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CCF leadership: SNCO/JNCO Cadres

St Benedict’s Cadets undertook their Junior and Senior NCO Cadres at half term - challenging 5-day programmes to develop skills in leadership, teaching, navigation, communication and much more. 

 

St Benedict's CCF SNCO and JNCO cadres

JNCO cadre

Saturday 19th October-Wednesday 23rd October: St Martin’s Plain Camp, Folkestone

Angelica Lawson (Year 11) reports:

When we arrived on the Saturday, we were split into our sections – red, orange, yellow, blue, green and purple. To start, we got to know everyone in our section through some icebreakers (such as ‘wink murder’) and then completed a practice run-through of the obstacle course. In the evening, we learnt about the core values of the British Army (Courage, Discipline, Respect for others, Integrity, Loyalty and Selfless Commitment) and gave short presentations on how various people displayed these values.

St Benedict's CCF SNCO and JNCO cadres

The next day, we took part in the ‘March and Shoot’ competition. This involved running, completing the obstacle course, and shooting targets from a 100m range. Following this, everyone in the sections had a chance to be IC of various command tasks, such as a ‘nuclear well’. Later that day we gave our personal speeches, which ranged from selling shoes to D-Day.

St Benedict's CCF SNCO and JNCO cadres

On the Monday, we completed Ex Fielding. This was a combination of a navigation exercise and our battle lessons, on cam and concealment, why things are seen, living in the field or two-man shelter. We had to complete this task in the rain, but it was still very fun. In the evening, everyone gave lectures on their VC recipients.

St Benedict's CCF SNCO and JNCO cadres

Tuesday was Ex Guthrie, made up of two section attacks, a CASEVAC, and several command tasks. Once again, everyone took turns to be an IC or a 2IC. It was a very long day, but a very enjoyable one too.

On the final day, the sections completed the obstacle course one last time. With a combination of many different elements it was challenging but very rewarding. After the competition, we attended the Final Parade and Closing Address. The sections said their farewells, promising to meet again on the SNCO cadre next year.

SNCO cadre

St Benedict's CCF SNCO and JNCO cadres

Saturday 19th October-Wednesday 23rd October: St Martin’s Plain Camp, Folkestone

Milly McCosker (Year 12) reports:

This year, for the first time, Senior NCO cadre took place. Acting as a continuation from JNCO cadre, 24 cadets from 7 different schools, all lance corporal and above, attended for the chance to improve their leadership skills. The first day was mainly a reunion for us, has we had all completed JNCO cadre together, followed by a quick run of the obstacle course.

That evening, in our newly appointed sections, each fire team taught a lesson. We focused more on the delivery, approach and execution of teaching a lesson, to improve our techniques as we reach the age that takes on the role of teaching the new recruits. 

St Benedict's CCF SNCO and JNCO cadres

On Sunday we were taught how to properly give orders and the correct procedures involved. We were also taught withdrawal drills: these allow us, when carrying out an overnight exercise, to not just go where we are told to go, but to decide for ourselves whether to carry on or withdraw, giving us more freedom, flexibility and independence in our command roles.

St Benedict's CCF SNCO and JNCO cadres

That evening we completed a night-time navigation task but utilising our radio skills. Using what we had been taught earlier that day about how to correctly communicate and identify yourself using radios we set off, around camp, to revise and practise our map and compass skills.

St Benedict's CCF SNCO and JNCO cadres

On Monday morning we set off for our overnight exercise in the pouring rain. We were a loud complaining bunch, who felt worried about the prospect of the responsibility of potentially becoming platoon commander. But coming from one of those nervous cadets who was placed in a command role for the 3rd phase of the day- after this course, my confidence has dramatically improved.

St Benedict's CCF SNCO and JNCO cadres

We were given a mission in the morning and then were practically given complete independence on how to carry out the task- following all the correct procedures and guided only when necessary by staff. We had to deal with unexpected interruptions from enemy forces like being ambushed on patrol and members of our platoon being injured- and therefore carrying out CASEVAC. This more realistic exercise allowed us to get fully involved and invested in our command positions and our revision the day before of our drills allowed us not to be impeded by lack of knowledge.

This exercise ended on Tuesday with a large platoon attack. Not only did this encompass all of our platoon battle drills we had been learning throughout the course, it also included our orders process, our newly learnt skill of radios and enabled cadets to fulfil the role of platoon commander and carry it out as they thought suitable. For me, this was the most rewarding element of the course as I could see how far we had come, and we could demonstrate all we had learnt.

St Benedict's CCF SNCO and JNCO cadres

On the final day we had our passing out parade. Not only was this an opportunity to congratulate us on completing the course but it was a time for us to demonstrate our rifle drill which we had been learning and perfecting over the course of the five days. SNCO cadre provided the opportunity for all of us to push ourselves out of our comfort zone and significantly improve our leadership skills.

 

 

Tagged Senior