Army Careers Experience 2010 Recap!!!

April 10, 2010 at 9:10 am Leave a comment




Wow… Wow, wow, wow. ACE 2010, where do I even find the words to begin to describe that experience!??? It was probably the most mentally, physically and emotionally challenging thing I have ever been through, but the most satisfying and life changing.

Unfortunately, the three photos you see above, plus a couple of others of scenery which you’ll see later on, are the only photos I have. We weren’t allowed to take any photos of any of the activities because if they were posted onto the internet, they may cause serious issues. We will be receiving a disk each with over 100 certified photos that we can post anywhere we like, so until that little bad boy arrives in the post, you’ll have to wait for photos.

I’ll recap it day by day and in instalments because otherwise this will be the longest blog post ever.

Day 1.

The previous night on Easter Sunday, my family and I drove to Tauranga and stayed with Grandma Penny to prepare to depart from the Tauranga Army Hall the next morning. I slept surprisingly well that night, considering I was really nervous about what was to come the next day.
I woke up at 6am to my alarm. I showered, made sure I was all packed and ready to go and then attempted to eat something but my stomach wasn’t having it. I was too nervous to eat anything, I had a few bites of cereal and half a toasted hot cross bun before tossing it out.

I read my book for a little bit to attempt to calm my nerves a little bit. At 9am we left to head to the Army Hall. When we got there, there were only a few others and NO girls… I felt slightly intimidated. Luckily enough, 1 other girl who I would later become friends with, showed up and I felt slightly better. My family and I spoke to Staff Sergeant Lewis about what to expect, etc. And then it was time to say our goodbyes and depart from our Whanau.

I got a mean front seat so I could watch the view the whole way there. It was pretty cool because the bus said “N.Z Army” on the front 🙂 Representttt! The trip was long, I slept quite a lot on the way. The first stop was Rotorua to pick up some students, we got to have a toilet break and stretch our legs before hopping back on for the leg to Taupo. I slept a little bit more on the way to Taupo, once we got there we met up with the other 2 buses from way up north. We were given our cut lunches which were tasty!! They had 2 different sandwiches, a bottle of water, a big fat muesli bar, a piece of fruit and some pick n’ mix (the healthy kind). Nom nom nom!!

We sat around eating, talking and getting to know one another until about 2pm when we carried on towards Waiouru. I found it hard to sleep on the way to Waiouru because I was so anxious and excited to get there. The closer we got, the more anxious the people around us became and the bus was buzzing with excitement.

When we arrived we began to take in the sights around us.  I was shocked to find that the Military base was more like a small town or large suburb, in my head I saw it as being contained within barbed wire fencing or something, but it was nothing like that.

As soon that the bus was parked we were greeted by Sergeant Major. One thing you should know about the Army straight away is that right from the get go, whether you’re a new recruit or students like us embarking on a careers experience, the begin to install Discipline and a Sense of Urgency as soon as possible. So we were given instructions straight away and we had to run EVERYWHERE. Another thing about the Army is that there’s no time to be comfortable. There’s no time to kick back and relax. When you’re going somewhere, you’re either Marching or running like hell. You don’t walk, because as I said, everything is done with a sense of urgency. Also, you can’t have your hands in your pockets, your arms folded or your hands on your hips. 9 times out of 10 there are punishments for that.

Punishments in the Army are a whole new world of pain… The most common? Diamond press-ups.

horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE.

(Leave a comment if you don’t know what it is and I’ll video a demonstration.)

But, I’ll get to the worst of the punishments later 😉

We were assigned our rooms in the Barracks, ladies on the top floor, males on the next 2 floors down. Our instructions were to run upstairs, identify which room was ours, run back down, grab our luggage, run back up to our rooms, get changed into our Number Ones (formal wear) and run back down stairs and be ready to head to the Powhiri. We had about 5 minutes to get all of that done.

Firstly, it took about 10 minutes just for us to understand was “number ones” were, but after that it was all go.

