8 November 2017
Two Cadets; Corporal Ben Fairburn and Corporal Gurvir Toor from Wenlock (RAMC) Detachment, attended a Cadet Leadership Course on 28 October – 04 November 2017 at Sennybridge Camp, Wales. Cpl Fairburn takes up the story of attending CLC and taking on the numerous challeneges and tasks, both physical and mentally challenging to them.
Starting the week after we arrived was a PT session led by Physical Training Instructors (PTI) in the Armed Forces which was physically demanding and challenging to overcome. After this we went on to carry out lessons taught by Maj Teesdale who went through the Army Cadet Leadership Code and the Values and Standards of being in the Armed Forces. Being taught by Maj Teesdale was a privilege that not many cadets will receive because he has first-hand experience of being a leader in both combat and the working world.
On the following day the we all embarked on a large-scale expedition of 14 miles up the Brecon Beacons which was a difficult task as the terrain and ground was both hard to navigate and hard to walk across. But nevertheless, the cadets got through it without many troubles.
On the Tuesday we took part in a Fieldcraft and Leadership training day led by experienced regular soldiers. The cadets took part in things such as attacks at both section and platoon level, target indication, ambushes at platoon level and individual fire and movement to ensure that all the cadets were up to speed and were all conducting the same attempts at leadership on the exercise. Throughout the day we were given chances to lead by being given command appointments such as, Section Commanders, Section 2ICs and Platoon Commanders to lead the attacks and ambushes.
The following day we begun their exercise phase, throughout the day we patrolled towards our harbour area but along the way there was numerous section attacks that cadets had to overcome and lead their way through to get to the harbour. As we were approaching the harbour area we conducted an immediate ambush to ensure enemy forces were not following us. When we arrived at the harbour area we started to carry out our drills and set up Bashas and started cooking tea. After evening meal the platoon separated into our sections and gave a set of orders for a reconnaissance patrol that was going to take place, we gave the orders and begun the reconnaissance. Information was gathered about the enemy such as what weapon systems they have, what vehicle capability and their morale state. We patrolled back to the harbour area carrying out a second immediate ambush and relayed the information gathered back to the platoon commander once we returned. And finally, we prepared for a deliberate ambush, the platoon commander gave a set of orders to the full platoon and we set off onto our ambush, once we got to the ambush site we were divided into right and left cut off group, and main killing group, we contacted the enemy when necessary and finally withdrew back to the harbour area. The evening in the harbour area all the cadets carried out STAG duty. The first day of the exercise was challenging and insightful but really enjoyable.
When we woke up the next day we started to disassemble the harbour area and begun patrolling back to the FRV where we would be taken back to camp. We were told that the enemy was scattered about the route back and needed to be supressed, we were given our orders and began deading back to the FRV, where we encountered the enemy numerous times and supressing them each time through good leadership and good use of tactics. We arrived at the FRV and travelled back to camp, tired but thrilled with everything we have learnt and put into place during the exercise phase.
When we arrived back at camp we had a guest speaker who had never been experienced leadership in the armed forces but was a leader in rugby, therefore giving us a perspective of what it’s like to be a leader when not in the army.
The following day was a different approach at teaching leadership, in the morning myself and the rest of my platoon took part in high rope challenges such as trapeze, and it was designed to bring out working as a team and encouraging others to face their fears and push themselves to their limits. Then in the afternoon we took part in an extremely challenging assault course as sections, led by the PTI. It was a difficult and physically demanding task that took a lot of effort and resilience, but the cadets were successful and completed the task.
On the last day of the camp the course was brought together on a final parade where we were presented out badges and some other rewards and then dismissed from the course and headed home.
The whole experience was very enjoyable and fun, however was very physically and mentally challenging and would require much discipline and courage to complete, I would recommend the course to anyone who has passed their APC 3 Star and who are up for the challenge.
If you want to aim higher, feel more confident and get a head start on your future. If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming a cadet or adult volunteer, call 01377 253548 or visit www.armyacadets.com/humberyorkshireacf or enquire at your local detachment