by bleeps. On the first bleep you will pull yourself up -using an' overarm ' grasp until your chin is above the beam -and hold this position. On the second bleep you will lower your body until your arms are straight and locked out. This constitutes one repetition and 16 repetitions will attract maximum points. Should you let go of the bar you will not be allowed to re-grasp it. Your score will be recorded when you can no longer maintain the set rhythm.
All 4 RMF A tests have a maximum score of 100 points each. The overall RMF A pass mark is 200 out of 400 points. Any candidate failing to complete level 11.0 on the Bleep Test will be withdrawn from the course. Any candidate scoring below 200 points on the overall RMF A will also be withdrawn from the course.
1615 -Essay and Interview
Next, the emphasis changes from physical to mental prowess, as you will write a short essay on a current affairs topic. You will be given a choice of 2 subjects, a time limit of 1 hour and a maximum of 2 sides of A4. What we are looking for - apart from accurate grammar and spelling -is your ability to reason, justify your arguments and communicate clearly on paper.
Your knowledge of the issues of the day is important. As a Royal Marines Officer you could be involved in one of them, not just read about it in the papers.
During the essay writing the Course Officer or Assisting Officer will take each candidate aside for a short individual interview. This will help them get to know you -and to find out why you want to join the Royal Marines as an officer.
1800- Drinks in the Officers' Mess ,



The first day ends with a chance to meet Young Officers currently under training.
Over a drink or two in the Mess, they will tell you at first hand about the challenges and rewards of training.
Make the most of the opportunity to talk to them. If you do, you will get more of a flavour of what might lie ahead if you pass the POC.
After dinner the rest of the evening is free. It is wise to get an early night before the second day.
DAY TWO
0800 -Bottom Field
After breakfast, the day begins with a thorough warm-up and a demonstration of how
to tackle each obstacle on the Assault Course.
Following a further set of team exercises, you will be split into teams for the log
race, where each team has to convey a log around the course without it touching the
ground. For some of the obstacles, you will be the team leader, for others a team ~jl":'i!J{I;",.' member -and on other obstacles there will be no leader designated.
First you will have a short time in which to work out how you are going to tackle
each obstacle. You will then have to brief your team clearly and positively before
putting your plan into action. It will test your drive and assertiveness, how well you communicate under pressure, and how well you work as a team member when someone else is leading.
Next you will perform an exercise on the 30ft ropes (climbing the ropes is not
required) and undertake a Fireman's Carry. Then, you will have to dig into your
reserves of strength as you tackle the Assault Course again, this time on a timed run. The final part of this phase is the 'net jump' on the neighbouring Tarzan Course. It will reveal your level of aggression, commitment and head for heights -put simply, your bottle.
You will then get cleaned up and eat a light pasta lunch in the Officers' Mess. After a strenuous morning you are encouraged to use this meal as an opportunity to fuel and fully hydrate your body prior to the afternoon's activities.
1130 -Lecturette
For a Royal Marines Officer, the ability to communicate with others is vital. With
this in mind, you will be expected to deliver a three-minute lecturette to your fellow course members in a classroom. The choice of subject will be yours and you will have the chance to write your talk before you arrive. Preparation is the key to
success here. Careful planning is needed to do you and your subject justice in only three minutes.
1230 -Endurance Course
Following another quick change you will be taken to the local training area on
Woodbury Common, three miles from Lympstone, for the start of the Endurance
Course at 1300 hrs. The course -one of the Commando Tests -consists of a run of six and a half miles over varying terrain.


