17 DD off to basic training soon

(42 Posts)
heididrink Wed 20-Feb-13 11:46:01

I posted on here last year to say that my DD wanted to join the army and that I wasnt very keen .Anyway we have given our permission and she is off to basic training next week.
Does anyone else have experience of DS or DD doing basic training ?
Just how hard did they find it and how long did it take for them to adjust?
Any advice would be most appreciated

welliesplease Thu 21-Feb-13 11:37:31

I don't have any advice but just wanted to wish her the best of luck.

heididrink Fri 22-Feb-13 19:03:27

thanks wellies its much appreciated smile

financialwizard Fri 22-Feb-13 19:10:00

My DH used to train junior entrants and he says it really depends on the person. He says some settle quickly, and others never settle into it.

PipsWife Fri 22-Feb-13 19:14:17

What is she joining? I don't have any children old enough to join up but I joined 11 years ago and remember my mum and dad dropping me off at the gate like it was yesterday!
The only advice I would give is be there on the end of the phone when she wants to moan! It is a massive journey through training and it does get tough but the sense of achievement at the end is amazing and you will get to be on the square and watch her pass out in 3 months time as a very proud mummy wink

Mrsrobertduvall Fri 22-Feb-13 19:20:36

Wish her all the best...what a positive thing to do.
I would be very proud if ds joined the RAF.

heididrink Sat 23-Feb-13 12:16:11

hi she is joining logistics as a driver and radio operator. It wasnt her first choice but has decided to do it as she is desperate to join. This is all very new to us and when I read what the training involves I am a bit shock.
She is very young and I do think she will be in shock for a while but its her decision

PipsWife Mon 25-Feb-13 08:04:52

She will be fine. 17 is young but once she gets into it all she will love it. So many good friends are made at basic training. Look ahead now to her long weekend she should have at the half way point and you'll see your grown up girl return home full of stories!! And the training sounds tough but it's like anything, you are always shown how to do things and then you get to practice. I went to training thinking it was going to be the toughest most craziest thing I've ever done and it was tough but achievable.

heididrink Mon 25-Feb-13 11:53:54

thanks Pipswife well she flew from Glasgow airport this morning looking very young and naive. The woman at the check in desk asked who was flying with her smile.
She will return on her 18th birthday for a long weekend so thats something to plan for although she said as it was a fair distance to travel back that she would prefer not to shock
I think somehow that she will want some home comforts by that time

PipsWife Mon 25-Feb-13 21:03:50

She will definitely want home comforts and to see you!
Good luck. The count down to that weekend has begun! grin

herladyship Mon 25-Feb-13 21:09:13

no exact experience, but DS (18) is in fire service

Basic training is 3 months, mainly mon-fri residential. Week 1 he hated it, kept texting how miserable he was & that he couldn't get through it hmm first weekend home was awful.. I nearly cried when he went back for 2nd week but he loved it & never looked back!

talking to friends, I think the initial 'shock' is often tough. Lots of luck to your dd thanks

heididrink Tue 26-Feb-13 20:27:30

ok I really need some reassurance as I havent heard from her since I dropped her at the airport.
Do they have access to their mobile phones at basic training ?
She is not responding to texts asking her to just let me know she is ok.
Trying not to panic but had agreed that she would at least phone/text to say that she had arrived ok

Sidge Tue 26-Feb-13 20:33:52

I did my basic training in the Navy 21.5 years ago so no mobile phones, but we didn't have time to go to the toilet let alone make phone calls.

It is seriously full on.

FollicallyEnhancedFreak Tue 26-Feb-13 21:07:21

I joined the Navy at 17, 10 years ago so had access to a mobile phone but training was so full on and I was having far too much fun to phone home. grin

Hope you hear from her soon and she's having a great time.

heididrink Tue 26-Feb-13 21:41:13

ok she has just phoned grin a 30 second phone call to say I am fine but I cant talk.
It was all I needed I can sleep now

mummyflood Mon 04-Mar-13 16:21:19

Hi, I remember your post last year.

DS did his RAF basic training almost two years ago now and boy has time flown since then!! He found it really tough around about the middle point, and I will be honest, had a serious 'wobble' as in he nearly quit. However, we had a parents briefing on the day we took him, and what he was saying and doing was word for word what they said some of them would - in other words, they have seen it all before. They are particularly good with the younger ones, sure the Army will be the same. The staff were absolutely fantastic, could not have been more supportive to him and us, and now, more than 18 months into the 'real RAF' he is so chuffed he didn't call it a day. He made some fantastic mates who he is still in touch with despite them all being dispatched around the country, and AFAIK they are planning a reunion some time this year to compare notes, etc. As far as the phone is concerned, they were not allowed theirs during 'working hours' (approx before 6pm) and we were encouraged not to have lengthy calls with them as there was plenty to do at all times, eg kit prep, revision etc.

