16. Chapter – BSM

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Legionnaires marching in the snow

The last week of the basic engineer training (called CP-04 – CP means practical certificate and 04 is the designation of military engineering in the French Army) wasn’t too hard. We have already started to prepare our equipment for the BSM (Brevet skieur militaire – the 4 weeks long ski training).

I was looking forward to go for that training, although I was never very good at skiing. The days passed quickly by and we had a weekend off before the training.

On Friday before the weekend, we got the results of the first 4 weeks.

I’ve finished between the lasts. I can’t say that I was very surprised but I thought I will finish between the first 10 at least. My French was still so bad that I couldn’t complain…

On Friday night, I went down to Avignon for the weekend because I wanted to buy some small stuffs for the training and spend some days alone.

On Sunday, it started to snow and didn’t stop during the following 3 days. Monday morning, we put all of our stuffs in the truck and once we finished they told us that the departure has been cancelled for that day. We are going to be able to leave the regiment once they cleaned the streets for the bus. We spent the rest of the day in our room and were waiting for the next orders.

On Tuesday morning, we could finally leave St. Christol

Everyone was happy that we could start a new training. We arrived to a town called Vulmix. The barracks were old, but the atmoshpere was awesome. I felt like if I were on a holiday. We occupied our room and the first night we had a lesson about the dangers in the mountains. The chief of the training was a very experimented man and tried to explain us the best possible on which things we have to make attention.

During the ski sessions, we were in different groups. One with those who have never seen snow before, like legionnaires from Senegal and Tahiti. One for those who had never skied, another one with those who had ever skied and a group with the guys who have already known the thing pretty well. I loved the first week. It wasn’t like a real military training, rather like some days off with friends. I progressed quickly because we skied during a whole week and become one of the bests of my group. I was satisfied after the horrible result of CP-04.

The hardest part of this training started on the second week. 

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