The first two miles will be run as a group over rough ground, including water pools and tunnels. There will be regular pauses for an explanation of how to tackle each obstacle. This is followed by a 'Hare and Hounds' race where you will attempt to
catch up with a member of the Training Team running at the front of the group. .:~' The final two and a half miles are conducted as a squadded run through the lanes " back to CTCRM.
The Endurance Course tests exactly what the title suggests. Throughout, you will have to show not just physical fitness but the mental desire to keep going despite increasing fatigue.
1500 -Discussion Exercise
The final assessed activity on the POC is the Discussion Exercise, which takes place back in the Officers' Mess. Controversial and topical issues are put forward for the group to debate. You are expected to participate fully and explain the reasoning behind the comments you make and expand upon other members' ideas.
In this exercise we are observing your interpersonal skills -how you articulate your
point of view, how you listen to others and how you react to someone who disagrees
with you. Remember that if you do not become involved, it is difficult for us to form a view on your qualities in this area.
By 1600 the formally assessed phase of the course is complete. The rest of the
afternoon and evening is spent cleaning the equipment you were issued on Monday and relaxing and enjoying the comforts of the Mess.
DAY THREE
0800 -Battle Swimming Test
The first event of the final day is the Battle Swimming Test. Your performance in
this test is not assessed; it is included in the POC so you can gain an insight into
other physical aspects of training. Although swimming can be taught at CTCRM in training, it is beneficial for you to arrive with some ability particularly at breaststroke.
0900 -Presentation
Next follows a comprehensive presentation that concentrates on Royal Marines
Officer training. You will be briefed on Royal Marines careers, specialisations and methods of entry. You will also gain an insight into the next hurdle for those who succeed on the POC -the Admiralty Interview Board (Am).
1030 -Final Interview
The POC ends with a final interview in which the Course Officer or Assisting
Officer will give you your POC result. He will take you through your strengths and weaknesses as they have emerged over the past 48 hours, informing you whether:
..You have been recommended to attend AIB . ~


..You are advised to come back on another POC, for a further attempt, after a period of time.
..You have been assessed as unsuitable for a commission in the Royal Marines.
~ After the interview, by about midday, you will be free to leave however, you are welcome to stay for lunch.
By coming on a Potential Officers Course you will have had the chance to prove to us that you have got what it takes -the potential to become a Royal Marines Officer. But, just as important, you will have proved it to yourself. Do remember that despite
j the early emphasis on physical prowess, a career as a Royal Marines Officer is very j much about your effective intellect.
j Frequently asked questions
I
IQ. Can I bring my own boots?
A. Yes, so long as they are of a military style, have a substantial heel block and
adequate ankle support. All boots will be checked on day one and military boots issued where required.
Q. Can I use visual aids for my lecturette?
A. An Overhead Projector is the only piece of equipment allowed for this presentation (videos, computer or slide projectors can not be used). Other static props may, though, be brought along to enhance your topic.
Q. Will I automatically fail the course if I do not complete a test?
A. The POC exists to identify potential. The instructors will consider a candidate's overall performance and not that on individual tests with the exception of the Bleep Test and the RMF A.
Q. Why do we need to carry our water bottles (issued at POC) all the time?
A. The physical intensity of the POC is such that it is essential to hydrate continuously. While dehydration can be of most concern in the warmer months, your body works best when it is fully hydrated whatever the time of year.
Q. Why has my Bleep Test result been lower than I have previously achieved at home/school?
A. Many Bleep Tests are run using cassette tapes that have become stretched over time. At the POC, only official Bleep Test CDs are used. Furthermore, the effect of the warm-up and natural apprehension of candidates undertaking physical tests in a strange environment should not be underestimated.


