7 March 2017

Between Friday 3 March and Sunday 5 March the AI Cadre undertook their Self-Reliance weekend at Bramley training area in preparation for Easter Camp at the beginning of April. This year’s AI Cadre is a healthy sized platoon comprising 23 fourth year cadets with a good showing from the RAF section as well as the Army. All these plus their NCOs fitted snugly into Training Base B alongside CCF officers, cadet training staff and what turned out to be an abundance of senior NCOs. The purpose of the weekend’s training was to teach the AI Cadre how to look after themselves and each other on exercise, revisiting skills last implemented (or not) almost a year ago and then stepping up to the exacting standards of the Advanced Infantry Cadre. The platoon worked effectively and their increasingly rare lapses in focus were rectified. The enemy force, “Fanatical supporters of the US President’s immigration policy” was as nefarious as ever with many soldiers and even more spurious hats. They blundered their way into ambushes, carelessly spouted their secret intelligence and failed to defend their positions in Sunday morning’s rain-soaked platoon attack. 2Lt Johnson soaked a lifeless Joe David by jumping into the puddle next to him, while cadet Mara, apparently bored of recceing enemies Waterson and Maddison, went forth to steal the latter’s rifle. To make the weekend’s training particularly effective we had quite a lot of help from above. Heavy rain showers from start to finish, though at times depressing and very loud on a tin roof, introduced the cadre to a wily opponent that my own year only encountered for the first time during the 48hr exercise, a discomfort which these guys are now trained to deal with. So, as you waddle around the harbour area in your saturated combats, remember – If it ain’t raining it ain’t training!

Henry Waterson

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