30 July 2020
The morning started with a badges of ranks lesson for the basic cadets. 2nd Lt Hodgson from A Company went through all of the ranks in the cadet force that cadetswill come across and how to address them. This was followed by a quiz session to test the knowledge they had learned. Then SMI Chalmers showed a selection of cadet ranks slides and how to wear them. She also had some slightly more unusual ones such as the Corps of Drums and the B Company Essex Yeomanry rank slide. As a further interest point there was a CCF rank slide as well. SMI Chalmers also explained to look for the words cadet to identify a cadet and ACF to identify an instructor, so the cadets can recognise who they are talking to.
Skill At Arms was taught by SSI Loughran and SSI Hetzel, after a discussion on the marksmanship principles there was a practical session on position and hold. Some STEM was discussed, as we looked at how a triangle is the strongest shape in nature. The cadets were taught about eye dominance and there was even a discussion about the correlation between shooting and archery. It was certainly an interesting lesson, which was concluded with a discussion on breathing and a Zen like look at how breathing effects shooting.
For the star ones, SSI Morris gave an impressive First Aid lesson on Casualty Simulation, using a variety of prosthetic materials to create realistic injuries. Many other instructors joined the lesson to learn how to teach this valuable skill to their cadets once face to face training resumes. SSI Morris showed some great ways to create realistic injuries using things easily found in the home, such as PVA glue and talcum powder for blisters, Alka-seltzer and water for acid burns, face paint for bruises, and corn syrup with red food colouring for blood. In the image gallery you’ll see some of the fantastic injuries he created. He then finished the lesson with images of some of his creations from first aid competitions the including head injuries, 3rd degree burns and simulated missing fingers.
Shooting and coaching had yet more excellent instruction building on yesterdays two lessons. The morning focused on aiming and holding the weapon correctly. The cadets then learned how to adjust the sights for their shooters. Later they also were taught about sporting scopes and when to use them, and when the should be watching their firer. It was a fantastic conclusion to this block of four concurrent lessons over the first two days. Afterwards, because of the camaraderie built during this quadrant, there was a chance for everyone involved to discuss how they had been participating in the camp competitions.
The star ones followed promptly by the star twos, had a very unique lesson experience. Not only was it the first time their instructor had taught by virtual means, it was also his first time ever leading a lesson for our cadets. The instructor in question is a regular solider, member of The Cadet Training Team and the Essex County Training Safety Advisor, W02 Ivan James Snow. In his fieldcraft lessons he spoke of the vital components of the roles in a platoon. Which he then built upon in the star two lesson by explaining how each member’s actions, support and impact on the larger battle picture.
The day’s lessons ended with a basic cadre introduction to sports lesson with SMI Freeman, the County Sports officer. To begin, she covered all of the sports that can be done within the ACF, including rugby, football, hockey and athletics. Then went on to talk about the various regional and national competitions. To finish the lesson SMI Freeman did some basic PT with the cadets, a senior cadet demonstrated the techniques for the other cadets to emulate. One of the cadets was so dedicated that she was doing the session whilst on the beach, she can confirm that doing press ups on sand is rather challenging.
This evening’s guest presentation was from members of The Royal Navy, Lieutenant Commander Sim Low assisted by Petty Officer Ian Hammond and Leading Seaman Tristan King. Whilst Lt Cdr Low spoke of his career with The Royal Navy which started in 2003 after he left Southampton University, PO Hammond and LS King did a brilliant Q&A session with the cadets. In the Q&A there was some amusing questions, such as do you play the game Battleships? To the more serious, asking about tours and service careers. One of Lt Cdr’s points in his presentation was one of his highlights of his career being that he was tasked with taking care of the War Graves (as you can see in the images!) in The Falkland Islands. As you can see from one of the pictures in the gallery, Lt Cdr Low was in the “Usain Bolt pose” 2 years before the Olympian made the stance famous (Again we have the photographic proof). All of the cadets and instructors were very appreciative and congratulatory of the presentation.
It’s been another brilliant day for all of our cadets and instructors, and tomorrow should bring more of the same, or maybe even better.