Army cadets improve their skills at camp

Cpl Christopher Palmer receiving Most Improved Student Trophy for JCIC from Commandant Colonel Iain Cassidy.
Cpl Christopher Palmer receiving Most Improved Student Trophy for JCIC from Commandant Colonel Iain Cassidy.

Hard-working Army cadets from the Western Isles have enjoyed an interesting summer packed with training and competition.

Members of Western Isles Company, 1st Battalion the Highlanders, spent two weeks at the Warcop Training Area in Cumbria with almost 240 cadets from across the Highlands and Islands as part of the battalion’s annual summer camp.

The majority of the two weeks saw the cadets placed into training cadres working towards their next Army Proficiency Certificate level alongside cadets from the battalion’s five companies.

During the evenings there were competitions between each of the companies and Orkney ACF to encourage friendly rivalry. Some of the competitions required skills taught from the syllabus, such as drill and turnout, shooting and fieldcraft, while others were just to encourage some competitiveness such as football and cross country.

Although the company did not win the Champion Company Trophy, which went to Inverness Company, it did leave camp within some medals and trophies. One competition the company did extremely well in was the cross country.

Three cadets from the Isles received medals. Cadet Corporal Christopher Palmer (18) from Benbecula Detachment, and Cadet L/Cpl Cameron MacLellan (15) from Back Detachment, both came second in the senior and junior male competitions respectively, while West Lewis Detachment cadet Cpl Heather Manby (15) came first in the junior female competition.

As part of their progression, the senior cadets undertake the Junior Cadet Instructors Course. At the end of the course two trophies were presented, Top Student and Most Improved Student. The award for Most Improved went to Cpl Palmer.

It was not all training and competitions during camp. All of the cadets had two non-training days where they visited Eden Camp, a former WW2 German POW camp, and spent a day adventure training where everyone – including cadre instructors – got the chance to take part in paintballing, rock climbing, abseiling and even go clay pigeon shooting.

After a brief summer shutdown the company will be returning to their detachments this week, with Daliburgh Detachment returning today (Thursday). Harris, Stornoway and West Lewis Detachments resume on Monday, August 22, Back detachment on Tuesday, August 23, and Benbecula Detachment on Wednesday, August 24. All meet between 7pm and 9pm.