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POC Diary by Brows, 2007

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Brows
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POC Diary by Brows, 2007

#1 Post by Brows » Thu 14 Jun, 2007 1:26 am

I am 17 (as of this post) and have passed my POC, if I can do it you can do it. I am writing this diary to give something back to this site which has given me a helping hand. The other POC diary was of great use to me so I hope that 2 would be of immense use to anyone undertaking a POC. There is only so much you can do to prepare so hopefully knowing what’s ahead of you will do you a great service.

Best of luck.

Index

Arrival
Day one
Day two
Day three
Final thoughts
Top tips

Arrival

I arrived on the Sunday at around 8.30pm. Got off at Exeter St David’s and got the train to Exmouth to get to Lympstone Commando. You have to request this stop so I wandered up to the guard and made my request. It was only when I got off with about 50 other marines in training that I realised I needn’t have bothered, making myself look like a right tit! But better safe than sorry though so make sure you do request it.

I met another POC candidate whilst on the train. Easy to spot since he had a suitcase, suit and you could tell had no idea where he was. This was the guy I actually shared my room with so if you do meet someone whilst travelling down you are more than likely to be roommates for the next 3 days. Once you have got off the train you have to go to the officers’ mess. Naturally we got lost and had to be pointed in the right direction. After being met by the hall porter he kindly signed us in and sent us to where we would be staying.

The accommodation was what you would expect. In your room you have bunk beds (squeaky as hell) with a wardrobe each, then you have the communion toilets, basins and showers. I think some of the rooms had basins.
We were some of the last to arrive so most of the POC were already there and had eaten. We were too late for any dinner that I believe was served at 1830 until 2000. So if you want some dinner get there earlier. I would recommend that you do go down on the Sunday since it gives you a better chance to get to know everyone there. Most of us went and grabbed a coffee (really good machines and free) and it was great talking to like-minded people. All of them were really nice decent guys from all walks of life so as long as you’re not a knobber you will fit in.

Day one

I had my alarm clock set for 0630 but the guy I was sharing with set his for 0600. I wouldn’t have minded had he told me but it actually worked out quite well. You only have two showers between 16 (I believe) people. There is plenty of hot water but if you don’t want to queue get up early and get showered. After that get in your suit and get breakfast.
Breakfast is 0645 to 0730 each day and the food is good. There is a choice of cereal, toast and a cooked breakfast. I ended up having a fry-up everyday. I think its important to get a really good breakfast everyday so I don’t care if your not a breakfast person just eat loads.
You have nothing to do until 1130 so we all waited in the newspaper room. There was an entire corner shop worth of papers with “Officers Mess” printed on them, I was slightly surprised to see “The Sun”. After reading 3 papers (slow news day) 1130 came where a CSgt PTI came in and said “If you’re POC stand up… Follow me.”

He then takes you into a room where he quickly outlines what we were going to be doing over the next 3 days and just some general standards and behaviour. You do need to be on the ball since we were the only ones in suits in the entire of CTCRM so if your not acting like an officer the CSgt will know. After watch synchronisation (3 minutes fast) he asks if anyway is under 18. I obviously stick my hand up where upon he informs me that there are plenty of fruitinas behind the bar for when I go there. Luckily the other guys bought me drinks (I told you they were decent guys).
A current RM who was going for a Corp commission was made duty student which basically means he is in the shit if your late or your not where you’re suppose to be (I’ll get to that later).

After that we have a trip to the car park where the CSgt gives quick lesson in attention, at ease, left turn, right turn, how to march, left wheel, right wheel and halt.
We then headed off to get our photograph taken. It is taken as a group in alphabetical order in front of this nice statue of 2 marines storming somewhere in I think WW2. They only give out 4 (ish) photos at the end of the POC to the ones that passed and are the best physically, most determined or they just like. I was lucky enough to get one. I have framed it and mounted it in my room, and having that picture has made all the pain of the POC worth it.
We then march to the quartermaster where we sign for our camo trousers, jacket, rugby top, T-shirt, boots (if needed). Do bring your own boots, the issue ones are fine but then there not your boots. They will not be anywhere as near as comfortable as your well broken in ones ones. It would also be worth bringing some good insoles, I personally use “sorbothane” courtesy of the good advice given by greenwell.

After that you dump your new (old) kit in your wardrobe you’ll have some time to doss around before the RMFA. I can’t remember how long that was but it can’t have been more than 20 minutes but I suggest you use the time as I did by shoving plenty of food and fluid down your throat.

