Showing posts with label Army Cadet Force. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Army Cadet Force. Show all posts

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

My First Official Lesson As A Cadet Instructor

So, after nearly a year in the Army cadets, a mountain of paperwork, five assessments and over four months of training, everything I had been working up to came into place last night.



While the cadets in my detachment paraded down stairs I was up stairs setting up a classroom for my first official lesson as a Sergeant Instructor in the ACF. I am not going to lie, my heart was pounding and I was more nervous for this one than I was for both the lessons I had to prep and deliver while I was on my AIC (Advanced Instructors Course). Once I was et up and ready I went down stairs and joined in with the end of the parade, telling the new cadets which classroom they were in.

This is it, there was no going back. I walked into the room to find around 10 cadets waiting for me.
If I am honest the lesson went rather well, bearing in mind that if your cadets sense fear or if they pick up on a mistake you have made they will tear you to bits, I have seen this happen. Now I personally could have picked up a number of faults with it but when I asked the cadets for their feedback, explaining that this was my first official lesson as an instructor, the only criticism they gave was that, at times I was talking a bit too fast for them.

The second lesson went a lot better than the first I thought, but even then “I” noticed a few faults and things that I could have done better.

At the moment I am taking a break from my lesson plans to make this post, I have organised the lesson schedule for the rest of this month and part of next month, once these have been done I will be working on individual lesson plans for each of the scheduled lessons.

If I am honest the only pressure I'm feeling now with regards to my lessons is.. I need to make sure that the stuff that I am teaching is right and makes sense to cadets aged 12 to 16 years, if I get it wrong or pass on wrong information my recruits (Basics) wont pass their tests and move on to the next level of training.





Yeah No pressure lol

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Now The Hard Work Begins

In case you hadn't noticed I have not made a post on my blog in quite a few month, thing is I have been crazy busy so far this year.

For one I have a new job working in a department store, it might only be part time but when my early start means I need to be up at 5 in the morning, early nights will become plenty. On top of this I have been in training, I`m sure I have mentioned this before but I have been training to become an instructor in the Army cadets.



As well as obligatory weekends away from home I had to go to the ACF County training wing two times a week, minimum.

Anyway, getting to the point, two weeks ago I had to go to the ACF training centre for 7 days to finish my training and be assessed to see if I was "competent" and knew enough, was compitent and was confident enough to be able to stand in front of a room full of 12 to 17 year olds and teach them military based subjects as per the ACF manual.

The good news is, I am, I passed the course and was graded as competent and highly competent.

Next week I have to go back to the training wing to return my issued field kit and officially be promoted from PI (Probationary Instructor) to Sergeant. In 2 weeks time I am able to return to my detachment to take up the roll of SI (Sergeant Instructor) and start teaching the Basics and One Star cadets (Basic cadets are the new recruits and one star cadets are junior cadets).

Hasn't been easy

I`m not going to lie, the past few month has had its low points and moments when I honestly thought about quitting.

One of those times was when I had to give a 15 minute lesson on "Why Things Are Seen" a field craft lesson taught to basic cadets.

I stood in front of the Training Sergeant Major and my mind went blank, I couldn't remember a thing, litterally it was possibly the worst 15 minutes I have had in a very long time.
I recorded a video about it the next day. I think that moment was one of the main times I honestly thought about quitting.



Obviously I didnt quit and I`m so happy that I didnt, the amount of confidence I gained from doing my final week long course was huge. I know where I went wrong and have learned and had time to practice planning and taking lessons and had my lessons critiqued by my peers and regular soldiers.

One of my work colleagues from the store I work in saw some of the photographs which were taken while I was on my course and told me today that I looked so comfortable and at home when I was in the field, soaking wet and tired and that this was definitely my calling.

When all is said and done, now that my training has finished, the work has only just begun and boy and I looking forward to it. 

Friday, 18 January 2019

Plans For 2019

It's coming to the end of the 3rd week of January already and I'm wondering how many of us are still going strong with our New Year Resolutions, or have they kind of fallen by the way side a little bit?

I didn't make any resolutions this year, I haven't for a few years now, I think that to call something a "resolution" can set you up for a fail from the start. Instead I set some goals, things I want to achieve this year.

Getting my sergeant stripes and becoming a cadet instructor is way up there but, after a meeting with the company commander and the other instructors of A coy ACF I plan to be trained as an expedition instructor helping to teach army cadets wilderness survival and bushcrafting skills, I would honestly love to do this.

First things first though, I need to get past an interview with the company 2IC and finish my instructors training before I start on my Ex-ped training, as far as I am aware I should finish my instructors training by October this year.

Not My Detachment.

In the mean time I plan to work on my fitness, I need to build up my stamina and strength so that I can walk for longer while carrying everything I need for, say a week in the wilderness. I have no plans on joining a gym, instead I want to work on my fitness the old fashioned way by putting on a backpack and getting out there and just doing it. No fancy running trainers, just a pair of ild 1980`s army issue jungle boots, my thinking is.. I almost always wear boots so if something were to happen where I had to run, I am not going to be able to just pop my trainers on and start running, so being used to running in boots seems to be a no brainer.

