The Challenge! (Edition 21 Spring 2016)

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Bootneck Cadets prepare for the Cautley Cup Lympstone cadet PTIs show off their new skills

Spring 2016

The Challenge! Edition 21 Spring 2016

Spring is well under way and this is also the fourth year of The Challenge! so we are delighted that this is now a VCC-wide publication, and will include news and pictures from our sister VCC units of the Royal Naval Cadets. The VCC is now in its 115th year as a growing and well supported Naval Cadet Force, ‘wholly-owned’ by the Royal Navy and offering a cost effective cadet organisation. Onward!

Look to Your Front! Cadets from Normandy Troop of Plymouth Division RMVCC put their best feet forward as they get to grips with the delights of Dartmoor during their weekend exercise, Ex Thunder, from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 April.

Don’t Just Read It… …say something! Contributions from cadets, staff and families are welcome here at the editor’s office. Just send your pictures and words to us by email at and you may get to see them in print.

Death by Powerpoint CSgt Andy Wright RMC provides a summary of Portsmouth Division RMVCC’s recent Command Course… The weekend of 22 to 24 April saw 13 cadets attend the Junior and Senior Command Course. The course, much like their Parent Corps counterparts, is designed to teach and assess cadets who wish to gain promotion from LCpl to Cpl and Cpl to Sgt. After a Blues inspection and personal drill assessment the candidates were put through their paces to assess their ability to control a squad of cadets. A quick change into MTP and a welcome lunch in the galley at HMS Excellent then led into some sessions on general and military knowledge, leadership and method of instruction. After the general and military knowledge test the candidates changed into smart civvies to get stuck in to an enjoyable evening of debates. The strength of feeling held by the cadets was never more than visible when the subject of female Royal Marines Commandos arose. If ever a group of young people were fully seized of the complexity of this issue it was these. A good night’s rest and a hearty breakfast provided the basis for an inspection in MTP and then a morning of lectures. The candidates suddenly realised how lonely being ’up front’ can be but nonetheless some confident and interesting performances were displayed. With almost no time to rest the final scores were punched into the computer and the results read out. Almost all the candidates passed, with Cdt LCpl Joseph Hayes winning the JCC and Cdt Cpl Charlie Roberts achieving the double of winning the SCC having previously achieving first place in his JCC. Oh, and ‘Death by Powerpoint’? Well, ask the SCC and they will explain (chalk and blackboard next time then!)

Portsmouth JCC and SCC 2016 Candidates

There is always time for morning phys!

LCpl Drew Ingham delivers his lecture Every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication but neither the VCC nor the MOD can be held responsible for the accuracy of the information contained herein or any consequence arising from it. Views expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the VCC or the MOD. © Volunteer Cadet Corps Copyright 2016 Meet The Challenge!

Commander’s View

Cup Fever Hits the RMVCC

A message from Lt Col Terry Wing RMC, Commander VCC… The past few months have seen some changes to how the VCC is governed, with the Cadet Corps now coming under the command of COMCORE within his Cadet, University and Youth (CUY) organisation. This is a really positive step for the VCC and shows the commitment that our sponsor, the Royal Navy, has towards us. Also, a new Headquarters for the VCC has now been established in Portsmouth (HQVCC) and the new high-level organisation chart for the VCC is below:

Alongside these changes advances have been made in getting the VCC access to the UK cadet forces database and management information system, Westminster. The VCC is now established on the database and details of each cadet and CFAV are being entered on to it. Once complete, this will enable us to better manage our Cadet Corps and provide evidence, via a certificate of service, to all cadets and adults of the activities they have done and qualifications they have gained. Lastly, new Regulations will soon be issued that will bring all five VCC units under one common set of rules. Our new training syllabus builds upon the excellent range of activities found across the organisation and formalises how cadets progress during their career, giving each cadet a personal development plan. It really is an exciting time for the VCC and I look forward to keeping you updated as our excellent Cadet Corps moves forward. Thanks for all your hard work. Volunteer Cadet Corps

Adventurous Collingwood Cadets It was an Easter Weekend full of fun and action as Royal Naval Cadets from HMS Collingwood RNVCC spent a few days at PGL’s Windmill Hill activity centre near Hailsham in Sussex. The weather wasn’t kind and the training programme had to be amended, but there was enough to keep the cadets active and challenged, and certainly looking forward to their next visit.

