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PARA All you ever needed to know about joining the Paras

All Parachute Regiment related articles, frequently asked questions and other useful information in here.
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El Prez
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PARA All you ever needed to know about joining the Paras

#1 Post by El Prez »

Stueyhill originally produced the atached information. It has been made a 'Sticky' post for reference purposes; for those considering joining the Parachute Regt. Please do not post unnecessarily in this topic, thank you.

Primary role: airborne infantry

Secondary role: light infantry

The Parachute Regiment was formed in 1942 and since then has seen service around the world. At present it consists of the following elements:

1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment - 1 Para... Special Forces Support Group

2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment - 2 Para

3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment - 3 Para

4th Battalion(Volunteer), The Parachute Regiment - 4 Para(V)

Pathfinder Platoon

1 and 2 Para are based at Aldershot in Hampshire and form part of 16th Air Assault Brigade, along with the Pathfinder Platoon. 3 Para is located at Dover in Kent and is part of Britain's contribution to the Allied Command Europe Mobile Force (Land) - AMF(L). There is also a small Regimental Headquarters at Aldershot; this has no tactical function and is a purely administrative body. 4 Para has its headquarters at Leeds but its companies and detachments are scattered over the UK.


Winston Churchill ordered the formation of a force of British paratroopers on 22 June 1940. No.2 Commando was selected for this task and began training at Ringway near Manchester. Soon it was redesignated as 11th Special Air Service Battalion and it was a detachment of this unit which carried out the first Allied airborne operation of the war. This was the raid on the Tragino acqueduct in southern Italy in February 1941. Later in 1941 the airborne troops became 1st Parachute Battalion and soon more battalions were formed, along with the necessary supporting units. In 1942 The Parachute Regiment was formed as the " home " for the parachute battalions. Seventeen such battalions were raised during the war, although the last three were too late to see any action. There were also three pathfinder companies, one in each of the two British airborne divisions and one in the Indian airborne division formed in 1944. The most famous actions of the Paras in World War 2 are probably those in Normandy in June 1944 as part of the 6th Airborne Division and at Arnhem in September 1944 with the 1st Airborne Division. However elements of the 1st had already fought in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, while the 6th was to go on to the Ardennes campaign and the crossing of the Rhine. In addition an independent brigade served in Italy, southern France and Greece.

The 6th Airborne Division was one of the last elements of the British occupation force to pull out of Palestine in 1948, just before the creation of the State of Israel. That same year the number of parachute battalions was reduced to three, along with a Guards independent pathfinder company. Together with airborne engineers, gunners etc. these formed the 16th Parachute Brigade. In 1949 The Parachute Regiment became a permanent part of the British Army's order of battle as a separate Corps of Infantry. Previously it had formed part of the Army Air Corps but was now to have its own colours, march, Colonel Commandant ( the first being Field Marshal Montgomery) and other distinctions. From 1953 other ranks could enter the Paras directly from civilian life, while the first officer was commissioned into the regiment in 1958. ( Before this regular officers had been seconded from other regiments. A few still transfer today )

In the 1950s the 16th Parachute Brigade served mainly in the Middle East. Here its operations included the Suez invasion of 1956, in which 3 Para carried out the last combat drop of the regiment to date, and the deployment to Jordan during the Lebanon crisis in 1958. In the following decade the regiment saw action in Cyprus in 1964 ( 1 Para ), the Radfan in the same year ( 3 Para ), Borneo in 1965 ( 2 Para ) and Aden in 1967 (1 Para ). In addition a company each from 2 and 3 Para served tours in Borneo in the long-range patrol role, under the command of 22SAS. No.1(Guards) Independent Company and the Gurkha Independent Parachute Company, which existed from 1963 to 1971, also served such tours. 1969 saw the first emergency tour by a parachute battalion in Northern Ireland; since then Paras have been there more often than not, both on what are now called " roulemont " tours, lasting six months, and as part of the permanent garrison. The 1970s, however, saw the regiment in decline when 16th Parachute Brigade was disbanded in 1977. There was no reduction in strength of the Paras themselves but almost all the parachute-trained support units went, along with the Guards company. Only one battalion group was kept " in-role", as the Parachute Contingency Force.