When the time came we fell in on the POC parade ground and the captain in charge of the POC met us and led us down to the gym. They forgot to give us water bottles up until then so they handed them out now. Keep them on you and take them everywhere, but most of all keep them full.

RMFA

For the RMFA you need to achieve at least 180 points, if you fail you are sent home. I don’t know how they work it out but one more repetition of on of the exercises may result in you staying or leaving. One of the guys who didn’t achieve it missed it by 2 points. That’s 1 press up. The CSgt told him (and the rest of the group) that and personally that would just eat away at me.

After a brief show by a PTI of a couple of things we went into the bleep test. Don’t worry about what the PTI shows you its not tricky, just showing you at ease, attention, etc again. There is no warm up for the gym, the first few levels of the bleep test serve as the warm up.

Bleep test

For those who don’t know there are 2 lines. They are 20 meters apart and there is a tape recording of some bleeps. When the bleep goes off you have to run to the other line before the other bleep goes off. There are so many shuttles per level and you must attain level 11 in order to stay. 13 is a good score.
Do practice one of these before you go on the POC. You can easily download the tape-recording after a few google searches.

Press ups

After a quick demonstration you pair up with another member of the POC. They lie on the ground with their fist outstretched and they look away. Only when they feel your chest touches their fist do they count.
The press ups must be done with the elbows alongside your body. Just like how you would do press ups in a coffin (tragic examples yes, but all I could think off). You have to take your shirt off for this so you might want to consider some sessions down at the local tanning salon. You get stopped and 60 but 50 is a good score

Sit-ups

After another example your pair kneels on your feet and pushes your knees together. Fingers on your temple you go all the way up and make sure you elbows tough the top of your knees. I didn’t a couple of times and got a bollocking.

Pull ups

Another example then you form a queue and you do it in pairs. Hands facing away from you and feet together you move to the commands of “Bend” and “Stretch”.
This bar is thick (basically a rectangular log) so practice pull ups on something thick, if you don’t have anything thick wrap a towel around your bar. It does make a huge difference, or at least I thought it did.

Something worth remembering is they are very strict on technique. Don’t get the exercise wrong because you are wasting energy on something that doesn’t count. They will pick up on it. Practice all the exercise at home as if you were being tested on the RMFA.
Another point is you don’t have any time to rest during this so when you practice this do them quickly one after the other, your scores will be effected.

After we were done there we went back to our accommodation and got back into our suits for the essay.
When the time came we lined up on the POC parade ground and the CSgt read the names of people who didn’t achieve the 180 points need on the RMFA. 3 people went there including the guy who missed it by 2 points.

Weapons presentation

You grab some weapons from the armoury, they do a quick presentation then you play with them. Unloaded of course but a bit of fun.

Essay

You are lead into a room where you are given 1 piece of A4 paper (you can have some more if you cock it up) to write about topics they give you.
I still go to college so I’m writing these bloody things all the time so it wasn’t much of an issue. But if you haven’t written one for a while do. Also you’ll have trouble if you’re not up to date with current affairs, make sure you are up to date with the news for a couple of months before you go on your POC. Spelling, grammar, punctuation and very importantly structure are scrutinised.
The structure should have a beginning
“This essay is about…”
A middle
That is to say the main meat of the subject with arguments for and against.
And a conclusion
“In conclusion I have found that…” Actually say “In conclusion”.

The topics I had were something along these lines.

“Do you think that the use of the media has aided or hindered the search for Madeleine McCann (for the future readers that is the 3 year old who has gone missing in Portugal whilst her parents were enjoying a slap up meal)?”

There was some question about “What do you think of Blairs’ wars?”

And then there was “Do you think the Royal Navy sailors should have sold their stories to the media after being captured by Iran?”

I thought the last one was pretty simple. It went something along the lines of “no they f@#k shouldn’t have” but with more decorum.

You have plenty of time to do the essay and we were being called up for our interview during it so overall we had about 2 hours –10minutes for the interview.

Interview

No real drama here, much like one of the ones you would have had with your ACLO.
Why do you want to join?
Where are the commando’s now?
I also got asked about VIKING, javelin, and BOWMAN.

If you have done your homework you’ll breeze it. Just be clear and have pre-set answers about things to do with you so you’re not taken by surprise.

