After the short holyday, I found out that some guys from my platoon were on service (guard) between Christmas and new years eve. It could have been me, but fortunately, we weren’t on our new unit’s list yet. So this is how I avoid to start my career with a sanction. I didn’t have any idea that I could have been on service.
The basic “engineer” instruction started on Monday, which was one of the weirdest thing during my first year.
I didn’t understand anything. My comrades had to explain me in other languages, mostly in English, what the hell are the instructors talking about. The program was pretty charged, we were always doing something.
Even during the break, someone had to do push-ups or burpees for the smallest things, like hands in the pocket, leaning against the wall etc… At least one of the 4 corporals was always watching us.
I got quickly used to our new daily routine during the first few days.
- “Appel du matin” at 6AM, mop and broom from 6.30AM to 7.15AM,
- morning report at 7.45AM,
- theory lessons ‘till lunch,
- practice at the afternoon,
- diner at 6PM,
- revision in the classroom with a corporal from 7PM to 9PM,
- sometimes a bit sport after and sleep.
This was our program in a nutshell during 4 weeks. I don’t want to give any details about this part. Not because it’s defense secret, but I just didn’t find it interesting at all. Maybe it could have been much better if I understood something, but I don’t think.
This was the first moment, when I realized that I have a serious retard in French language. So slowly but surely, I started to learn sometimes when I didn’t have anything else to do.
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The positive points of this instruction was that we shot a few times and had some grenade throwing and explosive exercises.
I also found useful the French lessons we got 2-3 times a week. After Castel, these weeks were quite easy, although that our days were full. A few months later I met my old comrades from the basic trainings. They told how life went for them in their regiments and it was almost the same for everyone.
Running, push-ups, burpees, cleaning (and scarping toilets with a teeth brush) and instruction during the whole day. It was easier than back in Castel because the weekends were free at least. Some guys from 2°REP tried to sell stories, that in Calvi the “promo” (the parachutists call their formation “promo”, when they do their first 6 jumps to become paratroopers) is harder than in the other regiments, but it’s not true.
It always depends on the instructors how your training is going to go, which means that you can go through on a hard training in 1°REC and an easy one in Castel.