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Royal Military Police visit Chesterton Detachment

Royal Military Police visit Chesterton Detachment

21 May 2021

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

Two soldiers from The Royal Military Police (RMP) visited Chesteron Detachment on 20th May to give an inspirational talk about their careers, and speak to cadets who might be interested in joining the army.

Corporal Rachel Cairney joined the army in 2010 when she was 19 years old. Her career so far has been varied and interesting, beginning with basic training at Pirbright and going onto specialist training with the RMP. Her first deployment was to Germany, to 110 Provost Company, where she was kept very busy policing the British army garrison. After this, she trained for deployment to Afghanistan with 2 Para, giving her vital leadership experience. In 2010-2011 she served six months in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, where her duties involved ensuring captured enemy fighters were treated correctly according to the Geneva convention. She also took part in law enforcement and forensic work, including dealing with captured enemy small arms and taking part in patrols both on foot and in a Jackal armoured vehicle.

Cpl Cairney at Chesterton Detachment. Picture: Doug Stuart

Her next move was to a Major Incident Room, to work alongside senior officers dealing with complex investigations including murders and war crimes, and she worked as a detective alongside Home Office Police. She took part in ‘Exercise Redcap Challenge’ in 2015, a ten mile endurance run in full kit and body armour. The following year she deployed to Kenya, and in 2020 to the British Indian Ocean Territory of Diego Garcia, where she worked alongside Royal Marines, preventing illegal fishing operations in the area, followed by a spell on the Chagos Archipelago, in the same region. She is currently working for The Army Recruitment Office in Cambridge.

Chesterton cadets listen to the talk. Picture: Doug Stuart

Cpl Ross Hegarty started his military experience as an air cadet with The Combined Cadet Force. After initially working in a warehouse, he was looking for something more exciting and was persuaded by a friend to visit the Army Recruitment Office in 2012. Six months later, he began his basic training. After completing his specialist training with the RMP, he became a Close Protection Officer and was posted to protect a British Ambassador in North Africa. For this deployment he wore civilian clothing, travelled in an unmarked vehicle and learned to use special forces weapons. In 2016, he was posted to Afghanistan, a conflict which had helped inspire him to join the army, and served alongside Gurkha soldiers. Like Cpl Cairney, he took part in law enforcement and dealt with detainees.

Following his tour in Afghanistan, a became a RMP course instructor before once again returning to Afghanistan, this time for close protection duties. Like his colleague, he is currently working for army recruitment. Cpl Hegarty praised the work of cadet forces, saying: 'the experience of working in a military environment is a massive benefit to any cadet aspiring to join the armed forces. Additionally, the maturity and self-discipline that can come from time spent in the cadets, along with experience of being put into a position of command and leadership at a young age, can help them to be successful wherever they end up, and in whatever job they decide to do.'

Cpl Hegarty. Picture: Doug Stuart

Cpls Cairney and Hegarty both gave really interesting talks about their extraordinary experiences and certainly inspired a number of cadets who asked questions or came to speak to them afterwards. It was a great introduction to army life for the new cadets starting at Chesteron Detachment, and a fascinating insight into this specialist area of military operations for everyone present.

Text by PI Doug Stuart