Dinner at 1830, I remember consciously shoving anything down my throat knowing I would need it the next day.
Comment on the food though. Really good, also the service is lightening. They will give it to you as fast as you can eat it so I believe it is possible to have a entire 3 course meal in 6 minutes. I am going to get very impatient the next time I go out for a meal.

You can do what you like when your not scheduled to do anything so I was just getting to know everyone as much as I can. I don’t have to tell anyone not to go and get trashed in the bar even though they had really good prices.

Day 2

Also described by our CSgt as Black Tuesday, he’s not wrong.
Get up early and get yourself sorted. That is to say shower, get into your issued kit then head off for breakfast. Eat as much as you can. I didn’t want to eat much at that point (nerves) but I forced myself to. You have to be eating and drinking otherwise you will just collapse.

We went to the POC parade ground where the CSgt picked us up. We then headed off to get some logs we were going to be using later that day. There not that heavy but whilst carrying them you must keep instep. If you don’t they log will bounce up and down hard on your should and you’ll get a big bruise, I was keeping in step but everyone else kept changing theirs so I got a bruise.

Once we get onto bottomfield we dump the logs and our water bottles and we head off to the death slide.
DO EVERYTHING EXACTLY HOW THE PTI’S SHOW YOU, WATCH THE DEMO’S CAREFULLY!

Deathslide

Not hard, you’re harnessed on anyway and you just get the rope, climb the tower. Let the CSgt sort you out then chuck yourself out. Job done.

Punch in the net

You climb up a ladder (its not that high) walk halfway across this beam, about a foot thick. Shout your name then sprint at this net. At the last moment you just sideways leading with one of your arms punching through the net.
I had to do it twice because the first time I left with both feet. You have to jump with only the one foot.

From this point onwards you are constantly moving.
Another good tip is to practice and get good at leopards crawling and crabing your way to places.

Warm up

The warm ups I found the hardest bits actually. Because they were nackering you and you knew there was still all this other stuff to do. Just hand in there and it will soon end. I think the warm up on bottomfield is around 30 to 45 minutes. See what I mean.

Assault course

What it is really, they show you 3 obstacles with a PTI doing a demo then you do them. Whilst you are watching you are doing something called “marking time” (it was either marking or making I can’t remember) which was basically a run on the spot with your elbows tucked into your sides.
You do this through the entire assault course. It will take too long describing them all but it’s a assault course.
After you have done everything you have a timed run. As it sounds, they time you as you do it. I believe the max time is 5 minutes.

Log Race

Next you do exactly the same but with the logs you brought down earlier. They allocate different people to be in charge of different obstacles. Nothing too complicated just get it done.
They leave some of the other obstacles as leaderless to see how everyone reacts.


This is a log race done as 2 teams. One of the captains is with one whilst the other is with the other. They bet alcohol apparently on their team winning. They basically just shout…sorry encourage you to move faster.


Real log exercises

We get rid of the “matchsticks” as our CSgt called them and went over to get some proper logs. These things are big and bloody heavy.
You then do a load of exercises like shoulder press and biceps curls with them. You do quite a lot of both of these and you just get so tired. There are quite a lot of people watching now seeing who is “loafing” so do put the effort in because they will notice.
After that you do some sit-ups with the log. Not real drama there really, apart from your really tired.

After that there is this small hill where you put your logs at the bottom of then you have to leopard crawl up there using your elbows to push the log. Hard work that is. Very hard.

Firemans Carry

After a demo they pair you up with someone they think looks about your size then you have to carry them 200 meters in 90seconds. Your oppo carries you back then you carry them 100 meters in 45seconds. Your oppo again carries you back.
Hard work and leg strength is a must so I would practice it with a fat mate (also known as “the girlfriend”) so it doesn’t take you by complete surprise.

Regain

There is a tank of water with ropes suspended above it where we had to go to the middle, hang off it, do 5 pull ups and then try to do a regain that we have been shown how to do.
About 50% fell in. I went out to the middle, went under neither the rope and got to 3.5 pull ups then I fell in. I was so tired but the water was nice and refreshing. Consider how hot the day was it was quite nice actually.

They have a policy of 1 in all in so after I got out everyone had to get in (some for the second time). Whilst we were there fully clothed with boots on trying to tread-water the captain debriefed us for about 4 minutes. Told us what was happening next and so on.