Transfer to the Staff Approaching retirement (oh, we mean cadets when they approach 18 years)? Why not consider applying to stay on with the VCC as a Cadet Force Adult Volunteer. Speak to your CO, XO or 2IC today!

Moor First Steps to Success Recruits from Plymouth RMVCC and Portsmouth RMVCC recently underwent their basic field skills weekends where they are introduced to living and working in the field. They are put through their paces in a safe but challenging environment, Plymouth using Dartmoor and Portsmouth using (arguably the more friendlier) Longmoor.

“Well that’s our bivvi up, what’s next?”

Mud Mud Glorious Mud!

From Yellow to Blue in 1802 On Thursday 29 April 1802 the Marines were given the title of Royal Marines by HM King George III on the recommendation of Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Jervis, Earl of St Vincent.

“His Majesty has been graciously pleased to signify His Commands that, in consideration of the very rigorous services of the Marines during the late War, the Corps shall in future be styled The Royal Marines by Command of their Lordships." On acquiring the title of Royal, the facings of the Marines, which had been white, were changed to Blue as in other Royal Corps of Infantry. Later, in 1823, Lord Vincent is reported to have said: “In obtaining for them the distinction of ‘Royal’ I but inefficiently did my duty; I never knew an appeal made to them for honour, courage or loyalty that they did not more than realise my biggest expectations. If ever the real danger should come to England they will be found the country’s sheet Anchor."

HM King George III

Royal Naval and Royal Marines Cadets from HMS Collingwood, HMS Sultan and HMS Excellent will be appearing at the annual Sultan Summer Show in June as they compete against each other in the hard-fought Cadet Field Gun competition. Search the web for details and why not come down to show your support and help raise money for charities too. Meet The Challenge!

Cockleshell Heroes Remembered CSgt Mick May RMC reports from the old RM Barracks at Eastney… On what can only be described as a perfect English spring morning, various elements of the Corps family assembled on hallowed turf, the former barracks at Eastney, to remember the Royal Marines Boom Patrol Detachment, part of Combined Operations in 1942, more commonly known as the Cockleshell Heroes.

Memorial at the RM Museum

The location was indeed quite poignant as it was from the nearby beaches that these brave commandos, who volunteered for ‘hazardous service’ practised their canoeing skills and rehearsed for the deadly mission ahead of them. Special permission was given by the resident association of Marine Gate to use the former parade ground, and so under the guidance of Jim Ashlin, a former Marine and now a very active RMA Southern Region member, and WO1(RSM) Phil Gilby RM, Corps RSM, the parade began to assemble.

The parade was formed up of a detachment of musicians from the RM School of Music, the RMA Bikers, veterans from the RMA and over 30 cadets from Portsmouth Division RMVCC under the command of their RSM, Cdt WO1 Sam Chadwick. The parade marched down the ‘Golden Mile’ of RM Eastney behind the Band of HM Royal Marines Portsmouth. Indeed, it was this same road that featured in the 1955 film ’The Cockleshell Heroes’ when the actors were seen running through a band, the band being that of the Portsmouth Division RMVCC. Once fallen in, the Guests of Honour arrived; HM Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire (Mr Nigel Atkinson), the Deputy Commandant General RM (Brig Richard Spencer ADC OBE) and His Worship the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth (Cllr Frank Jonas). A service of remembrance was held and wreaths collected by a party of RM musicians which were then laid on behalf of the guests of honour and other participants at the Cockleshell Heroes Memorial in the museum grounds overlooking Eastney beach. The parade then marched past and back up to the museum whereupon, having been given the order to dismiss, several speed records were broken as veterans raced back to the RMA clubhouse to beat the queues to the bar (or was it the heads?)! Another successful parade was complete, the cadets glad of having the chance to march on the parade ground of their ancestral home. Portsmouth Division RM Cadets on parade at the former RM Eastney

