6 March 2015
On Sunday 18th January, 25 Army Cadets marched on to the drill square in front of proud parents, family members and Adult Instructors as they received their Basic Badges. After completing the weekend training camp; which started on Friday night and concluded with the parade on the Sunday afternoon at the Grandstand in Douglas.
At 1930 on Friday night cadets, from all parts of the Island arrived at the Venture centre which was to be our accommodation and HQ for the weekend ahead. With the first evening consisting of administration and briefings, the cadets had time to relax and look at the plan of the weekend
With a frosty ground awaiting the cadets outside, Saturday began at 0700 when they were woken by the duty Bombardier. After a hot cooked breakfast and room inspections, the cadets split into their training groups and started a ‘round robin’ of different subjects for revision. The subjects that were covered on the camp were Shooting, Navigation, Drill and Turnout, Military Knowledge and First Aid. The shooting element consists of four grouping practices with a Z200 Air Rifle. Military Knowledge which is the history of the ACF and our county structure was tested. During the foot drill stage as they practised marching out to receive an award. The groups were tested on 4-figure grid references and conventional signs on a map as part of their navigation phase, this will form the basis of the Bronze NNAS navigation qualification that can be gained once the cadets reach one star. Further qualifications were gained over the weekend by some of the cadets in First Aid. This element saw the cadets undergo CPR training, how to put someone in the recovery position and how to treat a choking casualty. The cadets then went through an assessment stage to then gain a St Johns Ambulance Heartstart Qualification. With so much to fit in one day the cadets didn’t get much ‘down’ time, but with them all passing subject assessments all day, the morale was high!
Sunday was again a chilly start outside as the breakfast was served and the nerves started to kick in knowing that in a few hours they would be marching out in front of loved ones. After some drill practice and further hints, tips and reassurance from Adult Instructors, it was on to preparing their uniforms and boots. Lunch was served and after cleaning up the rooms the testing chapter was closed and the parade was fast approaching. Arriving at the car park that was to be used as the ‘parade ground’ the 25 trainees completed a quick practice as their families began to arrive. 1315 on the dot Bombardier Quilliam from Douglas Detachment marched out the parade and smartly halted in front of the Commanding Officer of the IoM ACF Major Dean Johnson, who was presenting the awards. Major Johnson said, “It is always a pleasure to see our cadets progressing with the training but there is something especially pleasing about presenting awards to our new recruits. It is a landmark step for them and represents a huge amount of work on their part, as well as that of their adult instructors who voluntarily give up their time to provide that training. “We are not training young soldiers – very few of our cadets go on to full time military service, but I do hope that we are training our future generations how to become good citizens who have skills and attributes that will positively contribute to society. That is what drives us to do what we do – to inspire to achieve.”