The Falklands War of 1982 saw some of the toughest fighting by the Paras since World War 2. 2 and 3 Para formed part of 3 Commando Brigade, which also included 40, 42 and 45 Commandos Royal Marines. 2 Para's capture of the Darwin/Goose Green isthmus on 28/29 May was the most famous battle of the campaign. 3 Para's night attack to seize Mount Longdon on 11/12 June was equally hard-fought and in fact resulted in the highest British casualties of the war. By contrast 2 Para's assault on nearby Wireless Ridge two nights later went about as flawlessly as such an operation can; this was the final nail in the coffin for the Argentine forces on East Falkland and they surrendered the next day.

After the Falklands War it was decided that Britain again needed a proper airborne capability and 5th Infantry Brigade became 5th Airborne Brigade. It was to consist of two battalions of Paras, a Gurkha infantry battalion and various supporting elements, such as 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery which once again returned to the airborne role. The most recent operational deployment for the Paras was in Kosovo in June 1999. Here 1 Para, reinforcements from 3 Para and the Pathfinder Platoon formed the initial element of 5 Airborne in the province. This was the last operation for the airborne brigade as later that year it became a mechanised brigade. Earlier that year C(Gurkha) Company of 2 Para served a six-month tour in Bosnia. The rest of 2 Para completed a tour in Northern Ireland. Exercises in 1998 and 1999 were carried out as far afield as Poland, Germany, Canada, Belize, Gibraltar, Kenya, Norway, Cyprus and the United States, involving either whole battalions or company groups. " Adventure " training saw groups going to Scotland, Nepal and other locations.

Recruitment and Training


The majority of men applying to join the Paras as officers today are in their last year of university, but some come from school or jobs in civilian life and others from within the ranks of the army, though they must be under 25 years of age. Applicants go on a familiarisation visit to one of the battalions and a Potential Officer Course run at Regimental Headquarters. Often applicants will spend a day or two in the field with a couple of NCOs to see " if they've got a bit of bloody spark in them. "

Assuming he passes the POC interviews and the Regular Commissions Board tests an applicant will then go on to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Here cadets " sponsored " by the Paras do the same Common Commissioning Course as cadets of all arms and services, excluding professionally qualified officers such as lawyers and doctors.

The course is divided into three 14-week terms each separated by 3 or 4 weeks leave. It covers leadership, platoon tactics, map reading, skill at arms, drill, communications skills, military administration and organisation and academic professional studies( military history and defence policy ). The leave periods will be mainly spent on what the British Army calls " adventurous training ", for example rock climbing, parachuting, scuba diving or sailing.

After " passing-out " at Sandhurst, Parachute Regiment officers have to pass the All Arms Pre-Parachute Selection Course or " P Company". P Company is based at Catterick and has a staff of five NCO instructors commanded by a major. Here they will be joined by sappers and gunners wishing to join the parachute-trained units of these arms, and by officers transferring to the Paras from other regiments. The first half of this 3-week course is the Buildup Phase, in which candidates run and do gym work in the mornings and march with rifles and Bergens in the afternoons. Test Phase starts on the Thursday of the second week. The first test is the Steeplechase, a 3km obstacle run. Following this is the Log Race, 8 men for each 72kg(160lb) log; the Ten Mile Bash, a 16km march that has to be completed in 1 hour 45 minutes; the Assault Course, three laps to be completed in a certain time; the Confidence Course, carried out on the trainasium, basically a huge piece of scaffolding; and Milling, in which two candidates face each other in the boxing ring for one minute- no flinching, dodging, weaving or turning is allowed. On the next Wednesday the candidates move to the Brecon Beacons in Wales for the final tests. The first of these is known as Endurance 1 and is a 29km forced march, like all marches done with rifle, webbing and Bergen ( rucksack). On day 2 in Wales comes Endurance 2, an 18km march over the famous Pen-y-Fan mountain, the scene of part of the SAS selection course. After thirty minutes rest candidates must do a 16km speed march over the hills near the mountain. The last test is the stretcher race, in which teams of twelve run with a 90kg (200lb) steel stretcher for 11km, being assessed by the instructors on their individual efforts. The pass rate for P Company is about 45%. ( for all candidates, not just Para officers ).

