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 Initiative Tests

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PostSubject: Initiative Tests   22/2/2010, 13:30

Two men I knew, back in '59 were called to the office without warning and told they were being sent on an initiative test. They were told to go and get Elvis Presley's autograph and it was up to them how they did it. They had time to get into civvies then off to the American zone they went.
The tests were stopped soon after this I remember. It seems that some people were being a little too enthusiastic, stealing cars etc., and the Germans weren't too happy about it.
Does anybody have any information on these tests?
(Oh, they got Elvis's autograph by the way and were photographed with him too!)
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PaddyQ
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Number of posts : 25
Age : 73
Localisation : Strabane. Tyrone. N. Ireland
Cap Badge : R Innisk Fus / RAOC
Places Served : M Gladbach. Fallingbostel. Osnabruck
Registration date : 2008-05-14

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   5/6/2010, 17:32

I remember those initiative tests well and took part in atleast 2 that I remember.
Great fun.
Nothing much to say about them. They were aimed primarily at junior ranks, working in pairs, who were given an objective to be performed over a maximum of 48 hours [usually 1800 Friday - 1800 Sunday]
Dress was civilian clothes and the use of public or military transport was forbidden, civil and military law was to be adhered to at all times.
The one I remember best was whilst at Scarborough Bks Osnabruck when we were tasked with making our way to the Möhne Dam to collect the local Burgermeister's signature and take a sample of water from the dam.
This we completed with ease having 'thumbed' our way there and back with overnight stops with the Belgian Army in Werl.
Other tests followed where we were not so lucky with transportation.
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brum
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Number of posts : 2808
Age : 76
Localisation : Sandbach Cheshire
Cap Badge : RA/QOH
Places Served : JLRRA (Hereford) Nienburg Paderborn Colchester Munster Maresfield (Cyprus) Hohne Hemer Op Banner x4 Woolwich
Registration date : 2010-03-02

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   5/6/2010, 22:04

Cheers Paddy,

From the lack of response I was beginning to think the initiative tests were exclusive to our Regt.
Our CO at the time was a ferocious Korean War veteran and inclined to cut through the bullshit and treat his men like soldiers.
(Imagine, having a picture of yourself and Elvis in those days !)

brum
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ChrisP
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Number of posts : 100
Localisation : Kent, UK
Cap Badge : RAMC
Places Served : Sennelager, Mil Wing MPH, Ditton, Hohne, Sennelager(again), Newcastle and Rheindahlen
Registration date : 2010-02-12

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   6/6/2010, 10:46

Last time we had an iniative test we had hiked for a couple of days in the Harz mountains, whilst on Summer Camp. On the 3rd day the RSM said "go back to camp". With that he got in his Landrover and disappeared. 3 of us saw a town not far away, hiked into it, got into a taxi and got back to the campsite before the RSM! (in fairness, he had a puncture on the way though). We were never set iniative tests again.
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jim
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Number of posts : 1291
Localisation : Sutton Coldfield
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Dad, Hamburg, Bad Oeynhausen, Iserlohn, Bury, Osnabruck, Worcester. Me Detmold, Bielefeld, NI, HK
Registration date : 2008-01-03

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   7/6/2010, 09:48

We had something like that at 20 Bde Chris, One Saturday morning a bunch of us singlies were round ed up and taken to the biesterburg. We were dropped off and told to make our way back to Hobart, We just wandered into Lemgo and caught a train to Detmold. LOL.
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dandc
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Number of posts : 382
Age : 67
Localisation : gateshead
Cap Badge : 15/19H.ARMY AIR CORPS
Places Served : tidworth, fallingbostle, detmold, hongkong, minden
Registration date : 2009-05-22

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   7/6/2010, 14:11

i only ever done one initiatve test,during NI training in senalager in the early 70s the oc thought it would be a good idea to have an E&E/initative test combined,we were to be dropped off in groups of 4 on the western side of the tuterburger wald, [spell check required]we were to make our way over night to the west in time for breakfast the next morning,we arranged to be picked up by the cook spent the night in bks and reported for breakfast next morning,we could not understand why the oc was in such a bad mood. it was worth the 3 days jankers.
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donald
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Number of posts : 156
Age : 87
Cap Badge : 1st The Royal Dragoons - The Blues and Royals (RHG/D)
Places Served : UK,BOAR,Egypt
Registration date : 2008-04-04

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   7/6/2010, 15:47

I recall a couple of lads were set off on an initiative test "to get an audience"with Elvis Presley".They not only got the audience,he took 'em out to dinner too!Been a fan of Elvis ever since!
--------
Don
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jim
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Number of posts : 1291
Localisation : Sutton Coldfield
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Dad, Hamburg, Bad Oeynhausen, Iserlohn, Bury, Osnabruck, Worcester. Me Detmold, Bielefeld, NI, HK
Registration date : 2008-01-03

