JNCO Cadre Camp October 2021
Corps was delighted to run for the first time a joint camp with Trinity School CCF over half-term.
Thirty-four cadets from the Fifth Year and Lower Sixth of both schools underwent a rigorous five-day cadre to practise and assess their skills as potential junior non-commissioned officers. Working in four squads with leadership duties shared amongst them, the cadets revised core military skills such as skill-at-arms, drill, fieldcraft and military knowledge. On Saturday, the students were put through their leadership paces on assessed command tasks and had a chance to compete with their squad in the exhausting march and shoot competition. In the evening, each of them 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.
Sunday saw the cadre head out to training areas for a day in the field. Pupils had a chance to lead their sections into enemy contacts, testing their skills as section commanders; to manage a casualty evacuation under fire (with terrifyingly life-like wounds); to lead a patrol; and to mount an OP on unsuspecting recruits. The chance to be instructed by Caterham’s new SSI, Capt Jones (sometime RSM of the Infantry Battle School) was invaluable for all. Cdt Cha, Cpl Hannah and Cpl Willson N showed particular talents in the field, as would be expected of the cream of the Army’s crop.
Monday brought the dreaded practical TPs, when the cadets delivered a skills-based lesson to their peers. Having prepared kit, resources and lesson plans in advance, they instructed one another in movement with the weapon, camouflage and concealment, target indication and many other lessons from the fieldcraft syllabus, all again assessed in detail by officers for feedback and grading. Cdt Case, Cdt Bortey and Cpl Thurgood shone in particular with some excellent and innovative training periods.
Tuesday concluded an exciting and demanding camp with an inter-squad competition of tug of war and the obstacle course. Muddy, sweaty and smiling broadly, the cadets threw themselves into the fray with the gusto they had shown throughout, until Yellow Squad emerged as narrow victors.
A smart final parade beneath Caterham and Trinity’s banners brought camp to a conclusion. All the cadets were deservedly congratulated on their fine performances, and particular prizes were awarded:
- Best Potential JNCO Cdt Morgan
- Most Improved Cdt Case
- Best Lesson Cdt Bortey
- Best in the Field Cdt Cha
- Best Marksman Cdt Ogilvie
There is no doubt that there are some fine JNCOs in both units to lead their juniors in the years to come. Nor is there any doubt that this highly successful camp will not be the last venture in which Caterham and Trinity join forces to great effect.
Capt M M Owen
OC Army Section