Bottomfield over. 2 guys VWed (voluntarily Withdrew)

Feet

Look after your feet. I was wearing well broken in boots, thick socks and zinc oxide tape and I still got blisters. Do all you can to look after them.
When I was going on the endurance course I put some blister plasters on, then some more zinc oxide, then 2 pairs of socks ready for the endurance. But prevention is the best cure.

You grab a pasta lunch, we didn’t have much time to eat so we only managed a few mouthfuls of pasta before we had to go but do eat as much as you can.


Lecturette

This is about you. Nothing else, make sure you have prepared one before you have even arrived at Lympstone. Just talk about yourself for 3 minutes and the captain will give you a thumbs up when you have 1 minute to go. Try and throw the odd joke in there to engage the other people POC’s listening and try to refer back to what other people have been saying to show you have been listening.
Like “ I’m a ballet dancer, nothing like your rock climbing Jack”. You get the picture.

Endurance course

You get taken out in a truck (damn uncomfortable but you’re not thinking about that) and you end up on this wooded area. You are already tired but you just have to tell yourself to keep going. You get out the truck and have another warm up. Again I found these very hard because they nail you to the wall and you know you have loads to do.

Basically you run in boots up and down very steep hills. You do this for a long time and then you get to an obstacle. You don’t stop moving (remember marking time) whilst they show you the example. All of this is hard work but you just have to keep telling yourself to keep going.

This is a public place and there were members of the publics taking photographs. As we ran past I said “good afternoon” in a calm, un-bothered voice even though I was f@#k. They told you to be nice to the public.

Sheep dip

Tunnel from the adverts where the guy is stuck under there for about 5 minutes. The reality, under there for about 3 seconds.
You can’t move so you rely on the guy behind you to push and the guy in front of you to pull when he catches you. The silly bollocks I was catching didn’t put his arms out so I grabbed his head instead.

Crawling through mud

You have to crawl through these pits of mud twice. Leopard crawling through it is hard work. People say the mud is bad but I didn’t care at the time because I was so tired. I am still finding bits of it in my ear canal! You do get covered.
The public taking the photos have hot a nice “action shot” as the CSgt was chucking me (literally) in the mud. He was a nice guy really, no joke he was like the rest of the team, a really good bloke just trying to get the best out of you. So if they seem like a bastard don’t take it personally.
You have to roll over 5 times in this really thick mud where upon the captain asks you if you’re a hippo. I just said I don’t know.
Once that’s over you stop and tell jokes.
My one was “Where do you find a duck with no legs?”
“Where you left it”


Tunnels

Not a problem unless your claustrophobic. You just have to leopard crawl through these things which is hard work but it was nothing scary. Because there are bends in the tunnels you do end up going into complete darkness but its not a big deal. I believe the longest one is 50 meters long.

Hare and hound

Not a chance on this earth you’ll catch the hare. I though I may catch him before my POC now I realise that was a stupid thought. You don’t have to catch him but there is another PTI bring up the rear at a reasonably slow pace its only if he catches you you’re in trouble. I was just concentrating on getting there. Its through the woods so at least there’s some nice scenery.

3 miler back to Lympstone Commando

You form up in 2 coulombs and run a little over 3 miles back to base. I was actually at the front for 90% of the time because the guy next to me and myself were the only bloody two who could maintain the step of the CSgt. You have to run in step.
All of that was agony, you were so tired and you have to push yourself to keep going.
When we had seen that infamous sign the CSgt picked up the pace and I couldn’t keep up so I just maintained the pace I was going at. I made it back not 20-30 seconds after the main group had finished.
Then when we were told to lie down for a few seconds I was on the verge of passing out.
When we were going into the base we saw one of the guy who wrapped up on bottomfield at the bus station. He must have felt shit seeing us. A couple of poor guys did everything else then couldn’t keep going for the last run. Shame they were nice guys.

After this you had to get changed into your suits for the discussion exercise. Getting the mud off is hard and you only have 2 showers. You have little time so I ran a quick bath and tried to get the worst off. One of the other guys thought it was a good idea so he joined me. But we both didn’t enjoy it so it wasn’t gay.

Discussion exercise

After we got back to our accommodation I stuffed my face with as much food as I could bring with me. That got me going for the discussion exercise.

Fairly simple, in a big group and you discuss something brought forward by the captains. Yes you are tired but you need to speak up. Even if you are about you announce that you fancy the CSgt if it was relevant to the discussian you need to show you can still think whilst tired.

