On a wild windy weekend our reporter, Eyleen Sheil, joined inquisitive potential recruits wanting to join the Royal Gibraltar Regiment. This was an Insight weekend, where those who particiipated crawled on their bellies through dirt and bushes and shot at fixed targets. Through time the RG has developed a new way of recruiting potential soldiers into the regiment, by offering a taster of army life and all the skills one can learn and activities one can take part in. This is the Insight Weekend.
This weekend is open to everyone between the ages of 15 years and nine months to 47 whether joining the Regulars (full-time) or Reserves (part-time).
Eighteen individuals attended the Insight Weekend the days I went. Ages ranging from 15 to 42 years of age. Although I only took part in some of the activities I was the only female to attend.
Starting on the Friday night at Devil’s Tower Camp and following some paperwork, the 18 attendees were divided into three groups; each group looked at various sections, weapon stands, kit stands and a video on life in the training college and in the army.
During that night, they were taught how to work within their team via various tasks and took part in military physical development training; this consisted of a serious of what can only be described as ‘hardcore’ actions like burpees and squat jumps.
If they stopped halfway during the routine they had to plank it for the remainder of the time.
A team of quality instructors from the regiment led the weekend and passed on their military experiences and knowledge to the three teams throughout the two-day programme of activities. This made it and even more worthwhile and enjoyable weekend. The feedback on Saturday when the weekend was near completion was all positive from all the attendees I spoke to who were planning on joining the regiment.
The attendees stayed overnight on the Friday at Devil’s Tower Camp, I rejoined them on the Saturday at Buffadero where I took part in the observation posts activity and paintballing.
The feedback on Saturday when the weekend was near completion was all positive with some attendees planning on joining the Regiment.
The observation task required myself and my “team-mate” Bakr Mesmoudi to crawl across dirt and brambles, through bushes to find an ideal spot where we could hide and observe the “village” below reporting back to Corporal Andy Wharton about what we found. The common term used for this is “recce”.
Mr Mesmoudi took the leading role with the binoculars. I was behind him with pen and paper to write down all he spotted.
In addition, to reporting what we could see in the “village”, we had to make sure we were not spotted by soliders in the “village”. Among the list of items Mr Mesmoudi found were military backpacks and a soldier at various locations.
When the task was completed and all findings were reported back to Corp Wharton, he briefed everyone on the items that were not spotted and other things such as looking for a way in and out of the “village”.
He also said that when crawling through the bushes soldiers needed to be careful as a moving bush could be spotted from a distance giving away a person’s location.
The soldier in the “village” who had the task of spotting all team members, spotted all but one person, me. I guess years of hiding in the grass as a kid in Ireland finally paid off.
The next task we undertook was paintballing.
This was not a team task and everyone had to fire at stationary targets while advancing or retreating from and to base, shooting at the target when down on one knee.
Lance Corporal Conroy briefed everyone before we were given protective headgear and the paintball gun. I was one of the first two to take part and over the rough terrain, it is harder than you might expect.
The last time I held a weapon was in 2012, it was an AK47, it had been even longer since I held a paintball gun, my aim has not improved much since then.
This is what some of the attendees had to say abut their experience at the weekend.
“It was an amazing weekend. I really did learn all about the Regiment and what it has to offer. An excellent career, with excellent pay and the chance to progress through the ranks. I cannot wait to join the regulars and start my new exciting career with the Regiment,” said Shayne Martinez.
“I enjoyed the whole weekend; the regiment has a lot more to offer than what I thought, with a really good structure to progress, with the chance to travel the world and see new places, I never knew the Royal Gibraltar Regiment was on par with the British Army,” said Karl Singleton-Au.
“An action packed weekend with loads of fun activities. I really enjoyed the observation stand.”
“I can’t wait to go off to the Army Foundation College and start my new exciting career with the Regiment,” said Luca Riley.
The next Insight weekend on August 25 – 26, I for one recommend you try it out, you will learn some new things, have some fun, meet some cool people and who knows start the career of your life.
For more information on the day contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Pics by Eyleen Sheil