On a cold morning at the end of October, 21 cadets and two adult instructors from Yorkshire (N&W) Army Cadet Force travelled to Driffield Camp to take part in a 4 Star Signals Course. Here is their account of the five day course:
A Students View
The 4 Star Signals Course is one of the most challenging courses we have taken part in during our time with the organisation so far, but also one of the most rewarding. The course included extended classroom periods due to the need for us to learn the theory side through vibrant power points and patient instruction.
Although we became tired with the long theory based sessions, it definitely gave us the knowledge we required in order to successfully complete the practical aspects of the syllabus. Despite the course being so intense, we all enjoyed it immensely and are very proud to say that we are all 4 Star qualified Signalers, with certificates and badges to prove it!
The adult instructors have been a key part of our success throughout the course, mentoring and guiding us, not only teaching us the subject, but going out of their way to ensure we reached our maximum potential. We were pushed outside of our comfort zones at times, as we tried to absorb a lot of information, but the instructors helped us to stay on track and complete the course with more confidence.
We are particularly grateful to the two instructors from Yorkshire (N&W) ACF, Sergeant Instructor (SI) Paul Hartley and SI Jade Swan, who gave us continued support until we reached the required standard, getting us to a position where we were able to pass with great percentages.
Written by: Bombardier Bronte Williams, Lance Bombardier Bethany Barker, Lance Corporal Antonia McLaughlin, Lance Corporal Samira Iriza, Lance Corporal Rachel Wood and Lance Corporal Jodie Douglas
An Instructors View
The 4 Star Signals Course is one of the most mentally challenging courses a cadet can embark on throughout their cadet career. The students discovered this on the first day, when they were bombarded with several theory based power points in order for them to gain sufficient knowledge before progressing towards the practical assessments.
Although the subject is also challenging to teach, I am pleased to say that every student made use of the expertise of the adult instructors who were instructing on the course, and the more experienced cadets who were acting as directing staff throughout.
It was especially pleasing to see the cadets eventually piece everything together and give a great account of themselves throughout both the written exams and the practical exams. In particular, Cadet Sergeant Abdur-Rafe Ansari of Towerhurst detachment, Lance Bombardier Barker of New Carlton detachment and Lance Corporal Antonia Mclaughlin of Bradford detachment, for achieving 100%, 98% and 95% respectively on their final written paper.
Congratulations also go to Cadet Sergeant Abdur-Rafe Ansari who was crowned Top Student for the entire course, and Lance Bombardier Barker, who received the award for Most Improved in Group 1. Cadet Kyle Jobling from Seacroft detachment was given a slightly more unique award, for the Best BATCO (Battlefield Code) in Group 1.
Signals training within C Company is going from strength to strength: on the same course last year, we took three students with us, and this year we increased that to an incredible 21! I hope to increase this further for the course in 2015.
I extend my congratulations to fellow Yorkshire (N&W) adult instructor, SI Jade Swan, who spent the week not only helping the cadets to progress, but also completing her Basic Signals Instructor Course, which will enable her to attend further courses in the future.
All the students should now take great pride in wearing the Crossed Flags badge which they have well and truly earned. Well done to all of them.
Written by SI Paul Hartley – New Carlton Detachment, C Company
Yorkshire (North & West) Army Cadet Force
Yorkshire (North & West) Army Cadet Force is always keen to hear from young people who would like to become cadets, and adults who wish to become instructors, with the opportunity to do something different and take part in a wide range of outdoor activities and training, including the opportunity to gain qualifications. To find out more, call 01904 490529