Our topics were something to do with binge drinking and something to do with abandoning the NHS for a American style health systems.

Just speak up, make sense and be logical.

The bar

We had some drinks in the officers’ mess and took advantages of the low prices in celebration on completing day 2. Really a good time to wind down.

Your body is in a lot of pain after all this so it was tough getting to sleep.

Day 3

Wake up, have breakfast and head down to the pool.

We met the CSgt outside the pool. We got bollocked for this because he told us to meet him inside. Hence why the duty student got in a little trouble.

Swimming test

Get changed (a couple had some “gay-boy speedos”) and swim 4 lengths as a warm up, 2 front crawl, 2 breaststroke. This swim really loosens up your body from the pain your in.

Then you get some trousers, jacket, webbing and rifle on and jump off a 3 meter high diving board. You will float to the surface but you have to work for that. You then swim half the pool length (25 meter pool) and then back to the board where you give your rifle and webbing to another POC. Touching the sides or bottom of the pool is a fail. Dropping the rifle is not a fail if you collect it from the 3.5 meter deep pool. Don’t drop the weapon.

Then he shows you how to dive. You then dive off the side.

Then you do the same from the 3 meters high board. I would recommend you practised a few times before the POC because I didn’t and I belly-flopped big time.

Last test is where you stand back towards the water on the 3 meters high diving board, arms to your sides, looking upwards and you just fall back. Do it right and listen to instructions then you will go in headfirst. We only had one who went in badly.

Presentation

They give you a presentation about the possibly career paths open to you if you are successful. Go through the train and its just a really informal “this is what will happen” speech. Lasts about an hour and it had a break in the middle. Dead interesting,

Results

They give you your results. Pass or fail. I passed purely because of my sheer determination. They give you a little more information on what to work on and how it went.
I couldn’t believe it when I passed.

CSgt PTI debrief

He then goes through all the physical aspects of how I went. You do this in a group and you go through all the scores and tell you what you need to do. For the RMFA he say you need to get:

Bleep test level 13+
Press ups 50+
Sit-ups 70+
Pull ups 10+

Then the people who didn’t make it go out the room and they give out the photos (woo).
After that there is a short AIB brief. But your ACLO will go over that with you.

On my POC there were 20, 11 got through.

Final Thoughts

Nothing can really prepare you for the POC. But you have just got to have the “keep going” attitude.

The scores I got on the RMFA and Bottomfield were terrible. I got enough to pass the RMFA but my bottomfield scores were well in excess of the requirements. They passed me because of my sheer determination not to stop and to keep going. They can work with that, they can make me fitter but if you don’t have it in the mind they can do nothing with you.

What I am saying is if you have got some poor scores for bottomfield keep going and don’t let it bother you. Don’t think you have failed and give it because if you keep going and you pass the endurance course chances are they’ll pass you. Giving up is the worst crime.

It’s all in the mind.


Top tips

Bring at least 4 shirts, you will need them because they’ll be covered in grime quickly.

Bring Jaffa cakes and other high in energy food. You should be snacking on this stuff in between what your doing.

Listen to precisely what the instructors are telling you. And do it exactly as they are telling you.

Make sure your boots are clean and polished at all times. They don’t expect you to have them to military standard but as long as they are black all over then that’s fine.

You can never be too fit so put the pie down and keep training.

In the discussion exercise you get the option of tea or coffee. Stuff the tea and go straight for the caffeine.

Make sure you shave everyday even if you don’t. You will get picked up on it.

Know as much as you can on the RM and RN.



If I think of any more I’ll try and add them.

I hope if you have managed to read it all (sorry about that) you have found it helpful and once again best of luck.

If anyone has any question I’ll try to answer them as best as I can and feel free to ask them. The only stupid question is the one not asked or something along those lines.

Brows
RM Commission progress

POC: 04/06/07 -Passed
AIB: 02/07/07 -Fail, needed more life experience

Intend to re-apply after I have gone to university

Read my diaries in the RM archives section THEN PM me if you have a question

Advertise your company or services here and contact us today!

Mitch
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Posts: 149
Joined: Wed 10 Jan, 2007 6:40 pm
Location: Kent

#2 Post by Mitch » Thu 14 Jun, 2007 7:45 pm

Thanks for that, well done on your pass.