Marching back from the parade Volunteer Cadet Corps

Blast from Past Cup Fever Hits thethe RMVCC In another of our series of photographs from our past, here we see the Royal Naval Cadet Field Gun Crew of HMS Victory RNVCC in competition at HMS Excellent against other VCC units sometime in the mid 1970s. HMS Victory RNVCC was later renamed HMS Nelson RNVCC when the RN Barracks was re-titled, and the cadets were merged with the RMVCC when the RM Cadets from Eastney moved to HMS Nelson in 1991. HMS Victory RNVCC Field Gun Team

Memories of Sacrifice from Down Under On Sunday 24 April, a detachment of 17 cadets from the Portsmouth Division RMVCC attended the annual ANZAC Remembrance Parade at Milton Cemetery. The graves of a number of Australian and New Zealand soldiers are located in Milton and each year the local Royal British Legion arrange a brief but poignant parade to honour their sacrifice. The service was attended by His Worship the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Frank Jonas, who also took time to inspect and speak to the cadets. ANZAC Day is commemorated on 25 April every year. Lord Mayor of Portsmouth inspects the Portsmouth RM cadets

Come and join us at the Royal Marines Museum at Eastney in Portsmouth on Sunday 25 September for a fun packed day.

How to make contact with us:

With stalls and arena displays, plus our Corps Museum right on the doorstep what better reason do you have to spend a day in Pompey? The fun starts at 1100.

Meet The Challenge!

Cup Fever Cadets from all three Divisions of the RMVCC have been busy practising for the Cautley Cup, the annual military skills competition held at CTCRM each Spring. Teams of junior and senior cadets take part in an action packed weekend. The cadets from Plymouth and Lympstone have made good use of their local facilities, whilst Portsmouth have made do with the rugged surroundings of Whale Island.

“I cant wait to get to Lympstone and hit the bottom field…” Stories and pictures from this year’s Cautley Cup, taking place on the weekend of 6 to 8 May will be in the next issue of The Challenge! The competition is on! Lympstone cadets make use of home advantage

Passing Out Make sure your uniform fits properly, is clean and ready to wear. Pay particular attention to your ‘blues’ On parade. Friday 18Report Marchto Portsmouth uniform and check it fits well before any ceremonial the stores if Division you needRMVCC’s items of recruits of R Coy 152 Passed Out for duty after over 4 uniform exchanged. months of basic training. The inspecting officer was Buckenham RN, news. Cdr E of theyour future aircraft Regularly check our websites and notice boards Cdr for Peter the latest events and Pay subs each carrierany HMS Prince of Wales, The new recruits of R Coy month and keep your pass with you at all times. Report pass losses to the Administration Office. 161 also paraded for the first time. How to make contact with us:

A CO’s Commendation was also awarded to Rct Josh Holt (left) for his maturity and leadership in helping his younger fellow cadets on their recent Ex First Steps at Longmoor.

R Coy 152 after their Pass Out Parade with the CO and Inspecting Officer Volunteer Cadet Corps

Royal Marines Cadets

Cup Fever Hits RMVCC Battle ofthe Zeebrugge Planned to neutralise the key Belgian ports of Zeebrugge and Ostend, both used by the German Navy as a base for submarines and light shipping, the Raid on Zeebrugge was launched early on the morning of 23 April 1918. The raid was originally proposed by First Sea Lord, Sir John Jellicoe, shortly before his abrupt dismissal at the close of 1917 (as a consequence of his ongoing reluctance to back First Lord of the Admiralty Sir Eric Geddes' convoy policy). Jellicoe gained acceptance of an attack in principle actually formulated by Dover port commander Sir Roger Keyes - by stating to the cabinet his view that Britain's continuing ability to wage war depended upon blocking the exits from both ports, and thus denying German submarines convenient bases. Thus the Zeebrugge raid was planned in much secrecy and conducted (in part by a volunteer force) by 75 ships following its formal approval by the Admiralty in February 1918.

