On the weekend of 26 – 28 November 10, Junior NCOs and NCO candidates attended the annual 241 NCO Cadre at Crowborough in East Sussex, organised an run by Fg Off Holly Brogden-Knight. The cadre is designed to teach leadership and personal administration skills to the cadets in order to help prepare them for life as a Non Commissioned Officer on the Squadron. It is also officially recognised as a leadership Course by the Cadet Vocational Qualification Office (CVQO), who administer the BTEC 1st Diploma in Public Service (a vocational award worth 4 GCSEs) for all 3 cadet services, and is believed to be the only such Sqn level course accredited to the CVQO Syllabus.
The first half of the weekend was based at the camp, with the cadets were taught what was expected of them as the senior member of a Section, how to give and instruct drill and how to manage a section of younger cadets. Under the watchful eye of Sgt Michelle Cheah, each cadet was assessed in the above skills. After lunch on Saturday the cadets had a theory lesson on leadership, planning skills, problem solving and how to deliver an effective briefing. This was promptly followed by a planning exercise, which the cadets had to work on individually before coming together as a team to deliver their solutions to the directing staff. Some of the cadets found this element particularly taxing.
Soon after the cadets travelled to the training area. The second phase of the course was to involve practical leadership training with each of the cadets taking their turn in command. Over the final 24 hours, each cadet was given a complex task to complete set out over large distances and varying terrain, which involved them planning a solution, briefing their section and then executing their idea. The only break was an overnight rest, camping out on the training area. The final element of the exercise involved a timed march back to camp where the cadets had to work together as a team in order to complete the challenge. Hard work and effort was put in by all and there were high standards throughout the weekend which was extremely cold!