Officers who do not pass P Company must transfer to another regiment. The rest must then complete the Basic Military Parachute Course run by No.1 Parachute Training School at RAF Brize Norton. While on the four-week course candidates are split into groups of eight, each with its own Parachute Jump Instructor(PJI). Their first jump will be from the Skyvan aircraft which has replaced the old balloon, while the next seven will be from the Hercules(C-130), progressing from a " clean fatigue" in daytime to a night drop with full equipment. Now the lieutenants are finally ready to join a parachute battalion, usually in command of a rifle platoon. However their training is not over as after about six months learning the ropes they will be off to the three-month Platoon Commanders' Battle Course, run by the Infantry Training Centre,Wales. New officers will normally spend their first two years of service as platoon commanders.

Other ranks

Those wishing to join the Paras as soldiers will be put through a quick Parachute Regiment Assessment Course to weed out those obviously unsuitable for duty with the regiment. They may also go on an " insight" weekend to find out more about the regiment. Most recruits will be 17 or 18 years old; some may have done a year as junior soldiers at the Army Foundation College. Recruit training is divided into two phases: the Common Military Syllabus- Recruits and " special to arm " training, the arm in this case being the infantry. Both are 14 weeks long.

The CMSR in the British Army is carried out at five Army Training Regiments. Those destined for the Paras go to ATR Lichfield in Staffordshire, where the regiment has its own company, run by Para officers and NCOs. Here recruits learn basic fieldcraft; basic fitness; drill, discipline and turnout; military knowledge; first aid; and basic weapon handling, including firing their first annual personal record. From Lichfield they go to the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, in North Yorkshire. Once again they are instructed by their own officers and NCOs. Weeks 1 to 10 at Catterick include endurance and speed marches, as well as many fieldcraft exercises. Marksmanship training moves from the range to field firing and covers all weapons used by the infantry. Week 10/11, lasting ten days, is the P Company test phase, in which recruits must pass the same tests as the All Arms Course. Success here results in the right to wear the maroon beret. Week 12, also known as Exercise Mole Mania, is a five-day live firing field exercise. Recruits live and fight in trenches in the defensive phase and also carry out day and night platoon attacks. Week 13 is devoted to field firing, including grenades, mortars, anti-tank missiles and medium machine guns. Close quarter battle and platoon tactics are also practiced. Week 14 is spent on brushing up on drill in preparation for the pass-out parade.

On completion of the second phase of their training Paras go to Brize Norton for the basic parachute course. They then usually join a rifle platoon within one of the parachute battalions. Later they may specialise in mortars, anti-tanks, sniping etc. Training for most of these skills is done at the Infantry Training Centre, Warminster. Promotion to lance corporal is usually done after passing a 3-week cadre run by the battalion itself, but from then on promotion courses are integrated with the rest of the infantry. Candidates for corporal must pass a 6-week Section Commanders' Battle Course in Wales and a 6-week weapons and range qualification course at Warminster. Those going for sergeant usually have to pass a written exam and have qualified as an instructor, as well as the Platoon Sergeants' Battle Course.

Organisation, Weapons and Equipment

Regimental Headquarters

The Regimental Headquarters at Browning Barracks, Aldershot, consists of the Regimental Lieutenant Colonel, the Recruiting Officer( usually a retired major ), the Recruiting Warrant Officer and a number of clerks who are responsible for the administration of the regiment. The Colonel Commandant is usually a high-ranking former Para, retired or still serving. The current Colonel Commandant is General Sir Rupert Smith, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

