Unfortunately during lockdown new cadets were unable to join the ACF as our detachments were closed but C Company had a waiting list of 32 keen youngsters and a plan to get them involved. An invite to the new potential cadets and their parents was sent for a zoom Introduction to the ACF, of the 32 potential recruits 30 stayed on to complete the 6 weeks of training.
Over the following weeks the youngsters were online and covered the following subjects:
1- The Value and Standards of the Army Cadet Force
2- Field craft theory
3- Badges of rank
4- History of the ACF
5- Heartstart British Heart Foundation - First Aid training
6- Physical training
The online events were coordinated by Acting Under Officer’s Sell & Dearlove.
The final night of the Zoom program was an open night for the parents. Then the uniform measurements were collated and the cadets allocated to detachments ahead of detachments re-opening after the February half term. The new cadets have been able to experience some face to face training in bubbles at detachment but were all exited to get stuck in properly at Annual camp.
The 30 new cadets came to camp in two 15 person cadet cadres, named Apache and Lynx. AUO Dearlove And Staff Cadet UO M MacLoughlin (who is Essex’s first Staff Cadet Under Officer) put the program for camp together. AUO Dearlove is going to use his work for this cadre as part of a project for his Initial Officer Training.
Commanding the two bubble cadres are:
SI Hackett who recently transferred to Essex ACF from Cumbria ACF and took command of Apache troop whilst SSI Ellis has been given the lead for Lynx Troop for the duration of the 5 day cadre.
The highlight of the course so far has been going on the range with the Company Commander Major Girvan who said “Some of them have good potential to be great shots in the future”. Also on the ranges a cadet told SMI Evans, the company training officer “you could get a sight made for your prescription glasses that would help make you a sniper”. Who knows where from, but if they exist the PR Officer wonders if they can do similar so he can take better photos?
So far the troops have been training out of Southend where they have practiced Drill, Skill at Arms, Shooting, Physical Training and Command Tasks.
From Tomorrow (Friday) they will be moving to Rayleigh for Navigation, Introductory Duke of Edinburgh Award training and a Field Craft phase which will see the young cadets in Bashas out in Rayleigh, for their first night under canvas. However, they won’t be roughing it too much, with a pizza supper and bacon sandwich breakfast planned for the morning.
At the end of the course they will have a final parade - to be passed out, but no parents can beam with pride at the event due to Covid restrictions. Also, on pass out there will be a number of awards given out for each of the troops including:
Most improved cadet.
Best turned out.
As well as an overall cadre award to Best Student.
The Staff Officer would like to mention and give special thanks to her team of Cadet Directing Staff. Cdt Cpl Dearlove who she especially praised for his regular providing of coffee for the command team, as well as providing help on the range. She also wanted to thank and wish good luck to acting Cadet Sergeant Dickinson and acting Cadet Sergeant Ford who have worked closely with the troops and look forward to attending their JCIC’s later on this week.
While the Basic training package continues, the HQ team are preparing for next week where some 60 cadets spread accross 4 troops are expected.
Bengal and Sphinx troops will be forming for Star 1 training. While Dragon troop and Lion Troop will consist of star 2 Cadets. All 4 troops can look forward a 48 hour field craft exercise. Also, a shoot Rock Barracks, Ipswich where they have a secret mission to secure the northern boundary!
C Company looks forward to sending 14 cadets fishing with ICARP and we will have an exclusive cadet interview on this event. Other highlights to look forward to on the company program include visits from 36 Royal Signals Squadron and 217 Field Squadron Royal Engineers with the possibility of some bomb search and disposal training!
As always we will keep in touch with our cadets as camp continues, so be sure to check back regularly.