Solo navigation, communications skills and learning how to motivate others were all part of the package for 58 students who completed The Armidale School Cadet Unit’s annual leadership course yesterday (15 February).
Held at New England University Company Depot (Army Reserve) and in the field at the property ‘Danehurst’ 10km south of Kingstown, the five-day course was run by the TAS Cadet Unit for those cadets who volunteered to take on leadership positions in the second oldest cadet unit in Australia. Operating concurrently, the courses – for junior leaders, senior leaders and cadet under officers (CUOs) – were conducted by seven instructors from TAS and the Australian Army and involved boys from Years 9-11.
Both the junior leaders course (for those interested in leading a section of nine cadets) and the senior course (cadets wanting to lead at platoon level as a sergeant) involved introductory and advanced levels of training in leadership, navigation, communication and team-building.
The CUOs course, for senior boys wanting appointments as platoon commanders and company commanders, revised leadership and navigation training and then focussed primarily on communications skills, including grounding in prepared and impromptu public speaking, briefing others, and emergency situation training.
Scenarios were designed to be realistic in order to test their logic, leadership and resourcefulness.
“The style of training is designed to promote and develop initiative, teamwork, responsibility and decision making skills, as well as taking them out of their comfort zones by providing them with challenges in a field environment by day and night,” the cadet unit Commanding Officer MAJ (AAC) Trevor Thatcher said.
Meanwhile the TAS Cadet Unit’s first girl cadets will be introduced into the program on Friday, spending training sessions at TAS and Dumaresq Dam. All girls in Years 9 and 10 and those who have selected cadets in Year 11, will be part of 7 Platoon, under the command of teacher LT Jayne Heagney.