AIB
---
Admiraltv Interview Board (AIB) Brief Introduction
You should now be preparing for the POC, so this is a good time for you to think about the Am to
ensure that if/when you pass, you have sufficient time left to make final preparation. I say this because Am are giving dates very soon after the POC, sometimes as little as 2 or 3 weeks, so if you are
anticipating 6 weeks of preparation time, you may feel that you should have started preparation earlier .
To be honest, there is not a great deal of "extra" preparation that you can do for Am. You will have done a lot of current affairs and service knowledge preparation already for POC and you should have thought through, in great depth, your reasons for wanting to become a Royal Marines Officer. Much of what they are testing will have been developed in you during the course of your life -skills such as communication ability, decision-making, authority, effective intellect. These skills tend to take much longer to develop, so if you are about to be let down by any of them, you will need at least a year to attempt to sort them out, rather than a few weeks.
That said, by thoroughly understanding the AIB process and feeling well prepared for it, you will find yourself much more relaxed and confident on the day. The aim of this brief is to ensure that you have had all the information available, in order that you get it right on the day. If "right" means that Am deem you unsuitable for Royal Marines Officer entry, then at least you know that you have given your all and that they have made the best decision. If it means that they believe you would be suitable for training, then you have a vote of confidence that you are not going to find the going so tough that your career in the Royal Marines is a misery due to being out of your depth the whole time.
Preparation Procedure
1. Step One -Read this advice. Twice!
2. Step Two -Ensure you have watched the Am video (you will probably have seen it after your
initial interview).
3. Step Three -Current affairs and Service knowledge preparation. "Know thyself." 4. Step Four -Achieve a strong pass at POC.
5. Step Five -Possibly watch the Am video again as a reminder 6. Step Six -Emailme with any questions you have.
7. Step Seven -Speak to me prior to attending Am for a chat.
This procedure makes the most sense, as Step 3 will assist you at POC, leaving the time after POC free
for final preparation. A good percentage do not pass POC, so please do not flood me with emails and phone calls about Am before achieving a pass at POC, as that is obviously a waste of time.
Routine
I. You will receive a letter from Am informing you of a date. You must confIrm that you are able to attend. We eventually receive a copy in the Birmingham office, but let us know by email when you hear from AIB all the same.
2. Travel down in good time -this will allow you time to settle in, meet the other candidates, complete the questionnaire, relax and mentally prepare.
3. Day One: Psychometric (written) Tests; Practice of Command Tasks in the Gym; Practice of Discussion Exercise.
4. Day Two: Command Tasks in the Gym; Discussion Exercise; Personnel Selection Officer (PSO) Interview; Main Board Interview.



5. Day Three: Final Interview with debrief. Return home. AIB's Aim
The aim of AIB is to assess you in four main areas: I. Effective intellect; 2. Leadership potential; 3.
Character & Personality; 4. Motivation. Walk-throu2h I Talk-throu2h I. Administration.
Clothing: Dress to impress. You should have a smart suit for during the day and then smart casual wear
(for example, jacket and tie) for the evenings. Make sure you are clean and well presented. Choose sensible clothes -be conservative. If you only have a suit, then wear that for your evening meal, but you should take sufficient collared shirts. Remember that you will be sweating a lot through toil and pressure. You will be observed, even in your relaxation time. Remember that you will be staying in a naval establishment -a shell suit is not appropriate attire! You may find time to go out for a run and
there is a pub just down the road, so you are free to sensibly make use of that, if you desire.
Questionnaire: Take time to fill it out, as this is your chance to provide extra information about yourself. It may be that you have achieved more things since filling out your application and you should rightly wish to bring those things to the Board's attention. They will look through this information and often use it as a basis for your interview. Be honest -usual interview skills apply -do not exaggerate claims. The Board has seen a lot of candidates and they go into depth with everything.
If the only book you have read is "Bravo Two Zero", then I would suggest that putting down "Reading -Twentieth Century Military History" as one of you interests is stretching reality somewhat!
Other Candidates: Firstly, they are not your enemies. However, in the bigger scheme of things, you are competing against them, despite what everyone seems to be telling you. So get to know the other team members beforehand. You share a common bond -you have all passed POC. The message is to make sure you work with them at all times, rather than be the spanner in the works, and to build a good team in the short time available. Working well together will enhance your overall performance. The Board may decide that no-one in your group has achieved the standard required. On the other hand, all of you may pass -this happened in my group when I went through.
Administrative staff: It goes without saying that you should be courteous at all times. As the staff there have served for a long time, use the opportunity to speak with them about it. They will be more than happy to speak to you.
2. Psychometric tests.
The tests: Verbal Reasoning; Non-Verbal Reasoning (shapes/sequences); Numerical Fluency; Clerical Speed & Accuracy; Spatial Awareness; Written Communication Skills (one Essay and one Summary). It is not good enough to consider past academic performance, although this may provide a indication.
With the advent of more coursework and modules, exams results are more likely to show whether you can work well over time. What is required here is to work quickly and accurately under time pressure.
Pointers:
..Timings are strictly adhered to. You have to work very quickly if you are going to finish the tests. They are very tiring as a result.
..If you do not finish, do not worry, as no single test will cause failure- ..Some are multiple choice (some are negatively marked)-
..You are given several essay titles to choose from -these may be current affairs based on an
event (e.g. Peace Support Operations in Kosovo) or an issue (e.g. GM foods; abortion; Europe). ..The Summary is a text that you have to summarise down to a given number of words.
'