A few questions:

1) Do you get one piece of A4 paper for all of the essays or do you get given one piece for each topic. (perhaps a bone question but I'm asking so I know what kind of detail to put in)

2)How is bottom field marked (if you know).

3) In your opinion, what is the best way to train for bottom field?

4)Is the 3 miler done in the two sections, ie 1.5 mile squadded and then 1.5 mile best effort, or done as one big run?

Sorry if it seems like i am quizzing you! :-?

Cheers again

Mitch

Brows
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Posts: 69
Joined: Fri 06 Apr, 2007 12:13 pm
Location: Running with scissors

#3 Post by Brows » Thu 14 Jun, 2007 10:35 pm

Greenwell you twisted my arm,

I will shamefully embarrass myself with my scores. Some of them I just don't know what happened, I usually score much higher.

Bleep test: 11.9 -I usually get around 13. One day after eating plenty of sugar I got 15.9. Maybe my bleep test is faulty?

Press-ups: 46 -I would have expected to get 50, but then you are tired after the bleep test.

Sit-ups: 62 -I have been getting 80 in practice but then I didn't do all the work beforehand and my technique was slightly off.

Pull-ups: I maintain I got 7 but it was recorded as 3 because they kept on knocking them off because I didn't keep my legs together. Again I usually get 12 but that’s when I’m fresh. Also like I said the bar is much thicker so you’re using your fingers more, so practice on something thick.

Overall RMFA score was 201. They say they'll be watching anyone who gets under 220 since they'll be likely to fail.

I think I’ve learnt from this to go all of them whilst tired to get a realistic score.

Bottomfield assault course was something stupid like 6 minutes. I had to do the ropes 3 times because I kept falling off. Like I say the cut-off time is 5 minutes

200 meter fireman’s carry. To be done in 90 seconds
I really struggled here, the guy I was carrying was about a stone heavier than I was but that’s no excuse. He kept on falling off (not blaming him, I was shite at carrying him) anyway got 240 seconds. CSgt PTI said that was the longest he has had anyone ever do it. I still maintain I did it deliberately so the other guys could have a rest though.

100 meters has to be done in 45 seconds
Same deal but got in at 60 seconds; I managed to keep him on my shoulder that time.

You can either look at it that my scores are shit, or that my scores are shit and they still passed me. That's how determined i was.

This is why I keep banging on about not giving up. I completed the endurance course and because I was so determined to pass despite my shocking scores they passed me.
Like I said it’s their job to make you fitter but if you haven't got it in the mind you're useless. Never give up or give in and don't even think about VWing. You are there because you want to be.

Mitch,

In answer to your questions

1) I didn't make myself entirely clear. You only have to do one of the essays and its your choice which one. You have 1 A4 piece of paper to use on both sides but no more.

2) Bottomfield is marked by your times for the timed exercises. E.g. for my truly shocking fireman’s carry I got something like 0.2 out of 5. Everything that is marked is marked out of 5.
Everything else I think is down to the marines marking you and what they think of you. E.g. my mark for "drive and determination" was 5 because I didn't give up and hung in there.

3) Training for bottomfield? Do a really intense 45 minute warm-up whereby you are fooked then kick a policeman in the nuts whilst in an area with loads of walls and try and get away.
Bottomfield is mainly mental; you just have to keep going. But the pointer I would suggest:
-Get good at leopard crawling and crabbing over really shit terrain.
-Make sure you’re a good runner and your CV isn't bad because you will be out of breath.
-Practice a fireman’s carry on one of your heavier mates, I had never done one before my POC. D'oh.
In all honestly there is no way to prepare for bottomfield. Just make sure you can do the above and you can keep going when your tired.
You are doing it for 3 hours and you have to put in 100% all the time.
Like I keep saying the "keep going" attitude is what's important.

4) The 3 miler back to base is done as just that, 3 mile run back to base. After about a 1/2 a mile you walk up a hill (in step) but other than that you are running for the 3 miles. After you see the "its only pain" sign they CSgt picks up the pace but then there is only 500 meters to go.
Do practice running in boots. That is a must since it is so different to trainers.

Don't worry about quizzing me, its what the website is for and I wouldn't have posted had I not wanted to be asked questions.