On the day he graduated, it was like watching a different person - so poised and proud. He had definitely grown into a young man. We also met a couple of lovely girls early on roughly the same age as him who were going in as nurses, and again, the transformation 9 weeks down the line - not a dry eye to be seen in the audience!! The proudest day of all of their lives, not just their friends and family!!

Words of advice? Be there when she wants to tell you about her experiences, good and tough ones!! and like my DH said - their purpose is to help her pass, not fail, and in our experience, they gave DS every opportunity to do just that, whatever it took.

Good luck to you both xx

heididrink Mon 04-Mar-13 17:25:25

thanks mummyflood DD phoned at 0745 on Sat morning and she had obviously been up for hours shock grin.
She appears to be enjoying it so far but words I never thought I would hear
"Sorry mum cant talk for long as I have a pile of ironing to do " grin grin
I know that she will find things tough at some point and my difficulty will be finding the right words for her when she is at a distance.
House is very quiet and tidy without her ...........sigh
Altho on the plus side my food bill has gone down drastically and her twin sister is still at home . I just hope the army can afford to feed her given the cutbacks in their budgets grin

heididrink Sun 24-Mar-13 11:12:56

Hi its me again smile
can anyone give me some advice on how to deal with the tearful phone calls home. Some days she is fine but boy when she has had a bad day the phone calls from her are awful.
She is one of the youngest there and is struggling to cope with criticism ( as she sees it ) .
What can I say to her that may help .I just feel so useless on the other end of the phone sad

Bluemonkeyspots Sun 24-Mar-13 11:21:33

Heidi, I have no experience of what you are going through but my dh used to train the young recruits.

I remember one mum having a go at him for being "to tough " with her young ds and dh having to explain to her that he was training her son to survive in a war zone a few months down the line and it really was a case of tough love. Had he not thought her ds was capable he would not have been there.

I can't remember exactly how he worded it but it was basically about showing him how much more he was able to achieve.

My dh has been in for years and still gets yelled at by people above him at times grin

heididrink Sun 24-Mar-13 11:36:31

thanks bluemonkey .I keep saying to DD " you are in the army ffs what do you expect " - not helpful I know smile
She said that she finds it tough cos she was good at school and never got into trouble but now she feel that she cant do anything right. It has just been a huge culture shock for her.
The problem is the tearful sobbing calls last much longer than the cheerful "I have had a really good day" ones and it is wearing me out.
Perhaps we both need to grow a pair smile

ruby1234 Tue 26-Mar-13 12:52:58

Just sending you a hug.
My DS(21) is in the Army, currently in Afghanistan He joined when he was 18, and had days of ups and downs in training, and days when he felt he could do nothing right. I think it is the army way of toughening them up (and cutting the apron strings).
He still has days when everyone shouts at him. We still get occasional 'sorry for himself' phone calls. I always try and be positive and encourage thinking of the days when all goes well.
Just wait until passing out day.... your emotions will spill over with pride!

I will add, even though my son is a soldier, even though he has spent 6 months in a war zone, he came home on leave a couple of weeks ago, and he is EXACTLY the same lovely boy he always was. The army doesn't change the love your child has for you.

heididrink Sun 14-Apr-13 16:08:05

hi everyone DD was home for a long weekend .
She went thro a really tough time two weeks ago and was on the verge of quitting as she is very homesick.
Anyway she has gone back today and I think she might just bloody well get through it . I feel that she has turned a corner.
If she survives this week which will be a tough one ( camping out for 3 nights ) and it is designed to weed them out then we will book our plane tickets for her Passing Out Parade smile
So proud of her as this has really tested her and she is the second youngest there. I keep having to wipe my eyes as there is a lot of dust around whenever I talk about her smile smile

Gerrof Sun 14-Apr-13 16:21:46

Oh bless you. It sounds so very hard, I am glad she has got through a tough time.

My dd is 17 as well and plans to join the army next year. I am horrified by it (silently) but she is so very keen. So I will be you in about 18 months time.

I hope it all continues to go well, and hugs to you as well for the inevitable sadness you must feel missing her.

Hello only just seen this thread i joined up at 17 be it some 23 yrs ago

It took me a while to settle as i was the youngest in the intake.

I used to call my grandad for a pet talk when i had a bad day of getting shouted out or getting ripped to shreds as i saw it for room inspections they break you down and build you up again.