Battalion Organisation

Each regular parachute battalion has a headquarter company , three rifle companies, a patrol company and a fire support company, for a total strength of about 550 all ranks. Headquarter Company is comprised of the Battalion Headquarters Platoon, which includes the Provost (regimental police) Section and Medical Section, the Orderly Room, Quartermaster Platoon and Motor Transport Platoon, as well as two non-Para sub-units, the Catering Platoon from the Royal Logistics Corps and the Pay Section from the Adjutant General's Corps. Support Company has three platoons- Mortar, Machine Gun and Anti-Tank. The Mortar Platoon consists of four sections, each with two 81mm mortars and a Mortar Fire Control (MFC) party. An MFC party is usually attached to each rifle company on exercises or operations. The Machine Gun Platoon has six 3-man gun detachments each with a 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun( the FN MAG ) operating in the sustained fire role i.e. with a tripod and mortar-type dial sight. There are also four .50in Browning heavy machine guns for optional use; these were seen in Kosovo mounted on Pinzgauer light trucks. The Anti-Tank Platoon is organised as a small headquarters and two sections, each with three Milan missile launchers ( referred to as firing posts or FPs ).

Patrol company

The patrol company concept originated in September 1964 when C Company of 2 Para was reorganised from volunteers from throughout the battalion as a long-range patrol unit, to operate in Borneo. 22 SAS at this time had only two squadrons and despite reinforcement from the Guards and Gurkha independent companies was struggling to cover the long Malaysian-Indonesian border, as it also had operational commitments in Aden and the Radfan ( the mountainous area north of Aden ). An Independent Parachute Squadron had in fact served in a similar role as part of 22 SAS in Malaya 1955-57. C Company's tour in Borneo lasted from March to July 1965. D Company of 3 Para served a simiar tour in March-July 1966. C Company served another independent tour, this time in the Radfan in 1966, while the rest of 2 Para was in Bahrain. These two companies were retained by their parent units in the patrol role, originally consisting of four 16-man platoons. Later the organisation was changed to two 24-man platoons, one usually in vehicles and the other on foot, although they were interchangeable. Both served in the Falklands War.

Today the organisation of the patrol company( which is lettered, not named ) in each battalion is slightly different. Each has as its main combat element the Patrols Platoon, which depending on the battalion has from six to eight 4-man patrols, operating in armed Land Rovers or on foot. Also under command of the patrol company, mainly for administrative purposes, are the Signals Platoon, which provides the radio operators for both the battalion HQ and the various company headquarters, the Intelligence Section and the Training Wing( in 2 Para this is part of the Air Training Cell under the Air Adjutant ). In 1 and 2 Para the Assault Pioneer Platoon is also part of the patrol company while in 3 Para it comes under HQ Company. The Assault Pioneers are responsible for such tasks as wiring, mining and demolitions within the battalion.

Rifle Companies

A rifle company has a small headquarters and three 28-man platoons, for a full strength of about 90. On operations or exercises the HQ would normally be split into two and reinforced by attachments such as signallers, an MFC party, a Forward Observation Officer(FOO) from the supporting battery and his team and some medics. One group would be under the officer commanding(OC), a major, and the other under his second in command(2IC), a captain. The company sergeant major, a WO2, would be with one of the groups.

The basic building block of the company is the rifle section of two four-man fire teams, one under the section commander, a corporal, and the other under his 2IC, a lance corporal. Each of these teams has a 5.56mm Light Support Weapon as well as SA80 rifles, hand grenades and LAW80 94mm disposable anti-tank rockets, these having replaced the 66mm Light Anti-tank Weapon. However the LSW is not popular and before the entry into Kosovo 1 Para replaced most of its LSWs with GPMGs. The platoon commander and platoon sergeant, like the junior NCOs, have small radios to speak to these men in action. The other two men in the platoon HQ are soldiers carrying a larger radio ,set to the company net, and a 51mm mortar. Up to sixteen men in a battalion are trained as snipers in addition to their roles within a rifle company. They usually operate in pairs armed with the 7.62mm L96A1 sniper rifle. The Barrett Model 82 .50-calibre rifle has also entered service.