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   7/6/2010, 16:09

I'm assuming that was when Elvis was doing his national service then Donald.
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brum
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Number of posts : 2808
Age : 76
Localisation : Sandbach Cheshire
Cap Badge : RA/QOH
Places Served : JLRRA (Hereford) Nienburg Paderborn Colchester Munster Maresfield (Cyprus) Hohne Hemer Op Banner x4 Woolwich
Registration date : 2010-03-02

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   7/6/2010, 16:45

Your mob sent blokes looking for Elvis too, Donald ? There must have been a queue forming !

brum
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Stephen Lock
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Number of posts : 937
Age : 63
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   8/6/2010, 20:04

ChrisP wrote:
Last time we had an iniative test we had hiked for a couple of days in the Harz mountains, whilst on Summer Camp. On the 3rd day the RSM said "go back to camp". With that he got in his Landrover and disappeared. 3 of us saw a town not far away, hiked into it, got into a taxi and got back to the campsite before the RSM! (in fairness, he had a puncture on the way though). We were never set iniative tests again.

Seems to me that showed wonderful initiative!! RSM didn't say how you were to get back to camp, now did he? Wink

Guess he was just pissed you beat him back Laughing
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Stephen Lock
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Number of posts : 937
Age : 63
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   8/6/2010, 20:07

Appears a lot of the initiative tests back then involved Elvis somehow. When did the guy ever manage to do any work or assignments? Nice he was so accessible, though. Can't imagine any of the artists today A) doing their stint in the army or B) being as accessible as that.

Mind you, it was a different era. In today's world an Elvis would be a target for some Al-Qaida nutbar or something....
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jim
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Number of posts : 1291
Localisation : Sutton Coldfield
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Dad, Hamburg, Bad Oeynhausen, Iserlohn, Bury, Osnabruck, Worcester. Me Detmold, Bielefeld, NI, HK
Registration date : 2008-01-03

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   9/6/2010, 08:59

Frankly my biggest initiative test as a singly was getting up to get into work in the morning. Wink
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PaddyQ
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Number of posts : 25
Age : 73
Localisation : Strabane. Tyrone. N. Ireland
Cap Badge : R Innisk Fus / RAOC
Places Served : M Gladbach. Fallingbostel. Osnabruck
Registration date : 2008-05-14

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   9/6/2010, 19:36

I think that could be said about most of us Jim. An even harder test was to make breakfast before muster.
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jim
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Number of posts : 1291
Localisation : Sutton Coldfield
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Dad, Hamburg, Bad Oeynhausen, Iserlohn, Bury, Osnabruck, Worcester. Me Detmold, Bielefeld, NI, HK
Registration date : 2008-01-03

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   10/6/2010, 09:24

Ah well, I didn't have to attend muster parades Ivan, the joys of being a Staff Clerk.
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donald
WOI
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Number of posts : 156
Age : 87
Cap Badge : 1st The Royal Dragoons - The Blues and Royals (RHG/D)
Places Served : UK,BOAR,Egypt
Registration date : 2008-04-04

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   10/6/2010, 15:30

Funny thing,hated Reveille whilst serving,now can get up at 0600hrs without blinking an eyelid!I think that Elvis was singled out as he was a very nice guy,and did his NS while most wriggled out of it!And yes,in this crazy world of today he'd most likely be confined to barracks!
-------
Don
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Themaadone
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Number of posts : 270
Localisation : Near London
Cap Badge : RAOC/RLC/AGC
Places Served : Bielefeld, Guetersloh, Viersen, Bracht, Falklands, Aldershot, Leconsfield, NI, Rwanda, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan
Registration date : 2010-09-02

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   3/9/2010, 16:05

Whilst not in during the 50s or 60s (I wasn't even thought of then) we did have initiative tests in the 90s.

I was tasked with 2 but only one was fun (the other involved a German polizei car, a cell and the RMP....).

My mate Ralph and I were tasked getting a Stein from the Oktoberfest in Munchen whilst having no money and just our MoD90s (ID cards).

We went to Werl (I grew up in Bielefeld and knew lots of people) after making a few calls to old school mates who told me an authentic Oktoberfest was being held in a village on the outskirts of Werl. What luck, they just happened to have original steins as the Fest was sponsored by 'Paulaner' who make Weizenbier or banana beer as many squaddies would say.

