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Join us, as we take a look at the penultimate day of lessons at Virtual Annual Camp.


3 August 2020

  • Essex ACF

The day started with our basic cadets getting their first taste of First Aid training, delivered by Cdt Sgt Thrower of Leigh-on-Sea detachment. She taught the basics of assessing the situation using the OMEGA anachronism. She went on to teach the recovery position and the impact of Covid-19 was discussed in relation to CPR. After the lesson there was a Q&A session where people shared their real life experiences of helping out in first aid situations.

SMI Cheeseman’s star two Signals presentation was on the influence of technology in the battlefield and the integration of communication and info systems. His lesson started in 1940 at Dunkirk, a key fact was that the main tools of radio and telephone have not changed at concept level since the 1940’s. This informative lecture taught so many things, from how radar was intercepted to the ‘secret’ groups and organisations (such as 11 group, and the section stations) and how Barrage balloons worked.

After the morning coffee break the PRO took a break from the news desk to teach some star one field craft. At the very last minute SMI Davis stepped up when the person scheduled to take the lesson was unable to be there. After some revision on field hygiene and personal care, he enthusiastically leapt into a lesson on duties of a sentry explaining how to be a “Stag”. He also highlighted the importance of the individual “Rifleman” and taught the key phrase of “every man’s a Link man” to the cadets.

Our TSA took the Senior cadets further on their examination of field principles with a lecture on ambushes. He emphasised the importance of good information prior to setting an ambush and he explained how the element of surprise increased the efficiency of a fight force, 3 to the power of 1. His lecture included how to choose an ambush site, how to occupy the site and how to set the ambush. In his second lesson the TSA provided a number of scenarios for the cadets to demonstrate what they had learned in the morning’s lesson. The cadets were encouraged to use Zoom editing tools to mark on the power point their recommended ambush site and method of occupation.

For the star one’s 2nd lesson of the day, Lt Griffiths taught Navigation. He began by explaining what handrails are, and how to use them. He continued with collecting and catching features and the importance of using them to track your journey. Finally he covered Ordinance Survey Maps and the signs and symbols that are used on them.

It was a day of instructors leaping to the rescue, when Major Mills stepped in for a missing instructor to teach leadership to the star twos. She delivered her lesson based on the princely of the Army Leadership Code. Teaching the seven leadership behaviours and explained how these will help the cadets to grow as effective NCO’s and develop teams at both detachment and company level

For the last lesson of the day, which has been a very fieldcraft intensive day, Cdt Sgt Clien taught introduction to fieldcraft to the basic cadets. He gave them an overview of what fieldcraft they can expect to do throughout their cadet career and inspired them to look forward to the possibilities open to them once face to face training resumes.

The senior cadets had the chance to join what is usually an instructors only session, when the Commandant gave a presentation on Diversity and Inclusion. She gave an overview of what D&I is and spoke of her plans to make Essex ACF fully inclusive to everyone. We were lucky enough to be joined by the National D&I Advisor Lt Col Hughes who spoke of the future of Diversity and Inclusion in the ACF once the Step Change project ends. It was the first time Lt Col Hughes had spoken to a County since he recently assumed the role, and we were very honoured to have him. Finally the Commandant introduced and then handed over to the new D&I Officer SI Wells, who outlined her plans for the future.

In a first for Virtual Annual Camp, we had a 2nd evening session led by Lt Griffiths. He taught and engaging and informative lesson in Navigation by Stars. He explained how to use the stars as a navigational aid, but also how to continue to utilise them, even though they don’t visually stay in the same place for long.

A new competition was launched today by DC HR, called Outside Areas. The objective is for cadets to tidy up areas outside of the home. This could be things such as picking up litter outside of the house or even mowing the lawn for bonus points. Already the challenge has been a success with a flurry of early entries.

Tomorrow will be our final day of lessons, in what has been a very unique and special Annual Camp.