Brows
RM Commission progress

POC: 04/06/07 -Passed
AIB: 02/07/07 -Fail, needed more life experience

Intend to re-apply after I have gone to university

Read my diaries in the RM archives section THEN PM me if you have a question

Chas
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Location: UK & France

#4 Post by Chas » Fri 15 Jun, 2007 9:19 am

Congratulations Brows. :wink:

Other than advising people to prepare for their ordeal,
the most important advice which you gave is for all the
candidates to pay great attention to instructions and to
wolf down as much scran as possible to fortify the body.
Finally true grit, guts and real determination will be noted.
Size and youth does not matter as I very well know.
You will eventually be moulded into what is required.

Chas. :evil:
RM., Colonial Police & Queen's Regt HSF.

davidemmerson

#5 Post by davidemmerson » Mon 25 Jun, 2007 10:47 am

Well Done Brows sounds like you did really well. Couple of questions though:

1) When did you start preparing for the POC? I am 17 1/2 and have just started some running. Am i too late for applying when i am 18? I am thinking about delaying the application process for a bit.

2) Are you given a set date to arrive or can you turn up say 24 hours early?

Cheers :)

Brows
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#6 Post by Brows » Mon 25 Jun, 2007 5:30 pm

David

1) I started training when i was 16 and a half. But bear in mind that then i maxed out at 10 press-ups and a 1.5 mile run was a "challenge". So providing you had a much better initial standard of fitness you probably won't need as long as i did! :lol:

I also don't quite get what you mean by "too late to apply when i am 18". The maximum age is 25.
Anyway they only take 1 Officer batch at CTCRM every September and you have to apply before Christmas (or some time before then) for the next years batch. Does that answer your question at all?
So if you don't apply before Christmas this year you will have to wait until the 2009 batch.
Get down your AFCO and they’ll sort you out. Even if its just for information, they won’t mind.

2) Like Greenwell said, all POC's start on Monday. You have to get there before 0830 on that Monday. Most people (including myself) got there in the evening on Sunday. But if you turned up at 1300 on Sunday i doubt it will be an issue. Any earlier and you would probably just be seen as a inconvenience. You definitely couldn't arrive on the Saturday if that’s what you're asking.
But then we had people coming from Scotland and N. Ireland. You live in Cornwall so why do you want to get there so early? There isn’t much to do other than drink coffee and look very out of place.

Brows
RM Commission progress

POC: 04/06/07 -Passed
AIB: 02/07/07 -Fail, needed more life experience

Intend to re-apply after I have gone to university

Read my diaries in the RM archives section THEN PM me if you have a question

davidemmerson

#7 Post by davidemmerson » Tue 26 Jun, 2007 1:23 pm

Brows

1) When i said was i too late to join at 18 i meant should i went until i was 19 or so, so i could improve my fitness and techniques, not too late to join.

2) About arriving early- i wasn't going to turn up on the Saturday i was just interested to know when you could turn up.

Great Diary and thanks for the info :)

David

Brows
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#8 Post by Brows » Wed 27 Jun, 2007 8:31 pm

David

Completely up to you when you decide to apply. If you feel waiting a year is the best course of action for you then that’s fine, and somewhat sensible. However that would result in you going for the 2009 batch (a long and tedious wait), meaning you would have to apply before Christmas 2008. Because all applications have to be sent and sorted before Christmas so for the 2008 batch you will have to apply before Crimbo this year.

What's your fitness like right now?

What you could do is apply this year and use it as a recce for next year. Even if you don't pass your POC you can get a taste of the standard required and whether or not you want it enough. If you fail and you still want it no stopping you coming back and you will have that extra knowledge of at least the RMFA and bottomfield. If you're training for next year then you probably won't be training much harder than if you are doing it this year. If you pass everything then you're at RT a year early.

Anyway food for thought.

Brows
RM Commission progress

POC: 04/06/07 -Passed
AIB: 02/07/07 -Fail, needed more life experience

Intend to re-apply after I have gone to university

Read my diaries in the RM archives section THEN PM me if you have a question

Ed_Bailey87
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#9 Post by Ed_Bailey87 » Mon 24 Sep, 2007 11:51 pm

Awesome post mate, and a great help. I know that they will 'break me' but at least now I know a little more of what to expect and what to aim for. Is there any sort of break between the exercises in the RMFA, I guess there wouldn't be?
It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up.

Brows
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#10 Post by Brows » Tue 25 Sep, 2007 2:50 pm

Bailey,

Glad you enjoyed my post, it is nice to know people enjoy it and find it useful.