I also plan to work on my bushcrafting and wilderness survival skills, including tree identification, wild foods, shelter construction and much more. I also want to become a dead shot with my slingshot, not for hunting. I still go by the rules that if I dont need to eat it as a matter of survival I will not kill it, so targets it is.



A couple of years ago my lifestyle and the things I did was impacted by my health, I am determined not to let that happen this year, I want to spend as much time as I can out doors practising my survival skills, saying that, at the moment everything is kind of stalled because of family things which are going on, which are stopping me from doing much of what I want to do. These things do happen..

Finally, I plan to turn part of my garden into a veg patch and start growing basic veggies, potatoes, carrots and the like.



Sunday, 13 January 2019

Why I want to learn how to pick locks

Not that long ago in a galaxy far, far away I made a tweet where I said that there are three ways to acquire things that you either want or need, I have expanded on what I meant in the tweet below.
Legally: You save your money and buy the item by legal means
Illegally: You just take what you want, get it by any means.
Make it: You look at what you want/need and try to make it
Untitled 1
As you can see in the above picture I ended the tweet by saying that I was planning on making myself a half decent lock picking set. I do have my reasons for wanting to learn how to pick locks and you will be happy to hear that my reasons are 100% legal and above board, the way I am looking at this skill is the same as my goal at becoming a dead shot with a slingshot, just because I can take out a small animal with a slingshot does not mean that I am going to, in fact I hope that I never have to. The same thought applies to being able to pick locks, just because I can does not mean that I am going to.
Untitled
It was the above comment that prompted me to write this post. Sometimes 260 characters is not enough to fully explain your intentions.
As some of you will know, I am training to become an adult instructor in the Army cadet force, this year I will be attending weekend camps and exercises as a PI (Probationary Instructor), some of these camps will have upwards of 200 plus cadets attending and you can almost guarantee that on more than one of these camps at least one cadet is going to lock there locker key inside there locker, and as luck will have it, they either didn't bring a spare key or, the spare key is still attached to the other one.
Yeah, in life only three things are certain, death, taxes and that one cadet who locks there keys in their locker. This is why I want to learn how to pick locks, if I can open the lock without breaking it then we can get the keys and the above mentioned cadet can continue to safely lock their gear away for the rest of the camp.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Taking It To The Next Level



The thing is, when you start to go deep in to prepping for an emergency situation, you're always thinking about the next possible situation where you might need to draw on your preparedness skills,
It can get to a point where you start to look at everything you see in the news as a possible SHTF situation, your view of people can change as well, you can start to see them, not as people but as potential threats and instead of enjoying the outdoors you're too busy looking for exit routes and places to duck and cover.

Don't get me wrong, everyone should have an emergency plan and a backup plan, as well as a decent size stockpile of food, water, medications you and your family take and a good size first aid kit, not forgetting a means to cook said food and water.

Preparing for a possible emergency is a no brainer everyone should do it as a matter of course, but being constantly on the look out for that emergency situation can become unhealthy.

On a slightly different subject, but not different if you know what I mean Every prepper knows or should know at least the basics of Bushcraft or wilderness survival, but not every bushcrafter or woodsman needs to be a prepper.

I am still making sure that my family and I have enough food, water and meds just on case something happens, but lately I have found my self avoiding Prepping videos and discussions on the internet about emergency preparedness and the like, instead I have found that I am doing more and more  Bushcraft, wild camping and out doors related stuff, I am fascinated by it.

Bushcraft-and-Woodland-Survival-Course-in-Shropshire-04-1920x1080-resize

Even now, while I am writing this, I have what I hope is two tins of char cloth cooling down in the kitchen, so I can start making up and adding to my fire starting kit, I say hope because the last time I tried to make charcloth I ended up with a tin full of ash.

Moving on, recently I took my interest in Bushcraft and the wilderness to what I consider to be the next level and I joined the army cadets as an adult instructor.

See, I was born into the army, when I was a kid I was a member of the cadets and I have spent a few years as an Infantry reserve, so the training I have to do isn't going to be that much of  a steep learning curve, its more of a refresher I think, I hope..

I have about 10 month to learn and to be able to teach what it takes a cadet 3 and a half years to learn. No pressure there…

The good news is, it will broaden my skill set and give me the chance to pass on my knowledge of the military, as well as being able to share some tips and tricks I have learned in my study of Bushcraft onto the cadets as they learn about field craft and surviving out in the wilds.

wildsurvivor3

At the moment all I can do is observe as I am not yet allowed to teach without supervision until I have my uniform and my paperwork and police checks come back and the paperwork wont be getting sent off until I have been observed, passed my first assessment and been interviewed by the company commander, which should be next week with any luck.

The way I am looking on it is, as well as going by the cadet ideals of giving kids  life skills that they can use in the future, helping make memories that they will never forget, build their confidence and help to make them good people, If just one kid finds a use for the tips and tricks I pass on or is inspired to take up Bushcraft and get out into the out doors more often, instead of sitting over a computer playing games or living on one or more social media platform.. I will be happy













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