Two cadets from Wenlock Detachment, Humberside and South Yorkshire Army Cadet Force, Corporal (Cpl) Ben Fairburn and Cpl Gurvir Toor attended a Cadet Leadership Course (CLC) recently at Sennybridge Camp, Wales.
Cpl Fairburn shares the story of the course in his account below:
The start of the course 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 Major Teesdale who went through the Army Cadet Leadership Code and the Values and Standards expected of personnel 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. 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 cadets were up to speed and had been given the necessary tools in which to be able to lead the exercises. We were all given chances to lead by receiving command appointments such as, Section Commanders, Section 2nd in Command and Platoon Commanders to lead the attacks and ambushes.
The following day we began our exercise phase, we patrolled towards our harbour area (a Harbour area is a position established to provide safety during an extended halt) but along the way there were 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 (basic shelter) and started cooking tea.
After evening meal the platoon separated into our sections and issued orders for a reconnaissance patrol. 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 the platoon commander gave a set of orders for a deliberate 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 began 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 suppressed. We encountered the enemy numerous times and managed to suppress them each time through good leadership and use of tactics. We arrived at the FRV and travelled back to camp, tired but thrilled with everything we had learnt and put into place during the exercise phase.
When we arrived back at camp we had a guest speaker who had no experience of leadership in the armed forces but was a leader in rugby. It was very interesting to learn about leadership from a non-military perspective.
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. This type of activity was designed to bring out working as a team and encouraging others to face their fears and push themselves to their limits. Later on 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 we were brought together on a final parade and presented with our badges and other rewards before heading home.
The whole experience was very enjoyable and fun, however was very physically and mentally challenging and requires 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