The main force of the attack was to be at Zeebrugge, with a smaller offensive launched against Ostend. In preparation for both however the elderly cruiser HMS Vindictive was used to land 200 troops at the entrance to the Bruges Canal (at the mile-long Zeebrugge mole), in order that they could destroy its Make sure your fits The properly, is clean andbadly readyhowever; to wear.the Pay particular attention your ‘blues’ formidable shoreuniform batteries. operation began smokescreen to coverto the Vindictive uniform andits check fits well before ceremonial Report to the stores you need itemsfire of as it landed troopit contents proved any ineffective in theparade. face of unexpected winds andifunder crippling uniform exchanged. the old cruiser moored in the wrong location, its guns effectively out of action. However an old submarine did destroy the bridge connecting the mole to the shore after it exploded. Regularly check our websites and notice boards for the latest events and news. Pay your subs each month andofkeep pass with you at all significant: times. Report any pass to the Administration The loss the your Vindictive's guns was without theirlosses crucial support the shoreOffice. batteries remained untaken. In turn their sustained fire also disabled a further three ancient British cruisers How to make contact us: - packed with concrete and which had moved into the inner harbour, Thetis, Iphigenia andwith Intrepid preventing them from halting and scuttling themselves in their correct pre-assigned locations at the narrow entrance to the canal. If the raid upon Zeebrugge produced initially unclear results, the smaller attack upon Ostend was an unequivocal failure however. Two old cruisers, intended as blockships, failed to reach the harbour entrance. A subsequent attempt made to cripple Ostend similarly failed on 9 May. Represented at the time as a tremendous British victory by Allied propaganda (with the consequence that its devisor Sir Roger Keyes was ennobled), and by the Germans as a demonstration of their success in holding each port, the Zeebrugge raid did not in reality hinder German operations from either port for more than a few days. Some 500 British casualties were incurred during the operation (of which approximately 200 were fatalities). A total of eight Victoria Crosses were awarded for the night's action, two to the Royal Marines. The badly damaged HMS Vindictive Meet The Challenge!

Happy Birthday Ma’am

Cup Fever Hits the RMVCC On Thursday 21 April, Her Majesty the Queen celebrated her 90th birthday. To mark the occasion, the RSM and cadets in Portsmouth sent a video to Her Majesty. Resisting the urge to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ (after all, who could better the dulcet tones of 30 Cdo IX RM at Stonehouse!) the cadets simply gave three rousing cheers. So, just in case this publication finds its way to the palace breakfast table, once again from all of us not just in Portsmouth but from across the VCC, Happy Birthday Ma’am.

Find Us Online The VCC fully embraces social media so don’t forget to check out our Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts for more news and views from around the Cadet Corps. You can also find us on the web at

Promotions and Appointments Congratulations to Cdt CSgt Reed of and ready to wear. Pay particular attention to your ‘blues’ Make sure your uniform fits Daniel properly, is clean Portsmouth his recent uniform and Division check it RMVCC fits wellon before any ceremonial parade. Report to the stores if you need items of appointment as Lord Mayor’s Cadet. uniform exchanged. Maj Terrycheck WingourRMC, Comd Regularly websites and VCC noticeisboards for the latest events and news. Pay your subs each promoted Lt Col RMC wefwith 1 Feb month andtokeep your pass you16. at all times. Report any pass losses to the Administration Office. Lt John Nealecontact RMC has took How to make with us: over as CO of Plymouth Division RMVCC on 1 May 16. Capt Paul Cook RM assumed the position of Supervising Officer of Plymouth Division RMVCC on 2 May 16, the position having been relinquished by Capt Adrian Webb RM to whom we send our best wishes as he takes up a new role at Bickleigh. WO2 Ozzie Glover RMC has assumed the appointment of 2IC at Plymouth Division RMVCC. WO2 Derek Wood RMC has taken over as Training Officer at Portsmouth Division RMVCC wef 1 Apr 16. Sgt Russell Chisnall RMC has assumed the appointment of Health and Safety Officer at Portsmouth Division RMVCC wef 1 Mar 16 in the rank of CSgt. Volunteer Cadet Corps

