88 cadets from across the 9 detachments kicked off Christmas early on 26 November 2021, with the first residential training weekend since the start of the pandemic. The event was based at Waterbeach CTC, with Christmas jumpers expected!
Friday evening saw the arrival of both adult volunteers and the cadets, and for many this was their first stay away from home with the ACF and the excitement levels were high, with equally high expectations of the weekend ahead.
13 cadets started their bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition training, writing route cards and packing their kit under the supervision of Cpt Brendan Molloy and Lt Mark Parker.
3 Coy cadets practice rifle drill. Picture: SMI Harris.
Saturday morning brought a cold day with it, and the start of training for most. For new cadets there were lessons on the Scorpion air rifle before spending time on the air rifle range, under the close eye of Staff Sergeant Instructor (SSI) Steve Rudderham, introduction to map reading including a walk around Waterbeach as well as other subjects from the syllabus.
Staff Sergeant Steve Rudderham on the range with 2 cadets. Picture: Major Kell MBE
The one star training cadets were split into three groups and while one group were training on the safe use of the Cadet GP A2 rifle, the rest received further training on navigation, first aid, military knowledge and an insight into the Emergency Services, with a talk from Adult Volunteer, Sgt Andy Phipps, who is a fireman at RAF Lakenheath.
Left, SSI Swadling and 2 Star cadets during a navigation exercise. Picture: SSI Swadling. right: Cdt Cook from Waterbeach detachment, trying on firefighting kit. Picture: Laura Reynolds.
The senior cadets undertook a mixture of navigation and drill and turnout lessons, with several practising delivery of drill lessons to help train other cadets.
The Company OC, Major John Kell MBE, was able to present three cadets, who had reached the age of 18, with Staff Cadet Appointments to allow them to continue with the Army Cadet Force for an additional period of time. Sgt Bruno from Ely detachment, Sgt Bugg from Newmarket detachment and Cpl Harris from Soham detachment were all presented with their staff cadet rank slides.
Major Kell MBE presenting Staff Cadet rank slides to Cdt Sgt Bruno, Cdt Cpl Harris and Cdt Sgt Bugg. Cdt Cpl Harris was also promoted to Cadet Sgt. Pictures: SMI Harris.
With a successful number of subject passes, promotions and Christmas celebrations, it was a great for the company to come together before the end of 2021.
Text by Lt Victoria Houghton