2 Coy’s Navigation Weekend

2 Coy’s Navigation Weekend

4 April 2022

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

On the weekend of 26th-27th March 2 Company cadets took part in a highly successful navigation weekend based from Huntingdon Detachment. As well as being an important part of the syllabus, this training has also helped prepared them for their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) expedition in the near future.


Cadets prepare at Huntingdon Detachment.

Navigation is one of the key skills taught by the ACF. Not only is it a vital military skill, it also teaches discipline, organisation and teamwork, and expeditions such as this one allow cadets freedom to make their own decisions, learn from their own mistakes, and build confidence and a sense of achievement.


Puzzles that teach identifying features on a map.

The training was led by 2 Coy’s Navigation and DofE officer, SSI Lloyd Lester, with support provided by SMI Vince Moody and Cdt LCpl Aimee Corby, who used the opportunity to gain useful leadership experience that will help with her forthcoming instructors course, JCIC. The 2 Coy cadets who participated in the training were: Cdt Dimopolous, Cdt Vanier, Cdt Sparrow, Cdt Xu, Cdt Tidbury, Cdt Davie and Cdt Skinner.

The first day was based at detachment and involved refreshing and teaching the whole 2 Star navigation syllabus. This included care of, and orientation of, maps, the use of handrails and using features on the ground. Using cones on the ground to form a grid, they practiced finding four and six figure grid references. They also looked at use of a compass, contours, waypoints, and prepared work books and route cards.


One of the teams with SMI Moody.

Sunday was the day of the expedition, and it began with a briefing and an opportunity to ask questions, finish route cards, check the cadets had the right kit, including safety equipment, food and water. With these last checks completed, they set off for their navigation start point near Godmanchester, and then navigated on to Brampton and Hinchingbrook Park. As the cadets had different levels of experience, they were divided into two groups with the more experienced given more autonomy, and the less experienced more closely supervised. In both cases the groups were able to perform much of the navigation on their own, whilst being monitored (from a distance) by SSI Lester and SMI Moody, who acted as safety driver.


Stopping to check the route.

SSI Lester interacted mostly with the second group when it became clear they needed help, though it soon became apparent they were making great progress and working increasingly well as team, a key objective of the training. SSI Lester also posed them practical challenges, such as imagining that their route was blocked or flooded, testing and improving their abilities to adapt and problem-solve.

SSI Lester said; ‘Both groups learned a lot and really improved, with all meeting the required (2 Star) standard. Navigation is an individual skill, but you also need to work as part of a team. As well as being refreshed on what they had already learned, they learned new skills, their teamwork greatly improved, and they all did really well. I would like to give a huge thanks to Cdt LCpl Corby and SMI Vince Moody for all their support over the weekend.’


Nav training teaches both self-reliance & teamwork

Text by SI Doug Stuart, Photos by Cdt LCpl Amiee Corby. With thanks to SSI Lloyd Lester.