-
3. Command Tasks.
The Test: You are given a task (i.e. get the barrel from A to B) and a number of constraints. You have 15 minutes to consider you solution. You then enter the gym and each of you has 8 minutes to complete your task. Once all have led a task, there is a leaderless task.
Pointers:
..You will have had the opportunity the day before to familiarise yourself with the equipment and certain procedures (e.g. for having a bowline tied by the staff)-
..The Selection Board is present to monitor your performance. This is the first time you see them.
..Project your voice at all times. Remember that in order to assess you, the Board must be able to hear what you are saying.
..The aim is to see what your command skills are like. Can you make decisions? Can you think on your feet when things go wrong? Do your team listen to you? What do you do to control them if they are getting too far ahead? Are you confident? What support do you give the other team members? Do you have a sense of humour? These are all considerations.
..If things go horribly wrong and your plan fails, fear not -the Board will be looking at how you deal with the situation. Can you remain calm and regain control? Are you flexible and able to adjust your plan to make it work? Can you motivate your team to meet the deadline? Of course it is good to finish, but the Board are more interested in how you operate as a leader, in order to assess your potential.
4. Discussion Exercise.
The Test: 15 minutes individual preparation & note-taking. Into the Board room. Given additional problem and 15 mins to discuss it and come up with a team solution. 5 mins to present it (I person chosen or volunteers). Approx 4-5 mins of questions for each candidate by the PSO. All exit & return individually to give 2 min summary of plan. You are being assessed on your problem-solving ability, communication skills, character, powers of judgment, memory and confidence, to name a few areas.
Pointers:
..Confidence is important, but do not be too pushy and annoy the other candidates. ..At the same time, you can only be marked on what you say. If you have an idea, then present
it, or someone else may think of it a minute later and gain credit-
..Use your preparation time wisely -you are expected to be able to remember a lot of information. Although you may take notes, you will not have time in the Q&A session to refer to them.
..Speed/Times/Distance practice is especially useful for this test.
..You do not have to agree with everything the PSO says. She (I use she for both he/she -in my experience PSOs have been female ...you may find a male doing this job) is testing your plan and so may mislead you if you blindly follow her prompts. Or she may be helping you. That is for you to figure out. If you are adamant about the advantages of your plan, then by all means stick to it if you can justify it. Do take on any good ideas she gives you and incorporate them into your plan, if you see fit-
..Be prepared to present your plan in 2 minutes exactly -do not go into too much detail -you will be stopped at 2 minutes.
..Speak clearly -the Board have to hear you to judge what you are saying. -



5. PSQ Interview.
This is when you get to see another side to the PSO! This is an informal chat designed to get to know
you on a more personal level. You will be asked about issues such as your relationships with members
of your family and friends, strengths and weaknesses, problems encountered and your beliefs. You may be asked for your views on various topics relating
to the Armed Forces. Your understanding of our policy against discrimination may also be checked. Your leisure-time habits and activities are of interest –
how much do you drink? Do you smoke? Have you ever taken drugs? All of these are

