What’s it REALLY like?
At 21 Army Cadets, we gather on Monday nights from 6pm-9pm from September to June. Parade nights are a blend of classroom learning and drill, with specific nights reserved for sports and marksmanship. At the beginning of the night, you sign in and form up on the parade square in your platoon for opening parade. You’ll receive some instruction on how the night will progress. The night is split into 3 periods, with a break between the second and third when canteen is available. At the end of the night, cadets form up again on the parade square for final announcements. Parents are welcome to join at this point to hear about upcoming events or other announcements. But what do cadets learn? Drill and Ceremonial There is an old saying that everyone loves a parade. Even more so when there is some well executed and coordinated moves. Drill helps to teach group cohesion, develops physical coordination, self-control and leadership. Modern drill is an evolution of movements originating from maneuvers used by troops in battle. Throughout the centuries it has gone from the coordination of pike-men and knights on horseback, to archers in the field and finally to muskets. Many of the historical maneuvers can still be seen today. However, drill is not just a throwback to a bygone era, it is still the backbone of the modern military. Watching a cadet corps in action you will notice it is other cadets who are giving the commands and not the officers. That is because, as a cadet moves up through the ranks, they are given more and more responsibility. In addition, there is a yearly drill competition where the cadets compete against other Corps throughout the region. Comprised of, and run by, cadets, the drill team gets to take their skills to the next level. Field Training Nothing combines the lessons learned during regular training with fun than a Field Training Exercise (FTX). Three times during the training year the Army Cadets head into the bush for training. We leave the armoury on Friday night around 6pm and head to our weekend camping site. After a weekend of fun teambuilding and bushcraft activities, we return back to the armoury on Sunday afternoon. There are three themes for FTX weekends:
- Bivouac – Survival skills, camping, using camp equipment and tools and being part of a group
- Cold Weather – A perennial favourite, we learn winter survival techniques, snow showing, fire starting and sleeping in the cold
- Trekking – Because we are based on the military, we can’t just call it “going for nice walk in the woods”. The cadets get learn test their endurance, learn how to read maps and navigate in the woods. Trekking can really help to build self-esteem and confidence.