SMI Debbie Callaghan, County PRO
No 3 (Somme) Company descended on Holcombe Moor Training Camp, to take part in their 1st day of Annual Camp. This being their first activity on camp in almost 18 months.
Following breakfast, the Company were all issued with a new company t-shirt before being formed up on the Drill Square for a welcome by the Company Commander, Major Andy Pilling and our Commandant, Colonel Catherine Harrison.
As part of Colonel Harrison’s welcome was the presentation of a Master Cadet Badge to Cadet Colour Sergeant Tyler Holloway. Master Cadet is the highest level of training for cadets in the ACF and is a great achievement for any cadet.
Unknown to Cadet Colour Sergeant Holloway was also a very well-deserved promotion to Cadet Sergeant Major and the appointment to Cadet Company Sergeant Major of No 3 (Somme) Company. As Cadet CSM Holloway proudly worn his new rank CSM Woodward placed the Cadet CSM pace stick under his arm, the carrying of the pace stick completing his appointment. A picture was taken of Cadet CSM Holloway with CSM Mark Woodward, his Detachment Commander SSI Vickie Mansell and the Company Commander, Major Andy Pilling.
The cadet activities for each company have been planned by our County Training Major (Cadets), Major Glen Yarr. To ensure all cadets receive the same great opportunities, each day has the same training programme. Major Yarr is now putting plans in place for Annual Camp 2022. A year in advance. This is how long it takes to plan such a huge activity taking away to camp hundreds of cadets and staff.
The activities the cadets took part in were Command Tasks, Values and Standards with Padre Gerard Fieldhouse-Byrne and the third group was with a team of soldiers from 103 Regiment Royal Artiliery (RA) Reservists. The soldiers gave an insight into the L118 105mm Light Gun which they brought along and spoke about the Royal Artillery.
As with each company so far, Major Keith Noble, CEO of Greater Manchester ACF, issued each cadet with the new cadet safeguarding card with details on of useful and important telephone numbers for the cadets to ring for advice or support, should they need it. The adult volunteers were also given a guidance card to give them the information, should a cadet speak to them for advice.
After lunch the cadets got back onto the parade square for another presentation which was made by our Honorary Colonel & Vice Lord Lieutenant, Sharman Birtles JP DL.
During lockdown many cadets in Greater Manchester ACF became 18 years of age, at which age they leave the ACF as Cadets. One of the Cadets was the former Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major Rio Wolstenholme, formally from Reddish Detachment. As a mark of the high standing he had, not just as the County Cadet RSM, but also a cadet in No 3 (Somme) Company. He was invited to attend the camp and was presented a gift from the Company, in thanks for the inspirational service and hard work he gave as a cadet.
Following the presentation Rio spoke to all the cadets and spoke about his time as a cadet starting out and how any of them could be a future Cadet RSM. He spoke about how he valued the values and standards the Cadets have and how even now, as an adult he still lives by them.
Rio is now studying at university to do a degree in nursing, and we all wish him well in his future. A future that will no doubt be as successful as his time with Greater Manchester ACF.
The rest of the afternoon was taken up with the activities of the morning to ensure every cadet had the opportunity to take part in all the activities. The final fun of the day was building bridges from straws and having a refresher lesson on map reading ahead of tomorrow’s navigation exercise.
It is great to see so many adult volunteers who are turning up each day to ensure the cadets have a positive cadet experience. Without all the valued volunteers the activities would not be able to take place. Thank you to all for returning after the long break, still with great enthusiasm.
All pictures from Day 1 can be found on our County Facebook page.
Please note: All activities are conducted under Army Cadet Covid-19 Guidance.