P Company

This goes firmly in the category of “things that make you laugh (but really shouldn’t)”

P Company is the selection process used by the Parachute Regiment (2 Para or 3 Para) to determine who is eligible to take parachute training. It is a brutal week seven weeks (thanks to Smudge for providing me the correct information) of physical and mental examinations to weed out anyone deemed unsuitable. Needless to say I have no idea of what these men go through and it is a long time since I had any pretensions of even starting such a test, never mind finish it.

There were two documentaries made in the early to mid 1980’s about this selection process, probably as a direct result of the Parachute Regiment’s involvement in the Falklands Conflict. The BBC made a 6 part documentary, Channel 4 made a 1 hour special. At the very end of the Channel 4 version a new recruit is shown taking his first training parachute jump. The process is well known: Jump, count to 3, look up and check your company. The following is what this new recruit said as he made his first jump

“One thousand. Two thousand. Three thousand. Check canopy”

Short pause as canopy inflates

“Thank f^c& for that”

And here is the video to prove it (the clip is right at the end), courtesy of You Tube.


  1. Its actually 3 weeks pre course which is exactly as the main course though a lot harder. Then 2.5 weeks beasting then the week you described so 7 weeks of blisters seat and tears Usually 30-40 will pass 88 started my course and around 30 passed.
    It is funny though in a warped way


  2. Smudge,

    Many thanks for the comment. As I said, I have no idea what it is like to go on the course and I even misunderstood the narrator on the program. We can safely assume that I am probably not cut out for that kind of life (even though I thought I was nearly 20 years ago)

    And yeah, the point of the post was the complete relief of the guy taking his first jump. And the way it just made me laugh out loud.

    Me, with a warped sense of humour? Almost certainly


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