Caterham & Trinity Cadets Join Forces at CCF JNCO Camp

Caterham & Trinity Cadets Join Forces at CCF JNCO Camp

For the third time, Corps joined forces with our friends at Trinity School CCF over half-term to run a five-day camp for Fifth Year cadets. Fifth Year cadet training is focused on becoming achieving junior NCO rank, and so this camp, run at St Martin’s Plain, Folkestone, constituted a rigorous practise and assessment of their skills in leadership and instruction. In three mixed squads, the cadets revised core military skills such as skill-at-arms, drill, fieldcraft and military knowledge. On Thursday, the potential NCOs were put through their leadership paces on assessed command tasks around camp. In the evening, each delivered a theory lesson on topics from badges of rank to the history of the Royal Air Force, with officers assessing their instructorship and discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Friday saw the RN and RAF cadets on camp conducting section-specific training, while the Army cadets headed out for a day in the field on Ex NEWTON. The young leaders took turns to command their sections in enemy contacts, manage casualty evacuations under fire, and mount OPs on unsuspecting enemies, with Cdt Gumbley and Cdt Parsons showing particular aptitude as commanders in the field.

Sunday brought the dreaded skills TPs, when the cadets delivered a practical lesson to their peers. This year the pressure was upped by the presence of Col Ray Wilkinson, Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Croydon, who enjoyed watching the cadets’ lessons despite the dismal weather. Preparing kit, resources and lesson plans and instructing one another in movement with the weapon, camouflage and concealment, target indication and many other lessons from the fieldcraft syllabus, all were again assessed in detail by officers for feedback and grading. Cdt Woods and Cdt I Chambers shone in particular with some excellent and innovative training periods.

Sunday concluded an exciting and demanding camp with an inter-squad competition of tug of war, gun run and the obstacle course. Muddy, sweaty and smiling broadly, the cadets threw themselves into the fray with the gusto they had shown throughout, until Purple Squad emerged as narrow victors.

A smart final parade in a brief break from the downpours brought camp to a conclusion. All the cadets were deservedly congratulated on their fine performances, and particular prizes were awarded:

  • Best Potential JNCO Cdt Parsons
  • Cadets’ Cadet Cdt Chambers I
  • Most Improved Cdt Johnson
  • Best Skills Lesson Cdt Woods
  • Best Theory Lesson Cdt Chambers W

In the face of the elements and the rigours of the training programme, these young would-be leaders performed laudably, and the future of both units looks to be in very safe hands.

Capt M M Owen

OC Joint JNCO Cadre

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