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BRNC Cadets get their first chance to lead

23 February 2017
A 10 kilometre navigation exercise around Dartmoor was one of the challenges faced by the latest intake of Officer Cadets as part of their introduction to leadership.

Around 130 Cadets from Britannia Royal Naval College spent three days at the Okehampton Battle Camp where they were taught basic field skills. The Cadets, who were in their seventh week of training, were joined by members of the Royal Naval Reserve who were completing their own two-week confirmation course at the College.

Officer Cadet William Burrows, who previously worked in London, said, “There were a lot of horror stories going into this week of training, mainly surrounding the weather, but it’s not been too bad actually and morale has remained quite high.

“One of the things we’ve been doing is wet and dry routines, so if you’re coming back to base camp sodden, it’s a case of getting out of your wet stuff and into your dry stuff as quickly as possible. We took a bit of bath on Monday, which wasn’t too pleasant, but if you learn how to get out of your wet clothes quickly, that unpleasantness doesn’t last long.”

This week has been about the Cadets building upon the theoretical elements of their Command, Leadership and Management Training

Major Simon Richardson of the Royal Navy Leadership Academy

The final day at Oakhampton saw the Cadets split into teams to put their newly acquired navigation skills into practice across the moor. Each one was given the opportunity to lead the team for a section of the exercise, briefing their fellow Cadets on the aim and conditions and allocating roles.

Speaking before setting off Officer Cadet Charlotte Cooper, also from London, said, “The exercise is a 13-point trek across the moor. We noted everything down on our route cards last night as part of our preparation. I’ve not done anything like this before, but I think the training we’ve had so far has helped.”

Returning to the College, the Cadets spent two days completing a range of leadership challenges in the grounds of the College ranging from setting up and manning a refugee check-point to building a bridge across a river and rescuing a downed pilot.  

Major Simon Richardson of the Royal Navy Leadership Academy said, “This week has been about the Cadets building upon the theoretical elements of their Command, Leadership and Management Training as they prepare to undertake their assessed leadership exercise, known as ABLE, later in their training.

“They have all had the opportunity to lead three practical leadership tasks and take part in a further 21 over the two days; therefore, they are now in a strong position and should feel confident that they are set up for success.”

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