Armed Forces - a12a4 - British Army - Phase 1 Basic Training for Recruits - Army Training Regiments - Combat Infantryman's Course



Basic Recruit or Phase 1 training comprises the Combat Infantryman’s Course (CIC) for infantry and the Common Military Syllabus Recruit (CMSR) for all other British Army regiments and corps.

Recruit Physical Training Assessments - During Recruit Training personnel are assessed at different stages of training as follows:









Sit Up Test

1 min (20 reps)

2 min (42 reps)

3 min (65 reps)

1.5 Mile Run

11 min 30 sec

11 mins

10 min 30 sec

As part of ATRA, the Initial Training Group (ITG) is responsible for Phase 1 (Basic) Training of the majority of soldier recruits, which is undertaken primarily at the four Army Training Regiments; Bassingbourn in Cambridgeshire, Winchester in Hampshire, Lichfield in Staffordshire and Pirbright in Surrey. Exceptions to this are the adult Infantry recruits who go direct to the School of Infantry at Catterick.

ITG is also responsible for the Army Foundation College at Harrogate. The group is also responsible for the Recruit Selection Centres where potential soldier recruits undergo initial selection.

Until mid-2002 the Army training organisation carried out centralised Phase 1 Training at four Army Training Regiments (ATRs). Since then, infantry recruits do all of their training at the Infantry Training Centre (Catterick).


Catterick is the home of all Infantry Training at Phase 1 and Phase 2, except for Junior soldiers destined for the Infantry who continue to receive Phase 1 training at Bassingbourn and at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate. Catterick comprises the Headquarters School of Infantry and the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick. Also under its Command are the Infantry Battle School at Brecon and the Infantry Training Centre at Warminster, which both provide Phase 3 training for Infantry officers and soldiers.

Combat Infantryman's Course

The Combat Infantryman's Course (CIC) is the framework upon which all regular infantry recruit training is based. The course equips recruits with infantry special to arms skills needed for a rifle platoon ready to deploy on an operational tour after minimal further appropriate pre-operational training in the Field Army.  Successful completion of the CIC marks the end of initial army training. 

The majority of recruits joining the infantry choose line infantry regiments; they undertake the standard CIC which lasts for 24 weeks.  Recruits joining the Foot Guards, Parachute Regiment and the Gurkhas, carry out additional training to meet the particular needs of these regiments.  Similarly, recruits from the Army Foundation College at Harrogate undertake a specially adapted, but shorter CIC. 

The Combat Infantryman's Course (Single) is structured around three phases as follows:

Weeks 1-6  Individual skills, drill, weapons training, fitness and fieldcraft.
Weeks 7-21 Team skills, endurance training including long runs, patrolling skills.
Weeks 22 - 24 Live firing and battle camp at Sennybridge in Wales .

The unit costs of recruiting and training infantry are substantial, as shown in the next table.

Costs of infantry recruiting and training (Phase 1 and Phase 2)  

Infantry Group

Length of Course (weeks)

Cost per trainee for financial year 2003-4










Royal Irish Regiment recruits also undertake the CIC at Catterick.


Recruits from Nepal joining the Royal Gurkha Rifles, Queen's Gurkha Engineers, Queen's Gurkha Signals and the Queen's Own Gurkha Transport Regiment are trained at the ITC on a 38 week CIC(G).  This combines the normal Common Military Syllabus Recruits (CMS(R)) course taught at the Army Training Regiments with the CIC course and it includes a special English language and British culture package. As many as 30,000 potential Gurkhas apply to join the British Army each year and between 150 and 200 are selected.


Phase 1 training for all regiments and corps except infantry comprises Common Military Syllabus Recruit (CMSR). This includes training in the basic military skills required of all soldiers and incorporates weapon handling and shooting, drill, physical fitness, field tactics, map reading, survival in nuclear chemical and biological warfare and general military knowledge. It is an intensive course and requires the recruit to show considerable determination and courage to succeed.

Since 2002, Phase 1 training for regiments and corps excluding infantry is undertaken by four Army Training Regiments as shown below:

ATR Pirbright  - The Household Cavalry, The Royal Logistic Corps, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Artillery.

ATR Winchester - The Royal Armoured Corps, The Army Air Corps, The Adjutant General's Corps (including the Royal Military Police), The Intelligence Corps, Army Medical services and Musicians.

ATR Lichfield - The Royal Engineers and The Royal Signals.

In 2005, ATRA  conducted a study to evaluate the capacity requirements for Phase 1 soldier training, and to determine the most long term economical use of the existing Phase 1 training real estate. The study identified and developed a range of options including the feasibility of closing one of the ATRs.


ATR Bassingbourn is the centre for training of Junior Entry recruits, most of whom will be 16 years old. The new courses are called:

a. Army Development Course (ADC) - 20 weeks.
b. Army Development Course (Advanced) or (ADC(A)) - 29 weeks.

Both courses will train the recruits in basic soldiering, but the ADC (A) course has an additional education element – Key Skills in literacy, numbers and communication.