Best thing you’ve gotten to do in the paras

Big_Shep

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A highlight for me was definitely an Exercise in America when I attached to B Coy Gp 3 PARA. We deployed to the US to integrate with their 1st Battalion 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment (1-325 AIR) and also US Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) (USACAPOC). Really interesting guys and a great opportunity. There were a fair few 4 PARA blokes attached so it was a real jolly and the banter was immense. Everyone was in really good form.
We had plenty of jumps which was great. The weather was unreal. Perfectly clear sunny days and clear cool nights. What made me laugh though was the yanks attitude to medical risk during jumping. They literally said to us that injuries are part of the nature of parachuting and one of the reasons for parachute pay!
Out of over 1400 jumpers with light winds there were about 50 injuries on the DZ of which only one was semi-serious (two broken feet). Their DZ’s are carnage! No 4 PARA/3PARA had to be scrapped off the deck though. The 82nd Airborne requires their paratroopers who are either out of date (not parachuted for 6 months) or not used the T-11 parachute to complete refresher training and a daytime “Hollywood jump” (clean fatigue) before jumping on exercise. Myself and a few other 4 PARA lads managed to blag our way on to some “Hollywood jumps” which felt amazing. Literally jumping out of military airframes in civvies/para sports gear. It’s mad how gentle a landing you can have without kit.
All US mass tactical jumps are executed at night; daylight jumps are typically only used for new equipment training etc. So we had the opportunity to night jump with NVGs over Fort Bragg which was very cool. We also had the opportunity to watch a demo of some of their SF guys jump in, secure a compound whilst their oppos fast roped in and smashed it to bits. Very interesting to see Delta boys first hand.
The scoff was unreal too. No minging range stew fished out of a Norgie there! Feeding on the training area was covered by 1-325 AIR’s ‘Assault Kitchen’ (a full field kitchen that smashed out gourmet meals ) and staffed by very easy on the eye Latina women that would eat you for breakfast! Post Ex we had some down time and were bused down to North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We got put up free of charge in these apartments with private swimming pools overlooking the beach.
The Yank military police issued us all with a ‘lost soldier card’ which had the details of our accom and contact details for duty personnel. These were also given to the door staff in the most frequented bars when we went to Fayetteville! I thought that was pretty funny as it was literally a “return to sender” badge. Great nights out with US troops and 3 PARA lads. Definitely some stories I best not repeat. Definitely a highlight for me!
 

Collieryboy

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A highlight for me was definitely an Exercise in America when I attached to B Coy Gp 3 PARA. We deployed to the US to integrate with their 1st Battalion 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment (1-325 AIR) and also US Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) (USACAPOC). Really interesting guys and a great opportunity. There were a fair few 4 PARA blokes attached so it was a real jolly and the banter was immense. Everyone was in really good form.
We had plenty of jumps which was great. The weather was unreal. Perfectly clear sunny days and clear cool nights. What made me laugh though was the yanks attitude to medical risk during jumping. They literally said to us that injuries are part of the nature of parachuting and one of the reasons for parachute pay!
Out of over 1400 jumpers with light winds there were about 50 injuries on the DZ of which only one was semi-serious (two broken feet). Their DZ’s are carnage! No 4 PARA/3PARA had to be scrapped off the deck though. The 82nd Airborne requires their paratroopers who are either out of date (not parachuted for 6 months) or not used the T-11 parachute to complete refresher training and a daytime “Hollywood jump” (clean fatigue) before jumping on exercise. Myself and a few other 4 PARA lads managed to blag our way on to some “Hollywood jumps” which felt amazing. Literally jumping out of military airframes in civvies/para sports gear. It’s mad how gentle a landing you can have without kit.
All US mass tactical jumps are executed at night; daylight jumps are typically only used for new equipment training etc so that was pretty cool. Had the opportunity to night jump with NVGs over Fort Bragg which was very cool. We also had the opportunity to watch a demo of some of their SF guys jump in, secure a compound whilst their oppos fast roped in and smashed it to bits. Very cool to see Delta boys first hand.
The scoff was unreal too. No minging range stew fished out of a Norgie there! Feeding on the training area was covered by 1-325 AIR’s ‘Assault Kitchen’ (a full field kitchen that smashed out gourmet meals ) and staffed by very easy on the eye Latina women that would eat you for breakfast! Post Ex we had some down time and were bused down to North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We got put up free of charge in these apartments with private swimming pools overlooking the beach.
The Yank military police issued us all with a ‘lost soldier card’ which had the details of our accom and contact details for duty personnel. These were also given to the door staff in the most frequented bars in Fayetteville! I thought that was pretty funny as it was literally a “return to sender” badge. Great nights out with US troops and 3 PARA lads. Definitely some stories I best not repeat. Definitely a highlight for me!
I bet you've made every hopeful in here,both regs and 4 PARA, very jealous and excited.
 

