16th April 2011

 

John ‘Soap’ MacTavish

22nd Regiment,SAS

 

This was my first day in Credenhill,Hereford.After passing through a very tough Selection,this is it.It’s now or never.Otherwise I’ll be the whipping boy for this team.I never been so nervous this day.The atmosphere was quite intense,it’s quite different from Scottish battalion.As I still trying to adjust myself with this new surrounding,I overheard a conversation occur between my commanding officers,Leftenant Gareth ‘Gaz’ Roberts and Captain John Price.’Good news first,sir.The world is in great shape.We got a civil war in Russia.Government loyalists against Ultranationalists rebels with 15000 nukes at stakes ‘Captain Price replied,’Just another day in the office,I presumed.What else we got?’Gaz continued,’Khaled al-Asad.Currently the second most powerful man in Middle East.Word on the street he’s got the minerals to be top dog down there.Intel’s keep an eye on him.’Then the old man ask the bad news.With a wry smile,Gaz replied,’We have a new guy joining us today fresh out of selection.His name is Soap.’When he heard my name,I can see him smiling,probably tried to contain his laughter.Then,he become serious once more and heading to the Killhouse,training other members of the regiment.

 

When Gaz sees me,he asked,’Ready for the test,mate?’I shook my head and replied,’Ready when you are,sir.’We then head to the armory.’Soap,I think you know the drill.Get to station one and  aim your rifle downrange.’Then he tutored me how to use my G36C,allowing me to shoot with ease.Satisfied with my shooting,he told me to grab a sidearm from the armory.’Switch to your pistol.’After switching to my sidearm,he continued,’Switched back to your rifle.Remember switching your pistol is faster than reloading.’Then Gaz told me to use my knife and continued,’Alright,mate.Using your knife is even faster than switching your pistol.Knife that watermelon.’I slashed that watermelon quickly,prompting a praise from him,’Nice!Your fruit killing skills are remarkable!All good here,Soap.Now,report to Sergeant Newcastle.’

 

As I head to demolition station,I now realized how vast this area was.There were so many activity around here.’Glad to see you here,mate.Time to have some fun with some explosives.’He said with a joyous tone.I can only smile to see how enthusiastic he was that day.’Pick up some frags and go to safety pit.’After safely in the safety pit,he then told me to throw it into window two,three and four.I executed his orders with ease.Satisfied with my throwings,’Come back here and pick up a launcher grenade.’I switched my G36C with a M4A1 Grenadier and head back to the safety pit.’Alright,mate.Equip your grenadier and fire it to wall number one.’I fire the grenade towards the wall and a bit shocked to see the wall remain solid.’I thought that wall will collapse with that explosion.’Newcastle replied,’Not exactly,Soap.All grenade launchers have a minimum safe arming distance.Besides,those explosions will only hit hostiles only,not something solid like this.’He then told me to hit window five,six and seven.Seeing that huge grin on his face,I knew he was absolutely pleased with my performance.’Come here and grab some C4.’He then instructed me to place some C4s on that car.’It seems my ex-wife is kind enough to donate her car to further your education,mate.’A burst of laughter emerged after I listened to his comment.It’s good to relief some stress with that laughter.Still,time to get serious.’Get a safe distance.’Once I distancing myself from the car,he then shouts,’Fire in the hole!’I detonate those C4s resulting a huge explosion,destroying the car in a matter of seconds.Satisfied with my weapons evaluation,he said,’Nice work.You’ve passed weapons evaluation.Now,report to Mac on the obstacle course.I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to see you.’

 

Hearing those words makes me nervous.According to my mates who once served in this regiment,Mac loves to swear towards new recruits.Today,I will suffer the same experience just like them.When he sees me,I know he’ll be enjoying himself,watching me and other recruits suffering in the obstacle course.’Well…it seems Miss Soap was kind enough to join us! Line up ladies! Go! This isn’t a bloody charity walk – get your arses into gear!’We run through our courses.Then he told us to jump over those obstacles.As we crawl under the barbed wire,he continuously insulting us,’You crawl like old people screw! I’ve seen Sandhurst Commandos run faster than you lot! Move move move! What’s the matter with you? You all want to be R. T. U’d?’Eventually,I managed to finish the obstacle course ahead from the others.He then told me to piss off and head to Hangar One to meet Captain Price.The others however were not so lucky.’The rest of you bloody ponces are going to run it again until I’m no longer embarrassed to look at you!’

 

As I reached Hangar One,the door was slowly opened,showing Captain Price was discussing with other regiment members.I assume they must be discussing about the Killhouse.’It’s the F.N.G,sir.Go easy on him sir.This is his first day of the regiment.’The man who said that was my old friend,Sergeant Mustapha Abbas.The old man sees me with a smile,probably still remembering his conversation with Gaz.Then,he become serious once more.’Right. What the hell kind of name is Soap, eh? How’d a muppet like you pass selection? Soap, it’s your turn for the C.Q.B. test. Everyone else head to observation. For this test you’ll have to run the cargoship solo in less than 60 seconds. Gaz holds the squadron record at 19 seconds. Good luck. Climb the ladder over there.’Mustapha then whispered,’Good luck,Soap.’Once I reached the top of the course,the captain told me to equip myself with a MP5 and four flashbangs.After that,he then giving his instruction about the course,’On my go, I want you to rope down to the deck and rush to position 1. After that, you will storm down the stairs to position 2. Then hit position 3 and 4, following my precise instructions at each position. Grab the rope when you’re ready.’Once I give a go-ahead,time starts now.I rappeled down the course and start hitting my targets.At times,in some doors,the old man told me to throw flashbang before taking down any target.As I finished the course,he shook his head,admitting my worth in the regiment.’Pretty good Soap. But I seen better. Climb up the ladder if you want an other go. Otherwise come over to the monitors for debrief.’I ran back to the monitors for debrief.’Gentleman, the cargoship mission is a go. Get yourselves sorted out. Wheels up at 0200 hundred (2:00 AM). Dismissed.’It’s been a hard day but nevertheless,being accepted in the regiment was priceless.