Working with 5 Royal Regiment of Fusiliers - by Lance Corporal Dexter

Arriving at Warcop camp in the rain gave a familiar sense of excitement and nervousness that comes with knowing you are going to spend the next few days in an unfamiliar environment undertaking physically challenging tasks.

With the evening to conduct pre-exercise admin and meet other people that I would be working with, I was instantly made to feel welcome. There were a couple people that had been on the same PJNCO cadre as me a few years ago and coincidently we were all in the same section.

En route to the DOP the weather seemed rather unpromising for the next few days. It was showing almost constant rain for the next week combined with strong wind and cold temperatures, so we were all mentally preparing ourselves to be freezing cold and piss-wrapped for the entire exercise. Fortunately, we only experienced the cold part of this, as after stepping off the coach it attempted to rain briefly and didn’t return until halfway through the exercise, at which point it only lasted a few hours.

Within 3 Royal Anglian I normally step up as section commander and currently command a section within my platoon. However, being an addition placed into a section already consisting of 6 LCpl’s meant it taking on different roles and tasks. It was the first time I had stepped down since promoting so allowed me to gain a different perspective and evaluate myself as a commander, but brought with it more stag, which we all know is everyone’s ‘favourite’ part of any infantry exercise.

The exercise consisted harbour drills, orders, Recce’s, FIWAF and a Platoon deliberate attack on a FOB.

Every unit does things slightly differently, some for the better, some for the worse. Going back to my unit I have some good ideas and points I will recommend but can also take pride in the things we do well.

Furthermore, I highly encourage more people to undertake training with other units where possible, particularly as a reservist where it is expected for you to be able to integrate into a Regular battalion to bolster their strength on operations. Additionally, it is important to learn from other units’ strengths so we can operate better as one Army.

It doesn’t matter what unit you conduct training with, each one has its pros and cons however one thing appears consistent. Whether you’re on a cultural day at GO-APE and shaking the wire they’re trying to balance on or keeping each other awake on stag with life stories. The people make the experience.