LTCOL Elizabeth Stephens

1st Recruit Training Battalion

Over the course of the second half of 2017, 1 RTB has continued to deliver high quality training to Australia’s newest soldiers. With a desire to continuously pursue innovation and improving the training delivered to soldiers, 1 RTB has fostered a number of new changes and initiatives to improve both the chances of success for trainees as well as improve the delivery of capability for Army.

In recent months, 1 RTB has implemented a revised training program to reinforce the crawl walk run approach to ab-initio training. Although only recently implemented, the intent of the new daily training program is to allow recruits to develop their skills in a more logical sequence, stepping them through each phase in training in preparation for completion of the Army Recruit Course and progression to Initial Employment Training. It is intended that the new program will instil confidence in the skills taught and allow recruits to frequently revisit newly acquired skills and knowledge as they apply these lessons in increasingly complex circumstances culminating during the field phase and Ex Challenge.

 

1 RTB has also commenced trials of a new Army Reserve course, known as the Part Time Recruit Training Course (PRTC). Since the introduction of the 35 day Reserve Recruit Training Course in 2015, the extended period of the course from 28 to 35 days has at times caused addition stress on trainees leaving home and work for a 5 week period. In response to these pressures, a new course, the PRTC, which offers a core 28 day course with an optional additional seven day package which can be competed at 1 RTB or upon return to home unit has begun trials. The trial of this course which will continue through 2017 and into 2018, offers additional flexibility to Reserve trainees who can choose the course period which best suits their personal circumstances. It is hoped that the new PRTC will increase course attendance and improve ongoing retention of Reserve soldiers after completion of the PRTC.

 

Staff development has remained a significant focus throughout the year, as highlighted by the recent successful visit by Mr Ken Murray, Director of Training for the Armiger Police Training Institue in Orlando FL, USA. Over a two week visit, Mr Murray conducted a number of instructor development seminars, introducing staff who attended to the teaching methodologies which he has employed in numerous, military and law enforcement training establishments in the US, Canada and Australia. The 1 RTB staff were most fortunate to have benefitted from learning from Mr Murray, and the Battalion is extremely grateful for his visit and looks forward to working with him in the future.

 

Finally, as 2017 concludes, it is important to acknowledge the busy tempo of recruit training which offers little respite. Therefore, I encourage all staff and recruits to make the best use of the leave period to rest and spend valuable time with their families. I take this time to thank you all and your families on your tireless efforts during the year and throughout my command. Your efforts have directly contributed to Army capability. I trust you will reflect with pride on what you have achieved and continue to pursue leadership fights throughout your careers. I pass to you all the challenge of continually “doing the right thing”. For those that are leaving 1 RTB at the end of the year good luck and all the best to you and your families in your next posting. For those of you that are returning to 1 RTB in 2018, enjoy your well earned break and come back refreshed, ready for another challenging training year and the opportunity to inspire another generation of Australian Soldiers through your leadership.