DOVER GRAMMAR SCHOOL FOR BOYS COMBINED CADET FORCE
Cadet weekend - Napier Barracks, Folkestone
21-23 November 2014
The planned weekend saw DGSB CCF take eleven Cadets of varying ages and cadet experience to Napier Barracks in Folkestone for two nights.
For the newly promoted Cadet Sgt Connor MAXWELL, this was his first real test of leadership and organisation at the senior NCO level, having that night been promoted to being in charge of the CCF Army Section. He acquitted himself tremendously over the entire weekend, gaining positive feedback from staff and peers.
The focus of the weekend was one of Skill At Arms which forms part of the cadet syllabus for both the RAF and Army sections, although is considered to be more of an Army Section activity. Trained staff concentrated on delivery of this aspect of the syllabus focussing on safety with a firearm, safe clearance of stoppages and misfires, and the marksmanship principles behind accurate shooting which applies to both small bore and full bore rifles. On the Friday night the Cadets were all put through the Safe Weapon Handling Test, all passing with flying colours.
Day two saw the Cadets deploy to a 25m Indoor firing range where a variety of .22 calibre shoots were conducted. The standard of the shooting was high with some of the Cadets setting a high standard from the outset. The complete beginners showing steady improvement throughout the day when applying the marksmanship principals they had learned the night before, in a practical setting.
During the shoot Sgt Connor MAXWELL achieved a well-deserved Small Bore Marksman qualification, making him the first Full Bore and Small Bore marksman that the Contingent has seen in many years. He is without doubt an excellent shot with potential to go very far in this discipline, given opportunity.
Cadets Alfie HERRINGTON, Kieran ARNOLD and Callum TYRELL all achieved First Class (Small Bore) qualifications, with Cadet ARNOLD achieving the required score with last round fired in the day, showing some coolness under a little pressure.
A number of other cadets achieved scores that designate a pass at Small Bore, showing that the marksmanship principles were soundly being applied, and providing learning points to develop and enhance future shoots.
Saturday evening was taken up with Full Bore weapon handling training and safety testing. In addition, the cadets were introduced to the concept of activity planning, and time management principles, as well as a Basic Life Support first aid refresher focussing on Recovery Position, CPR and control of bleeding. It was very pleasing to see how involved the Cadets became in the subject, with a number of questions being put forward that staff sometimes found challenging despite a very extensive depth of first aid training and experience.
Sunday saw the Cadets utilise the Dismounted Close Combat Trainer (firing range simulator) at Saint Martin's Plain Camp. The DCCT is excellent, if underused, for Skill At Arms training as it provides advanced diagnostics that focus on how the Cadet is handling the weapon allowing staff to visually demonstrate the Marksmanship principles.
The Cadets had an excellent day using the DCCT simulating a number of different shoots over various ranges and in varying conditions. They found the day challenging and enjoyable, and were grateful for the indoor setting as the weather outside was atrocious.
In all the Cadets acquitted themselves extremely well over the entire weekend. In particular the catering staff provided positive feedback about how polite the Cadets were, and how they worked as a team to clear away and clean their tables after meals. They were shining ambassadors for the School and DGSB CCF.
The timekeeping, behaviour, standard of dress, and cleanliness of the Cadet accommodation were all exemplary, and it was a genuine pleasure to lead this weekend with them.
From the perspective of the adults, please accept our most sincere thanks for allowing this weekend to go forwards, and we look forward to providing many more activities for the Cadets.
OC Army Section