Answering your question, say you were doing press-ups you would get a quick demonstration (roughly 20 seconds), it takes around 30 seconds to get yourself organised and in the right position. Then you do the exercise, yourself then your partner; each taking turns counting. After that you stand up, come to attention and announce your score to colours.
Then you do the next exercise and everything is repeated in that format.
You don’t get that much of a break but it’s not like a whirlwind hit you.

What you don't want to do is be the first one doing press-ups after the bleep test because you need a few seconds to get your head on straight.
When I did it the people who counted first were the ones standing furthest away from the bleep test area (where I was standing) and I think that help me a little bit. They may not always do it that way but stand there anyway and you might get an extra 2 minutes for the other bloke to do his.

RMFA is important but it providing you get at least 220 it is deemed a reasonable score and it's not too significant.
Day 2 (black Tuesday, bringing strong memories to me now) is what's important. And leg strength is very important, I can't emphasise that enough so providing you are reasonable at the RMFA stuff don't stress over it too much.

Like you said, regardless of how fit you are they are going to push you to your limit then make you go a bit further so be prepared to dig deep and dig in. You need to want it.

Are you applying this year?

Brows
RM Commission progress

POC: 04/06/07 -Passed
AIB: 02/07/07 -Fail, needed more life experience

Intend to re-apply after I have gone to university

Read my diaries in the RM archives section THEN PM me if you have a question

Mitch
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#11 Post by Mitch » Tue 25 Sep, 2007 5:13 pm

Hey Brows

Might have been asked before but if you are doing the press ups are you allowed to rest in the 'up'/'stretch' position as long as you are within the 2 minutes? It's just that when i do this i can get 60 (obviously that is without doing the bleep test first) but i am resting in that position for perhaps 5-7 seconds sometimes. If it is not allowed i will have to rethink the way i test myself.

Thanks
Mitch

Ed_Bailey87
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#12 Post by Ed_Bailey87 » Tue 25 Sep, 2007 6:51 pm

Hell yeah I want it! I'm at uni now going to do my POC in march time next year and will be going for the sept '09 intake. Sorry but I've got another question about the RMFA, I apologise if you already said about this but, with the pull ups are you expected to go to full arm extention and lock out your elbows? I've been training to almost but not quite straight arms and can do around 30 at a time but if I 'lock out' my elbows I can only do about 1/2 that.

Thanks again
Ed
It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up.

Ed_Bailey87
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#13 Post by Ed_Bailey87 » Tue 25 Sep, 2007 7:19 pm

Cool thanks, I will have to work on locking out my arms in that case! What are the time incriments between the commands by the way?

Cheers
Ed
It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up.

Brows
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#14 Post by Brows » Tue 25 Sep, 2007 8:01 pm

PAGreenwell wrote:Yes you can lock your arms out and take a little rest as it were, make sure you stay in the press up position though, don't stick your arse in the air etc

As for pull ups you do them to commands "Bend" and "Stretch" This is to make sure you do them with strict form.
You are expected to lock out at the bottom and bring your chest to the beam at the top.

30 is impressive.

16 Pull Ups will get you the maximum score for the purpose of the RMFA.
What he said.

They are huge on the technique being correct so practice everything with the full and right technique.

Not calling you a liar but 30 sounds a bit much, you are either:

A) A scrawny bugger that is about 4 stone
B) Built like a shit-brick house and has been training hard for a long time.

But if you can do 15 (like you say) proper, full pull-ups then that is very impressive.

For the timings it's just Colours shouting it at the top of his voice whenever he gets an urge.

Brows
RM Commission progress

POC: 04/06/07 -Passed
AIB: 02/07/07 -Fail, needed more life experience

Intend to re-apply after I have gone to university

Read my diaries in the RM archives section THEN PM me if you have a question

Ed_Bailey87
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#15 Post by Ed_Bailey87 » Tue 25 Sep, 2007 9:05 pm

I'm not huge (I'm 11st) but I've been doing martial arts for 10 years and I've been climbing for about 6yrs as well. The combination of these is really good if you want a great power to weight ratio (hence loads of pull ups) and I've been training with the RM in mind for about 2yrs. But like I said if I lock out my arms I can only do between 13 to 14.

I dare say that when I'm doing my POC I will probably be a strong combination of knackered, nervous and excited and won't get top marks due to technique :) Will try to include pauses between the up and the down.

Thanks for the advice once again! I will probably have more questions at some point

Ed
It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up.

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