Major weapons systems

6x Milan anti-armour missile launchers( range 1950m )

8x 81mm mortars( range 5650m )

9x 51mm mortars (range 800m )

6x Sustained Fire Machine Guns

4x 0.5in Browning Machine Guns

Equipment and Vehicles

A parachute battalion does not have a huge amount of vehicles but its equipment includes some Land Rover 90s and 110s, and also Steyr-Daimler-Puch Pinzgauers, known as the Truck Utility Medium (Heavy Duty). A more specialised vehicle is the Supacat, a small 6x6 All Terrain Mobile Platform(ATMP). Four wheeled offroad bikes have also been tested for use by the Paras. The Clansman series of radios has been in service since the early 1980s and ranges from the PRC-349 used at section level to the VRC-353 used at battalion HQ. Another, newer radio in service is the long-range but lightweight PRC-320; more sophisticated signals equipment would be operated by an attached Royal Signals rear link detachment. Clansman is to be replaced soon by Bowman. In service already is the Irvin Low Level Parachute which has been successfully tested with full equipment from a height of 300 feet ( 90m).

Capabilities and Role

The two parachute battalions forming part of 16th Air Assault Brigade train for parachute, tactical air landing and helicopter-borne operations. One battalion is at all times designated the Airborne Battle Group (ABBG) and typically reinforced by a 105mm Light Gun battery from 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (7 Para RHA) and a troop of about 50 sappers from 9 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers (9 Para Sqn RE). These are the last two remaining support units which are fully manned by graduates of P Company and parachute training. The ABBG is at 2-5 days notice to move and the role is switched between battalions every six months. As part of the commitment to the Joint Rapid Deployment Force (JRDF) the ABBG serves two-month tours in rotation with other units as the UK Spearhead Battalion, on 24 hours notice for operational deployment.

The ABBG would be the lead force of the brigade, seizing a Tactical Landing Zone (TLZ) to bring in the remainder of the troops. Such an operation could be launched from the home base in the UK or a Forward Mounting Base. It could be a " theatre entry", the first troops into the area of operations, or what is called Cross Forward Line of Own Troops, in other words in concert with forces advancing by land. In a parachute operation initial entry could involve a stand-off drop and approach march to the target, or a direct overhead assault. The ABBG could be followed by the other Para battalion as the basis of a Follow Up Parachute Battle Group. The other troops and heavy equipment would be brought in by Rapid Air Landing using Hercules aircraft.

Tactical Air Landing Operations (TALO) involve the use of up to four Hercules to capture an airfield, usually by night. This is the type of operation used in Prague in 1968, Entebbe in 1976 and Kabul in 1979. TALO requires a single runway at least 1500m long; several runways could see multiple aircraft landing at the same time. The operation would see a very low level approach, under 250ft ( 75m ), a sudden deep descent and a quick stop to allow rapid deplaning of vehicles and infantry into the assault. Helicopter-borne operations are referred to as SH after the RAF's Support Helicopter Force, whose Chinooks and Pumas provide the lift capacity. The Apache and Lynx helicopters of the 3rd , 4th and 9th Regiments Army Air Corps, part of 16 Brigade, would constitute the attack element. As in other operations the Royal Air Force could also supply escorting fighter and attack aircraft. The Tactical Transport Fleet, the four squadrons of Hercules based at RAF Lyneham, is vital to paratrooping, supply dropping, air landing and logistical build-ups.

Besides these operations 16 Air Assault Brigade is to be capable of long-range raids, area interdiction and support to special forces. It will be under the control of the new Army/RAF/Navy Joint Helicopter Command although many deployments will probably be conducted as part of Britain's contribution to the Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC). Britain is designated the lead nation for the ARRC and the commander and many of his staff are British. During the Kosovo crisis of 1999 both the ARRC, which provided the headquarters for KFOR, and the AMF(L), which did the same for the troops in Albania, were commanded by former Paras- Lieutenant Generals Mike Jackson and John Reith. 16 Brigade, besides two battalions of Paras and three AAC regiments, has another infantry battalion, a pathfinder platoon, a parachute artillery regiment of 18 guns, an engineer regiment (including the parachute squadron), a support regiment from the Royal Logistics Corps, an air defence battery (Javelin shoulder-fired missiles), a close support medical regiment, a signal squadron and a battalion from the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (REME- pronounced " remmy " ). The brigade is expected to become fully operational in April 2000.