We used to live on five hours sleep. There was so much to learn

How to clean how to iron how to march how to march in to get your money learning all the stuff eg nbc medical history of the corps ( your dd has gone into my corps the RlC i remmber when it was born)

It is stressful some can march and learn the movements quick but it dors get better honest once she passes up and goes to trade trainning its more rexlaed ie you dont brace down to L/cpls. Thoygh the room parades exists.

Please just give a outlet to cry it will hard to listen eg

Cpl had a massive go at me beacause i had tram lines in my lightleights
I got marched off parade beacause a leaf landed on my berry
I cant remmber how to do about turn on parade or i cant do changing step on the march
I do bull my boot

^^ those were a few i remmber crying to my grandad

It does get better

Oh and the execuise is brill she be half way there with no sleep tell to take plasters for bislters though and some energy tablets and polos as they are light and dont rattle i used to buy all the above when i did my annual weeks exuise hoping for good weather grin

mumblechum1 Mon 15-Apr-13 11:35:16

Glad I found this thread! DS is in the TA and was/is supposed to be going to Uni in Sept but his heart is not in it and he's been making rumblings for months now about going on Herrick 20 with the TA, ie taking a two year gap year (?) then going to Uni, then eventually Sandhurst and going in as an officer.

This is a slight improvement on where he was a couple of months ago when he wanted to ditch Uni altogether and go in as a squaddie.

I think he's going to do the Herrick 20 thing if he hasn't missed the boat and I'm feeling a bit confused - on the one hand I obviously want him to be safe, esp as his only sibling died at age 7, but on the other I know this is what he really wants to do and he'd just be marking time at Uni rather than throwing himself into it.

Hope your DD is getting on ok, op, she'll be finished soon, I guess! When's her Passing Out Parade?

heididrink Mon 15-Apr-13 12:23:44

Hi mumble we have spoken a few times in the past on other threads perhaps under my different name.
I too was not keen for DD to join the army and I started another thread about it simply because I know bugger all about the army other than what I see /hear on the news.
My DD wanted to join when she was 16 and we managed to persuade her to stay at school until she was 17 .
After that it was a losing battle to persuade her to think of any other career choices .
I feel that I have been on the first 7 weeks of her training with her as it has been a very bumpy ride and she has almost quit a couple of times.
My DD is very slight and has no life experience other than school as she has never been interested in boys or clubbing etc. She has struggled mainly with the culture of army training as she was used to praise and positive encouragement at school which she needs. She has also been very homesick and has spent most weekends just sobbing on the phone.
Having said that she was home this weekend and has gone back saying that she is determined to see it thro to the end.
She has grown up a lot in the past 7 weeks and we have both had to learn to detach from one another.......she is a twin and has always been the most needy /vulnerable and my instinct has been to protect her much more than twin sister who oozes with confidence.
I have had to accept that this is what she wants to do and support her but I am finding it difficult.
Her Passing Out Parade is 31st May and if she makes it the loudest cheer from the crowd will be from me smilesmile

mumblechum1 Mon 15-Apr-13 12:34:39

Of course she'll make it! It's great that not all army pple are the same, and that there's room for all types of people as well as the outgoing, loud types!

We'll listen out for you cheering on 31st.

PipsWife Mon 15-Apr-13 12:39:31

Yay! I remember your post a while back. Go her.

She's made it through the tough part, it's the home straight now.

You must be so proud!

mumblechum1 Wed 17-Apr-13 21:31:12

DS and I have had another chat tonight. Looks like he can't go to Herrick 20 after all with the TA. He has no enthusiasm for Uni at all, (he has a place all lined up) all his friends at school talk about nothing but A levels, Uni, etc etc but he never mentions any of that.

He admits he is completely and utterly obsessed with the Army and the happiest time of his life was doing CIC at Catterick for 2 weeks. He's now asked me if I think he should just join as a squaddie this summer (will try AOSB but I think they'll say he's too young) rather than mark time for 3 years at Uni.

It's so hard to advise, obviously if he has a degree it will make it easier to get a job when the Army career is finished, but I suspect he'd either drop out or do quite badly because he has no academic motivation at all. I did say to him today that I don't think he's ever going to do a corporate type job anyway, I can see him going in the police or fire service after the Army rather than sit at a desk all day.

