Cadets from Grantham RLC Detachment took the opportunity to put their weapon handling and marksmanship training into practice on the 25m range at Prince William of Gloucester barracks.
The purpose of the day was to test the cadets against the 2 Star level of their training for shooting and until this point they had only ever shot using an air rifle. All the cadets were successful and they can now go onto to training with the larger, Light Support Weapon system and fire from distances of up to 300m.
Detachment Commander 2Lt Mark Deans said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for these young people to do something that they simply wouldn’t get to do elsewhere. They have worked really hard over the spring to get up to the required standard to go onto a range and live fire for the first time and for some it was a very exciting experience. Budget restraints mean that something that was quite routine 10 years ago make it difficult for us to undertake this type of training at local level and it has only been with the support of our headquarters staff at Lincoln and the staff from 5 Training Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps here at the Barracks that we have managed to pull this off.”
The cadets also visited the National Memorial Arboretum recently as part of their military knowledge training. Eleven Cadets and three members of the adult staff made the trip to Stafford where they took part in a guided tour of the site which took in the “shot at dawn” memorial which serves to remember all those who were convicted of cowardice when suffering what is now referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The volunteer
guides from the Royal British Legion explained how soldiers would be court martialled without any representation and once convicted sentenced to death by a firing squad made up from soldiers from the same regiment as the convicted soldier.
Cadet LCpl Amelia Pattinson, 14, and Cadet SM Ryan Pell, 17, read out a letter written by a convicted soldier the night before his execution and another by a member of the firing squad after carrying out his duty in which he reflects on knowing the soldier he had to shoot. One of the most striking moments for the cadets was the realisation that some of these men were a similar age to themselves when they were executed. The cadets finished their tour by holding an act of remembrance in the “Greek Garden” where Cadet LCpl Alex Madejska laid a wreath on behalf of the detachment in memory of all those who have given their lives whilst in service of their country.
2Lt Deans said: “This was one of the most worthwhile learning experiences the detachment has undertaken and it was clear from the response from the cadets that they really got something from it, particularly those cadets who have had relatives who have served in the armed forces.”