Pathfinder Platoon

The present-day Pathfinder Platoon was formed at the same time as 5 Airborne Brigade, in 1983. It was originally manned both by Paras and volunteers from other units within the brigade. Since 1996 it has formed part of the establishment of The Parachute Regiment. The Pathfinders have the responsibility for what are called Advance Force Operations. Chief among these is the covert reconnaissance, location and marking of Drop Zones(DZs), TLZs and helicopter Landing Zones. They may also be employed on target recces for air and land raids and limited high-value offensive action(OA). Pathfinders may be inserted up to a week before the arrival of the rest of the troops. Their role once joining up with the main force is that of brigade-level Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR). This involves operations beyond the range and capacity of the Patrols Platoons and other recce elements of the brigade. Recces could be on foot or in armed Land Rover 90s.

The Pathfinder Platoon has its own selection course and training programme, taking only men from the parachute battalions. The platoon maintains the following skills in some or all of its members:

Resistance To Interrogation training

Combat Survival

Jungle Warfare Skills

Combat Medic

Mobility Skills

Helicopter Fast Roping and Abseiling

Demolitions and Route Denial

Mountain Warfare Skills

Forward Air Controllers

Long Range Communications Skills

The Pathfinders operate in four-man patrols, four of which make up a troop under the senior patrol commander, a lieutenant. There are two troops, Air and Mountain, and a small headquarters, for a total strength of about 40, the platoon commander being a captain. Air Troop is trained in both High Altitude Low Opening(HALO) and High Altitude High Opening(HAHO) free-fall parachuting, while Mountain Troop utilises only HALO. Unlike the rest of the Paras the Pathfinders use the M16A2 rifle as their main weapon, often with the M203 grenade launcher attached. They also use GPMGs and the 66mm anti-tank rocket, retained because of its light weight. Many members of the Pathfinder Platoon go on to join 22SAS.

TA Paras

In the 1950s there were nine battalions of Territorial Army paratroopers, forming the infantry element of the 16th Airborne Division. Since this time the number of Para reservists has been steadily reduced until in 1999 the last two battalions were combined into one, known as 4 Para(V). This battalion has its headquarters at Leeds in South Yorkshire and the three rifle companies spread around the UK. 10 Company is at London; 12 Company at Leeds with 16 Detachment at Hebborn; and 15 Company at Glasgow and Edinburgh. These numbers represent the battalions from which the companies are descended. TA Para recruits do two weeks full-time initial training, which ends with a reduced two-day pre-parachute selection course. Their parachute training also lasts two weeks and does not include a night jump.


The distinctive maroon beret and capbadge of the Paras have been the model for airborne forces the world over. The beret was adopted in the middle of 1942 and the badge a few months later. The volunteers from the Royal Gurkha Rifles who have made up C Company of 2 Para since 1996 wear their own badge on the maroon beret. So do members of the airborne supporting arms, but only when actually serving with a parachute-trained unit. Full colonels and brigadiers are considered " late Infantry " and wear their own capbadge, as do major generals and above. However these officers continue to wear the maroon beret to show their Para origins. The parachute wings are worn on the right sleeve, just below the shoulder; recently subdued examples have been seen on combat kit. Assistant Parachute Jump Instructors(APJIs), Paras who are responsible for such training within the battalions, wear their own special wings. ( The PJIs at No.1 PTS are all from the RAF) Each parachute battalion has its own DZ flash, worn on the right sleeve of the combat smock. These are red for 1 Para, blue for 2 Para and green for 3 Para. These colours are also worn as lanyards on No.2 Dress ( the khaki service dress ). The Pathfinder Platoon wears a red/green flash with a black upward-pointing arrow over it. The famed Pegasus shoulder flash was worn on both sleeves by all members of Airborne Forces from 1942 to 1964, when the World War 2 " battledress " was replaced and such flashes discontinued. It was revived by the Paras in the 1990s and worn on the left sleeve of the smock. The Paras are now to wear the diving eagle flash of 16 Air Assault Brigade, for starting in the Gulf War formation signs have been re-introduced in the British Army.