Once everyone was sorted, we hopped back on the bus and drove to the Marae to go to the Powhiri. It was to welcome us onto the Military base, welcome our passed ancestors and lift any Tapu’s that may be hanging over us.

The Powhiri was great and afterwards we briefly had beverages and biscuits before we headed back to Base as quickly as possible to go to the Mess for dinner. We’d already had a taste for the discipline just by the attitudes of the Staff, so we were on our toes the whole time.

Dinner at the mess was a whole new experience. The food was awesome! It was laid out in a buffet fashion and everyone was to line up in an orderly fashion and go through the buffet. Then we could go sit at various tables around the dining area.

There was pudding too! But I didn’t have any. I hardly touched my dinner too because I was still nervous (as we all were for the first 2 days) and terrified to do anything wrong in case I got thrashed for it.

After dinner we were to wait outside to be sorted into Platoons. One very important thing to note about Waiouru in the colder months is that it gets COLD!!!!!! We’re talking SNOW sort of freezing, and here we were, standing outside in nothing but a short-sleeved, button up blouse with a summer skirt and ballet flats. Not a wise dress move on my behalf. I was so cold, I was shivering so fiercely I could barely function.

I wound up in 2 Platoon. There were about 40 students in each Platoon and there were 3 Platoons. Our Platoons would be the groups we travelled in for the rest of the week. From here, we learnt how to March. We sucked so bad at first, we also got our first taste of Drill. We “marched” to the Conference Hall where all the main Staff were there to deliver the Opening Ceremony. They gave us a brief of how the rest of the evening was going to go and just to take away from it what we will. We had an Army Firefighter come and brief us on what to do if there was a fire, then we Marched to the assembly point for if there was a fire so we’d know where to go in the event of one. After that we ran back up to the Barracks where we were instructed by our floor commanders on what to do next.

Sergeant Te Kani briefed us on what the week would hold, how things would run, basic rules of the Barracks, how fatigues work and what we would need to do that night before going to bed. She told us that food was strictly prohibited in the Barracks and that if anyone had any food, now was there opportunity to bring it out, either share it round and eat it, or dispose of it. We were given 5 minutes to do so. I hadn’t brought any food with me, and there wouldn’t have been much point as I had no appetite at that point anyway, but the other girls brought out huge stashes of chocolate and easter eggs from Easter the previous day. There was a mad rush to eat it all and scoff back lollies before Sergeant walked down the corridor with a rubbish bag and told everyone to place there food in the bin. After that, Sergeant Major came through and told us all about how much Fat and sugar was in all that food, how bad it was for us and how we were going to be feeling it on Wednesday during the assault course…

Once all the food was gone we had to unpack our bags, be taught how to make our beds properly and then get straight into fatigues. It was all go, go, go. My room and one other were on Ablutions, so we had to mop the bathroom floors, clean the toilets, the showers and the sinks. It’s ok though because the ablutions get cleaned twice a day so they’re always really clean when you come to clean them again anyway.

Once all our jobs were complete, we had to hand our phones in. We would be allowed them for 10 minutes at the end of each day only. That was fine with me, I enjoyed the break from it.

We had to be in bed by 10pm and lights out was at 10.15pm. I stayed up a little bit to write the blog for the Army that they asked me to. But I was exhausted and wanted to turn the lights out as soon as possible.

Unfortunately I did not sleep well. I had so much swimming in my head from the day, my brain would not shut down.

However, that was day one!

Stay tuned for Day 2 🙂


Entry filed under: Fitness, goals, life. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

Packing for a trip to the Army 2nd Instalment, ACE 2010 Recap!

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Hey there, my name's Jenny. I have a huge passion for cooking/baking, writing, yoga and photography. I love nature and my favourite thing to do is spend an entire day outside, breathing in crisp, fresh air. Even better if I have a pen and paper with me. I started out running in March 2009 but sustained an injury in October 2009 which has unfortunately prevented me from running. I've been experimenting with other kinds of exercise to find another one that clicks. Follow me on my journey to maintaining good health + surviving high school and pursuing a career in Journalism. I Hope you enjoy reading my blog!

Questions? Comments? Email me at

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