Jacob’s advice for new Army recruits
NO matter how many movies you watch or articles you read, nothing can quite prepare you for the reality of Army bootcamp, according to Jacob Warburton.
"It was a bit of a shock because, it's not all about physical endurance, but trying to get you out of the civilian mindset and into Army life. Their motto is: you're a soldier first," he said.
"For some, they just couldn't get their head around this new life and really struggled."
But not Jacob.
Now a recent graduate from the 12-week Army recruitment training at Kapooka, southwest of Wagga Wagga, the former Maclean High School student is offering fresh advice for future recruits.
"Make sure you're physically and mentally fit for it," he said.
"It's one thing to be fit, but I saw a lot of people struggle to get into Army life so you've got to embrace it as quickly as you can and be prepared to be away from family and friends for a long time.
While others struggled with restrictions on technology during those 12 weeks, for Jacob it helped him reprioritise what was important in his life.
"You only had access to your phone once a week for 40 minutes, so I'd go straight to calling mum and dad to tell them how my week was," he said.
"It was good to have those conversations and it makes you realise who you want to talk to and what you're going to say.
"I haven't seen my family for nearly five months and I still have another three months to go, then I'm straight to whichever battalion I'm sent to, but I'm okay with that because they're just a phone call away."
However, COVID-19 restrictions meant Jacob and his colleagues would be graduating alone.
"None of our families could be there which was hard but at least I got to send them photos. Dad was really proud and mum and mum who was crying when I Facetimed them," he said.
In the meantime, Jacob is looking forward to the next stage in this new adventure.
"I still have a few more weeks of infantry training to go before I'm posted somewhere, but I want to be in (the Army) for as long as possible and see where it takes me," he said.
"I love the Clarence Valley and will definitely return one day, but for now, I want to see what life outside can offer."