Special Qualifications at CTC The Lympstone Division of the RMVCC has recently introduced specialist qualifications (SQs). As well as working towards promotions cadets can now go on courses run by Royal Marines at CTCRM to gain a RM Cadet SQ such as Cdt PTI, Cdt PW, Cdt DL, Cdt Medic and Cdt Phot (see left). The courses run for three to six months depending on the SQ, and at the end of the course the cadets that pass start to implement their SQ into their daily cadet routine.

This has been such a brilliant opportunity for all the cadets at Lympstone, but with there being a limited number of spaces on the courses all cadets are eager for the next one to start to have a change to gain their own SQ. Recently we had our first Cdt PTI pass out, where the cadets conducted a brilliant display in the CTC gymnasium for family members and the Royal Marines PTI branch. Our cadets conducted the same display that a Royal Marines Recruit would do for the gym pass out in training. After a lot of hard work and a lot of extra “tanking” and press ups from the cadets, the PTIs and passing out cadets were ready to take the stage. The display opened with a skip jump routine, a routine built up with various physical movements in time as a group; the audience cheered and clapped as the cadets were in sync for every movement pulling of a very impressive display. Next the cadets moved on to show their physical skills on various Make sure your uniform fits properly, isarm clean and ready wear. Pay particular attention your ‘blues’ exercises by to numbers, press ups, burpees, legtoraised press uniform and check it fits well before any ceremonial parade. Report to the stores if you need items of ups and much more. Indeed, watching the movements they were uniform exchanged. conducting looked like they were RM recruits not cadets. Definitely no ‘ropey’ skills here

Regularly ourwas websites and notice boards by formany the latest news.of the Pay hardest your subs each Next on thecheck agenda the rope climb described Royal events Marinesand as “one physical month and keep your pass with you at all times. Report any pass losses to the Administration Office. training that Royal Marines do” making an extremely difficult activity look easy. The parents tensed as their young cadets climbed 30 foot in the air and let go of the rope to conduct a make fast, before How to makethree contact with us: with no rest. The guests were impressed (and most likely nervous) and completing more climbs one could also hear comments from the PTIs such as “…better then nods…” and “…hoofing!”.

With a few more PT exercises (running, sit ups, running, press ups, sit ups, running - you get the idea), it was time for the cadets to show off one last thing – the pull ups. Arms tucked in, chin over the bar, “By numbers – bend – stretch” ten times; and there it was again “better then some of the nods”. As you can imagine the Cdt PTIs were absolutely buzzing, impressing the PTI branch so much they have asked for a photo to go amongst the RM PTI branch pass out photos in the gym. Now that’s what we call an honour! Now you would like to think the Cdt PTIs would like a nice long rest….. unfortunately not because as of Monday the Lympstone Cadet Initial Military Fitness (IMF) pass out training starts where of course the Cdt PTI will be taking the pass out and striking the movements, and then after that will be running the next Cdt PTI course. So finally it’s a well deserved BZ to Cdt WO1(RSM) Callum Luxton, Cdt Sgt Reece Western, Cdt Cpl Alex Waiton and Cdt LCpl Jack Crowhurst, and thank you to all the PTIs at CTCRM, and to our ‘Unit Phot’ Cdt Cpl Joe Pearcey for some brilliant action photos. Report by WO1(RSM) Jen Crewdson RMC

The Cdt PTIs are put through their paces as they demonstrate their skills Meet The Challenge!