He's actually q bright and will get decent A level results. Any advice/experience of this situ?

heididrink Fri 19-Apr-13 11:33:52

Hi mumble your DS sounds a lot like my DD .
She too became obsessed by the army but it was after spending a weeks placement with Fire and Rescue .She has 13 exam passes all at A or B level but refused to think of further education in any shape or form. She hated school and the thought of doing more studying fills her with dread. She applied to college tho because I told her that she had to in case she didnt get into the army. Her heart wasnt in it tho and she heaved a sigh of relief when she didnt have to go.
The only way that I could approach this was to break it down
1. See if she made it thro the selection process . I secretly hoped that she would find that it wasnt for her blush
2. When they join they must stay for 28 days so I waited to see if she got thro that.
3. I then waited to see if she would complete her first 7 weeks of training
Now that she has done all of that and we are in the final 7 weeks of training I can see that it must be the right place for her because the training in my mind is brutal. It really is very hard and you must want it 100% to remain.
My DD was asked if she wanted to think about training as an officer - she doesnt - at her selection interview so it could be a possibility for your DS

mumblechum1 Fri 19-Apr-13 15:21:26

Thanks Heididrink; they certainly do sound like two peas in a pod!

Agree about the training being brutal; when ds got back from Catterick (his Phase 2 TA training) his back basically had a hole in it where the bergen had been rubbing on an 8 mile tab with god knows what weight on it. Then they did pressups. In a stream. In February.

They have to be slightly crazy to love it so much but they do!

heididrink Sun 14-Jul-13 13:38:08

Just thought I would give you un update. DD did not pass out on 31st May as planned because she was back trooped ie had to repeat 6 weeks of her training.
This was the same week that she was told that her gran was dying and it was unlikely that DD would see her again.
I really thought she would be home at this point as it was a very tough time for her however she decided to stay and to take it one week at a time.
On Fri she finally Passed Out smile smile smile smile and what a change in her.
She has become very poised and self assured and loves the army and is looking forward to Phase 2 training.
Not sure if this will help anyone ( incl parents ) who finds basic training tough but I have gone from despair to elation with her and never thought I would say this but it really was worth the hard work.
So proud of her smile

heididrink Mon 15-Jul-13 10:52:52

bump smile

ArtOfficial Mon 15-Jul-13 11:13:56

Fantastic news, well done to your DD smile

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 20-Jul-13 21:43:54

Vey well done to your DD (and to you!). I have been reading your posts with interest as my DS is keen to join as a junior soldier in a couple of years.

heididrink Sun 21-Jul-13 11:32:49

thanks smile
just dropped DD at train station with two ENORMOUS kit bags for phase 2 training.
I was fine and excited for her until I returned home........so quiet and empty without her. I have been wandering about picking up the debris she has left behind.
Not sure I will ever get used to this sad

mummyflood Mon 22-Jul-13 13:54:26

Hi heididrink, just seen this. Fantastic to see an update.

HUGE congratulations to your DD - and well done you for staying strong!!

Wishing her a fantastic future and a great career!! You WILL get used to her coming and going...DS is going back to base tommorrow, just had 3 weeks leave after his third deployment, going again at beginning of November...covers his 20th birthday and Christmas. The kit bags are still enormous, he has cultivated a fantastic tan, and best of all, he has grown into a mature young man who raves about his job, his colleagues/friends and his future.


heididrink Mon 22-Jul-13 21:17:00

thanks mummyflood smile
feeling better today DD phoned to say camp is enormous but is getting used to it.
phase 2 completely different from basic training only 4 to a room and not twelve shock and she finished at 4.00pm today.
Very different from when she was phoning at 7pm saying that she had just finished drill and still had ironing or admin to do.smile
So nice to hear that your DS is doing well

mummyflood Tue 23-Jul-13 21:54:00

I remember when my DS had his serious ''wobble'' and we had to involve the welfare officer etc, they said to him ''this is not the real RAF, it gets a lot better than this''. How true that has proven to be, and obviously the same in the army smile

How long is her phase 2, and what trade has she gone for? Reading back on your posts, it sounds as though she went as a girl and graduated a young lady through her own determination and commitment. You must be so proud of this above all else.

Best wishes to you. xx

LeGavrOrf Tue 23-Jul-13 21:57:54

Oh bless you. I remember this thread very well (posted under a different name) and I am so pleased for you and her. It must be so hard for you. But you must be so proud that she has completed it.

I am DREADING dd joining up but have to keep a lid on it and say encouraging things. She is on an Army camp now and is still determined to join next year.

I wish your dd continued success and happiness, and hope you deal as well as you can in missing her. sad

heididrink Mon 05-Aug-13 11:03:24

hi mummyflood she is off to learn how to drive she has just passed the theory and is waiting to do the practical.
Not sure how long she will be away but she gets weekend leave most weeks and is planning on coming home in 2 weeks time
She was really angry when she phoned last week because the army wont recognise any of her exam qualifications because they are Scottish shock
She is being made to sit an NVQ in basic English
If the exam results are good enough for English Universities why not the British army
She has been boxing and is on a list to try parachuting so it is very different from basic training smile

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