2 Company CSM Bland has continued to set his cadets a series of weekly competitive challenges to keep them engaged and enthusiastic about army cadet activities. In doing so, CSM Bland has inspired cadets and CFAV's, and worked tirelessly behind the scenes to demonstrate true leadership. He has consistently shown that he understands that a leader’s job is to be of service and achieve through others, and earned great respect from cadets and adults alike.
Week three’s challenge was to demonstrate camouflage techniques with ‘why things are seen’. This was won by Cadet Howlett of Chesterton Detachment. Cdt Howlett submitted a series of photographs of himself camouflaged in a woodland setting. These pictures showed his understanding of ‘why things are seen’ and what can be done to make them less visible, as the first picture showed him clearly visible and the subsequent images showed him superbly well-hidden with camo cream and foliage.
He said ‘I thought straight away about how I would camouflage myself from the enemy, and to blend in, so it is harder for the enemy forces to see me. To do this I went to my local forest. I knew how to use my camo paint to blend my skin, and stop shine from my face and hands, then I had my uniform on and I used the branches and twigs around me to help break down my shape.’ Cdt Howlett was delighted to be the winner saying; ‘when I found out I won I was happy and proud of myself as I had earned points for my detachment.’
The second challenge was demonstrating ACF values and standards. In an extraordinary double victory, this was once again won by Cdt Howlett. He said ‘In in the second challenge I decide to show a fellow cadet how to iron, hang his uniform, and polish his boots up to standard. The second time I won I felt great, because I realised that if you put in 110% effort and believe in yourself, and be a team player, you can go far.’ He is also enthusiastic about the challenge as a whole saying ‘The challenges are good way for cadets to stay involved with each other, and sometimes there are no right or wrong ways, we can learn skills from each other because we also see what the other cadets have answered to the challenges.’
Commenting on CDT Howlett’s remarkable achievement, Chesterton Detachment Commander Lt Clarke said; ‘Great effort you have made- you have shown real leadership qualities on these challenges, and in addition you have been impressive from your arrival at detachment.’
The next challenge returned to the STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Maths) theme, and was to build the tallest free-standing structure using only 6 sheets of newspaper, 30cm of tape and 4 straws. Cadet Williams of Cambourne Detachment won this, by building a structure so tall it reached the ceiling. He placed the straws in the middle of the tightly rolled legs of the tower, which he formed from pieces of newspaper, ripped in half with the other half saved for later. Whole pieces of newspaper were tightly rolled for strength, and then stuck them together with a small amount of tape. The remaining half pieces of paper of paper left over were used as an additional factor for the height, enabling it to touch the ceiling. The tape was mainly wrapped around the legs and the base of the tower to increase the overall strength of the structure. He was surprised to be a winner and said ‘ I was very surprised at first because I had never won before and it was a very good feeling to win one of the challenges. I thought the competition was very fun, and a nice idea in terms of challenging the cadets in their own home. I also thought it was a nice break from the ordinary daily routine.’ Like many of his fellow cadets, Cdt Williams is anxious to get back to face to face training, saying ‘I am very much looking forward to returning to detachment after all this time when it is safe to do so. I especially missed annual camp, so it will be very nice to return to training in person and seeing everybody else again.’
The latest challenge is to design a recruitment poster for 2 Company.
CSM Bland said; ‘I’d like to say thank you to all those who have contributed, outstanding efforts all round.’
Text by PI Stuart, County P.R.O.