We spent Friday night, saturday and saturday night in drunken stupor returning with a box of original steins in wrapping paper and a bad hangover which much surprised the OC, CSM and everyone else. We kept schtumm and played victorious Smile
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jim
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Number of posts : 1291
Localisation : Sutton Coldfield
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Dad, Hamburg, Bad Oeynhausen, Iserlohn, Bury, Osnabruck, Worcester. Me Detmold, Bielefeld, NI, HK
Registration date : 2008-01-03

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   6/9/2010, 10:28

Sounds like fuun Martin, where did you live in Bielefeld?

I see you were a pad rat, as was I but many years earlier. We lived in the battleship in Oerlinghausen when I was at Corps HQ in the mid '70's.
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Wilf
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Number of posts : 314
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Bicester-Soltau-Canada-Kineton-Paderborn-Osnabruck (Inc Gulf 1) Donnington-Civy Strasse.
Registration date : 2008-10-22

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   18/9/2011, 04:52

We once took part in an 'escape & evasion' excercise which was in no small way a test of our initiative. We were bundled onto four tonners and taken from Sennelager to Bielefeld, to a Barracks with high gates at the entrance and an enclosed cobbled courtyard. The reception was unfriendly lol, we were simulated prisoners of war and our captors were a company of Pioneers who went about screaming and throwing us to the ground with much enthusiasm (I noticed Lt Roberts quickly take his shoulder boards off, smart move) After a few hours of interogation & pressure positions we decided we had had enough of Pioneer hospitality. Although we were blidfolded we could hear the gates opening & closing, I suddenly heard people running, I peeped from under my blidfold to see half a dozen of the lads running at the gates, I was with them like a shot. The two sentries on the gate stood no chance, we were suddenly running down the street desperately looking for somewhere to hide. Me & Chris Moreton ran down a railway embankment and hid in a shed by the side of the tracks, we didn't know where we were or how many had escaped. After a while we ventured out and made our way into the town. It was difficult to blend it due to our clothing, we were dressed in boots with no laces, lighweight trousers and smocks with large orange panels on the chest. Every time we heard or saw a Landrover we would dart into a shop or hide behind parked vehicles. We were wondering how we were going to get back to Sennelager when Chris pulled a cheque out of his pocket, earlier when the pioneers searched him they just patted him down rather than turn his pockets out! fortunately he spoke perfect German so we found a bank and after much discussion came out with 50DM. To cut a very long story short we bought two train tickets from Bielefeld to Sennelager and got back within a couple of hours. Some of the lads took three or four days to get back and their stories were far more interesting than ours. Those excercises really did test your initiative.
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Wilf
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Number of posts : 314
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Bicester-Soltau-Canada-Kineton-Paderborn-Osnabruck (Inc Gulf 1) Donnington-Civy Strasse.
Registration date : 2008-10-22

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   18/9/2011, 05:33

PS; I think the barracks we were taken to in Bielefeld was probably Richmond barracks, although I didn't know that at the time.
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gingerjim
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Places Served : blackdown brackley , belgium . viersen
Registration date : 2011-03-21

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   18/9/2011, 19:51

we had something similar in 57, we were taken in a three tonner to a place just outside witten annen . not far from archen, it was an old disused factory really in a right mess , the idea being to guard the place but at the same time not let any body know we were there, bloody daft it was, all we had was iron rations, but lucky enough we had a cook cpl with us, we had a gamekeeper and a couple of ex farm hands in the party , the ex farm hands were expert in poaching . they used to go out each night with the gamekeeper, and come back with all sorts of eatable goodies, we really did live off the land, fresh eggs milk. lots of roast chicken . one night we even had a little pig for supper , it was wonderful . it was a terrible wrench when we had to go back to viersen and army grub once more, ginger
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Wilf
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Number of posts : 314
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Bicester-Soltau-Canada-Kineton-Paderborn-Osnabruck (Inc Gulf 1) Donnington-Civy Strasse.
Registration date : 2008-10-22

PostSubject: Re: Initiative Tests   18/9/2011, 20:41

gingerjim wrote:
we had something similar in 57, we were taken in a three tonner to a place just outside witten annen . not far from archen, it was an old disused factory really in a right mess , the idea being to guard the place but at the same time not let any body know we were there, bloody daft it was, all we had was iron rations, but lucky enough we had a cook cpl with us, we had a gamekeeper and a couple of ex farm hands in the party , the ex farm hands were expert in poaching . they used to go out each night with the gamekeeper, and come back with all sorts of eatable goodies, we really did live off the land, fresh eggs milk. lots of roast chicken . one night we even had a little pig for supper , it was wonderful . it was a terrible wrench when we had to go back to viersen and army grub once more, ginger

LOL superb, good man ginger.
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