Mad Frank

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Our six month tour to Belize in 1984. Hands down. Insects flying around in formation armed with better kit than us! Look under any stone, leaf, blade of grass and a nest of massive ants will be there just waiting for the call to go forth and carry away entire trees, having first chewed their way through 100yds of dense jungle.
Butterflies patrolled the jungle in their thousands, some as large as an outstretched hand looking like so many coloured lights winking on and off in the dim sunlight. I actually ate one by accident. I was panting like a dog during a patrol and it flew in my mouth! Big fuck off furry thing.
The snakes rustled and darted through layers of dead leaves in our harbour areas when under the canopy or lie sleeping on a rock ready to turn Paras into little girls. Platoons screaming.
It was the only place on earth I’ve seen where the rain is thrown to the ground in sheets, changing rivers from muddy puddles into torrents with trees being swept away. The sun quickly heats up the land and plumes of steam rise up forming the next clouds and the next storm.
From this we went back to the arsehole of the UK, NI!
 

Iron

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Adventure training, travel, ops, courses etc. Whatever you feel is the best thing you got to do whilst serving.

Ops. You join to go on tour. I miss being away more than I thought I would, mainly just being out with the lads, but also the simplicity of it all, and immediacy.
 

Iron

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Another highlight for me was my time as a Corporal within a training platoon as an Instructor at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, turning people like yourself, into Paras. It’s hard graft but worth it.
 

Brixstix

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Another highlight for me was my time as a Corporal within a training platoon as an Instructor at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, turning people like yourself, into Paras. It’s hard graft but worth it.
@Iron what are the most neglected areas in preparation for depot? Lack of core strength seem to come up often.
 

Iron

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@Iron what are the most neglected areas in preparation for depot? Lack of core strength seem to come up often.
Good question and although I don’t like deviating too much from the thread title I’ll answer. If anyone wants to ask more then by all means get a new thread running.

Couple of points from my experience but for me the most under developed aspect prior to Depot was consistently ATTITUDE. Particularly among the younger <20 recruits, you can be as fit as a fiddle but not being able to shake off a bad woe is me attitude and you’ll struggle. Para instructors are the highest calibre men in the Army, most have served in some of the harshest environments and have all the experience required to deliver really high quality training. You need to listen to them. It isn’t school or a youth centre and playing the victim with them isn’t tolerated. They can tell who isn’t cut out for it. Don’t see yourself off. Huffing and sticking your quivering bottom lip out when you draw their attention is a WASTE OF TIME. Sadly you always get a few who are too quick to feel victimised. Depot is hard but nothing you are asked to do is impossible, or will be beyond your abilities, but what it does do, is show you that your body and mind are more capable than you ever thought. Just go do as your told, when you are told to the best of your ability and you will be fine. Life in training is a whirlwind of activity, running places, collecting kit and learning how to soldier and poor attitudes slow the process down. Acting like a stroppy teenager will only attract show parades, extra drill, remedial PT, constructive warnings etc and the almost constant attention of the NCOs. Don’t set yourself up to fail and leave that immature attitude at the gate. It may work at home or in school but it won’t fly in training.