Further Reading

Adkin, Mark. Goose Green: A Battle is Fought to be Won ( Orion, 1993 )

Beevor, Anthony. Inside the British Army ( Corgi, 1991 )

Harclerode, Peter. Para!: Fifty Years of The Parachute Regiment (Orion, 1992 )

Thompson, Julian. Ready For Anything ( Wiedenfeld & Nicholson, 1989) [/img]
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#2 Post by nlk »

I'm a northern monkey and Leeds is in West Yorkshire (not south).And TA p-coy is 3.5 days and its a similar bitch according to my masochist friend who did all arms about 2 months afterwards (the beat up for regulars is much, much worse thoug)h
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#3 Post by para »

Ok alot of this is old or wrong information, I didnt bother reading it all...
2 & 3 Para are based in colchester, 1 para in dover, but its eventually moving to colchester with 2 and 3.

You used to do phase 1 and 2, now they class it all as 1 big phase, all at catterick.

I cant be bothered going into detail about training but...
Week 1-6 (week six pass off the square), pass off the square you get a long weekend, 7-12 followed by 2 weeks leave (im in my 2 weeks leave now) then 13-19 (week 19 p-coy lasting 4 days, TA is all the same except they dont do the 20 miler) week 23 (I think, not sure is dynamite mole, once known as mole mania or whateva, iv been told by other recruits this was harder than p-coy, they were all halucinatin an stuff, seein ice cream vans driving through the woods, and dragons in the sky and what not) week 26 pass out parade, 2 weeks break then off to brize, jump course...battalion

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#4 Post by Chester »

Blame the site we got it off! Cheers for the update Para!

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#5 Post by para »

Yeh all the sites are old and outdated and what not.

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#6 Post by andy.j.p.w. »

does anyone know wether there is a requirement for the bleep test. because when i went to rsc i was told that i should get at least 14 is this true? obviously i am gonna give me all but i would just like to know what to expect.. cheers
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#7 Post by RobT »

This battalion has its headquarters at Leeds in South Yorkshire
Someone doesn't know their South from their west. Oh dear

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#8 Post by Mal »

No, what you heard at RSC is not true at all. For the Parachute Regiment the current pass mark for the Paras is Level 10 Shuttle 6 on the MSFT. You will do the MSFT during Week 1 of training,




#9 Post by judy29 »

just an update. 7 RHA is now in colchester. 8)

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#10 Post by Boxingmad »


Regular recruit training for the Parachute Regiment's regular battalions (1, 2 & 3 Para) is a 24 week course held at the infantry training centre in Catterick. P Company is weeks 19-20 with a final pass-out parade in week 24. Recruits go to do a four week parachute course at RAF Brize Norton before being assigned to battalions.

TA recruit training for the Parachute Regiment's TA battalion (4 Para) takes the form of 1 weekly evening training session and 8 training weekends. There is then a two week Combat Infantryman's Course at Catterick with P Company being held in the last few days. Recruits then do a two week parachute course at RAF Brize Norton at their convenience before joining their regional companys.
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#11 Post by Tunny »


Regular recruit training for the Parachute Regiment's regular battalions (1, 2 & 3 Para) is a 24 week course held at the infantry training centre in Catterick.
its now 26 weeks
10th Oct - Paras basic.

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#12 Post by Boxingmad »

I stand corrected.
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#13 Post by Guest »

how does the pathfinder platoon training compare to the royal marine commando is it harder?

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#14 Post by Sarastro »

Ho dear. I think you will find that they are training for two completely different roles, so you cannot compare them. RM training is basic infantry training, while Pathfinder is specialised recon with elements of SF training.

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#15 Post by ChrisBird »

i noticed you said most recruits are 17/ 18 years old when joining. is it "odd" for a 19 year old to go for it?

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