Definition of Adventure Training (AT)
Adventurous training is 'a form of outdoor training for Service personnel requiring participation in challenging pursuits, by inference those which contain an ever present risk to life and limb, and calling for, from those taking part, leadership and some or all of the qualities of fitness, physical and moral courage, initiative, powers of endurance and interdependence'. The soldierly qualities of leadership, courage, determination, team spirit, loyalty etc. are deemed to be essential by our Commanders. The use of the adventurous training activities sanctioned under the Joint Service Adventurous Training (JSAT) scheme is an effective means of developing these qualities. Whatever reason you may see as the principle purpose for officers and soldiers participating in adventurous training, the aim that encapsulates such training is: 'To develop through participation in authorised pursuits, leadership and necessary qualities that enhance the soldier's ability to withstand the shocks and strains of war and operations'.
History of AT
There has always been an attraction for military personnel to take part in adventurous undertakings. Many famous explorers have been servicemen who had developed their interest and skills whilst carrying out their military duties. The Victorian desire for ever more demanding recreational pursuits such as climbing helped to develop the philosophy of adventurous training and the perception that participation in outdoor pursuits can be both informative and educational. Since 1969 the army has recognised adventurous training as being an important part in preparing servicemen 'to stand up to the shocks and strains of war'.
Definition of AT levels
It is not necessary to have previous experience in any of these activities, as there are opportunities to learn and develop the required skills through the 4 progressive levels of adventurous training: a) Level 1 is the mandatory course contained within both normal Recruit Training and training for Junior Entry recruits. For all recruits there are 27 periods to introduce the practical skills needed for such activities. For the Junior Entrant, it comprises two separate phases totalling 21 days over the year of training. The emphasis is upon developing the character of the young person using challenge-type activities. b) Level 2 is mandatory training for at least 30% of the Field Army. It is conducted over even continuous days modernised for small groups by their own sub-unit. c) Level 3 is an ambitious expedition planned in either the UK or overseas where participants contribute at least 33% of the costs. d) Level 4 is the training needed to earn qualifications in adventurous training.