Another point is poor upper body strength and generally average CV. Those who struggle early on are those who trained for minimums and not maximums. Arriving at Catterick and only being able to scrape a run time do just about manage 20 press ups with shakey arms will struggle. Yes training at ITC is progressive but don’t be fooled into thinking that you can use basic training to actually get fit! You can’t. The fitter you are on entry, the better you’ll do. SIMPLE. Life is hard enough without the PTIs making your life a misery. The PT ramps up quickly over the first 4 weeks and you can’t afford to be behind the curve. Put the hard work in as a civvie and arrive fit and healthy. Get used to pushing yourself to maximum efforts. You aren’t be expected to be the finished article, ready for P Coy when you start training but condition your mind to give 100% and always try to improve within your own limitations. You can tell who has put the work in before. Remember who you are trying to join!!
 

Scraps

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Two cracking posts above.

Iron and Tony obviously know what they are talking about, both SNCOs of the regt you're trying to be a part of so take heed.

I just wanted to chip in on the attitude point. There is a general trend in today's society of not taking responsibility for ones own actions. Now before anyone gets their kecks bunched up, I'm saying this is a trend, not everyone is guilty of it. The problem is when you've got a lad in your platoon who IS one of those people. Here's the thing, everything you do in depot you do as a team yeah? A team lives and dies on its ability to run smooth and it only takes one bad egg to start jamming the gears. You'll see that person start to poison others. Like a mate said to me recently, a guy like that in a platoon is a cancer. Here's the thing though, you can't directly control people so how do you fix it? You're going to have to prepare your own nut first. You can't let others negativity eat into you. This sounds simple doesn't it but trust me, when you're chinned on some ex, freezing cold and pissed off, when someone starts honking about how unfair it all is your brain will turn traitor on you sharpish. Suddenly that honking will sound pretty reasonable to you even though it's poison.

So what do you do? You need to be confident in yourself first and foremost. You need to be able to insulate yourself from that negativity and concentrate on the end goal of cracking on. But you can also go one better. You can lead from the front. When someone starts moaning, crack a joke. Say something to get the boys motivated. It only takes a few words. If they see you getting a grip, some of them will get gripped too. Leadership boys!
 

Snows

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Genuine answer- Musa Qala 2006. Intense contacts to the point we even kipped in body armour and helmet. True Reg
Mine much like this, also on HERRICK.

Recce patrol, Christmas 2009. Inserted in 'light' (50kg) order, resupply heli with all our bergans and food jacked on us and kept being cancelled thereafter. Four days of patrolling, a few contacts, on our feet for 18hr a day, all on 48hrs rats and water. Not sure how we were still standing by the end of it, Silver Stars I imagine, but not a man dropped or fell off the pace. Day five our pickup convoy jacked on us too. So we tabbed right back out again overnight, for the compound clearance we had booked in the next morning.

Most airborne thing I ever did. Not so sure about "best", perhaps I just have low standards. But there are some experiences, like that, which answer questions about you, that you will always have from then on, and can never be taken away. At its best, that is what the Reg can offer.
 

Tolley

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We had the opportunity to attach to 2 PARA B Coy and supported the Pathfinder Platoon’s Selection Cadre by providing an OPFOR for them at Sennybridge. Really good experience and a lot of free reign as enemy. Also going out with 2 PARA BG to Kenya was ally.
 

Aldo

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Tagging @Oyibo in here as I’m sure he has something good to add
 

Happyjack

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Many years ago...........................see the hesitation there?
There was a saying that a recruit joining the para is like a rough diamond.
then when they pass out from Depot and join the Btn's they are a great diamond.
After they join the Btn they are then polished to sparkle. Which takes roughly 6 months.
I am sure it is the same nowadays, the lads today are a credit to us old one's.
Oh and what was the best thing I got to do? I cannot define a single thing, apart from perhaps patrolling
the China Border, (HK) on good will patrols.
 
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