designed to get to know you and how you live. If you have any concerns about this then I can advise you..
6. Main Board Interview.
You have 8 minutes of questioning with each member of the Board. Firstly the Headmaster will ask
you questions about your academic performance, schooling and cultural side. Then you will be asked about Service knowledge, sporting activities and
group activities by a senior officer (probably RM
Colonel). Finally, the Board President will ask about current affairs and fill in any gaps that remain in their knowledge about you..
They want to get to know you and the interview is conducted in a very friendly, relaxed manner. They have already seen you perform and have a good
indication of what kind of person you are, so that
should allow you to relax more. This is the time to sell yourself, as you would in any interview. You
could practice your interview skills in preparation for this. Remember the timings -speak too much and you may get marked down for not being concise
and for waffling. You also see yourself off, as they
will not be able to ask you the rest of their questions, which you may have produced excellent answers for. Be honest. Be yourself.
7. Debrief.
You will be put out of your misery and told the good or bad news. Then try to listen to what the
President has to say. Most people hear a bit of it, but miss a lot. That is why we are sent a report and I, as your Liaison Officer, will be able to go through it
with you in more depth later, when you are more ready to take note.
The outcomes are as follows:
a. Strong Pass -You are likely to be selected for the next batch or sponsorship. You may, however, still be unlucky, as there is no guarantee that 50 more brilliant people sit AIB after you! The chances are, however, that you will make it.
h. Pass -You will be lucky to get into a batch, but do not discount it. You might and if AIB scores are low that year then you could be in with a chance.
c. Narrow fail -If it is your second time, then it may be a good idea for you to look at another career or to try for Recruit Entry. Otherwise if the Board feels that you might improve on a second attempt, you might consider having another go when you are older or better prepared. Those going for sponsorship are often advised to come back after University and apply for DGE.
d. Fail with weak score -Considering the number of higher quality candidates that are trying for Royal Marines Officer Entry, you should really not be thinking about applying again, unless
considerable improvement has taken place. This might mean waiting a long time (not just 12 months). You should seriously consider Recruit Entry, as you may just be wasting your time trying for
something that you appear to be out of your depth in. At this level, you may do well as a Royal Marine, but would be struggling as a Royal Marines Officer .
Freouentlv Asked Questions
These are a selection of the most commonly asked questions and fears of candidates. Please email me with any others you have -you are probably not alone and the only stupid question is one that remains unasked! '...
(None at present as I have tried to include all of the info I have in the main body.)

[EDIT- unstickied as this is no longer the most recent diary on here. However, it still contains much useful info, and is therefore well worth a read - druadan]

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AngryBillyBob
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#2 Post by AngryBillyBob » Mon 15 Mar, 2004 11:34 am

Yeah what happeds if you fail POC? Do you have the opportunity to do the PRMC?

Ill wait till the weekend to read that :dance:
"The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other ******* die for his."
General George Patton

goffer
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#3 Post by goffer » Wed 05 May, 2004 10:58 am

Does anyone else on here have their AIB coming up? I've got mine at the end of May and I'd be interested to hear any top tips (yes i have used the search function, mods) or just start a general AIB thread for those of us studying for it.

Just to get the ball rolling -as given to me by my Liaison Officer- :

For current affairs buy a large page to a day diary, split the world into main regions and then everyday fill out a couple of paragraphs about what's happening in that region. Use newspapers (quality ones) and good quality news websites such as the bbc. Then a couple of days before your AIB you'll have a really good reference to revise from.

ajcee867
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#4 Post by ajcee867 » Wed 02 Jun, 2004 9:24 am

read the economist too.

if you subscribe its much cheaper than the £3 it costs off the shelf in a newsagent

Dunners
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#5 Post by Dunners » Thu 16 Jun, 2005 3:37 pm

What is the time that is allowed between the press ups, sit ups and pull ups?

Spence
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#6 Post by Spence » Thu 16 Jun, 2005 9:44 pm

Basicly the course is split into two "teams" after the Bleep test (not to compete against you understand, however you are paired up with a member of the other team), red and blue if I remember correctly. The tests begin with a demonstration from the PTI then red team (for example) will conduct the test, followed by the other half of the course. This is then followed by a demonstration of the next test and pattern repeats. Is that what you meant?

-Spence

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