The Challenge! Summer 2019 Edition

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CHALLENGE! April to July 2019 Edition

VCC UNITS… ASSEMBLE! Learn how our Units across the country come together to gain extra career enhancing qualifications

#DDday75 Commemorations Read how the VCC was involved while the World commemorated the Battle of Normandy

Meet The Challenge!


Welcome to the summer edition of The Challenge magazine! This issue, you can have a round up of the various events that the VCC has been proud to be part of, whether it is was the emotional journey our cadets took to Ypres, Belgium or to the bottom field at CTC Lympstone during the much sought after Cautley Cup. We also look into how the VCC were involved in the #DDay75 Commemorations around the world.

CHALLENGE! Spring 2019

Don’t Just Read It…

Look to Your Front!

This edition, we feature the Class of 2019 Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Compromising of cadets from across the VCC, coming together to obtain an additional qualification that is beneficial within our organisation but also later on in life.

Commander’s View Lt Col Terry Wing RMC, Commander VCC, shares with us his latest thoughts… With this year’s Phase Training nearly completed and summer camps beginning to be in full swing in exotic location of France and the Isle of Wight, I thought it poignant to highlight what a fantastic training year it has been for the VCC. I would like to congratulate both Cadets and Staff, for their amazing achievement during the transition of becoming a MOD Sponsored and Recognised Cadet Force equal to our UK Cadet counterparts. The VCC is going from strength to strength and we welcome 3 new VCC Units to the fold, HMS Excellent RNVCC, Arbroath Division RMVCC and HMS Sultan Gosport Detachment RMVCC. All 3 Units have been a total success with great numbers joining the new Units and demonstrating that we the VCC can provide a top class environment for new units to thrive. The RMVCC Band Portsmouth Company has moved locations from Portsmouth to Gosport to increase its recruiting and maximise potential which has turned out to be a great of success. The Portsmouth Company band has not closed but is taking a break for now, which I am sure will reform in due course. All VCC units have been extremely busy as always with such activities as the Field Gun Season continues, Duke of Edinburgh Award, and many more both by land and by sea, where without doubt lead the way for excellence in the Cadet experience.

VolunteerCadet Corps 158 Bldg, HMS Excellent Portsmouth PO2 8ER 02392 574495

I wish to personally thank all of the Staff for their high levels of professionalism and continuing to Make A Difference who without, the cadet experience would not be able to be delivered in the only way that the VCC can. I also with to mention, the cadets, who with our guidance and opportunities provided to the have shown full commitment to the Meet the Challenge and become responsible, dependable and useful members of society and becoming first class Cadets. Demonstrating that the VCC is a leading cadet organisation of the Naval Cadet Forces today.

Managing Editor: Lt Louis Colpitts RMC 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. © VolunteerCadet Corps 2019

Right: Lt Col Terry Wing RMC, Commander VCC had the honour in being invited to be a VIP at a recent combined parade with HMS SULTAN RNVCC, Gosport RMVCC and Gosport Company Band of the RMVCC.

Meet The Challenge!

We Will Remember Them During the weekend of 29th to 31st May 2019, 34 Cadets from Portsmouth Division, Royal Marines Volunteer Cadet Corps along with a number of Adult Volunteers embarked on an emotional and historical trip to visit Ypres, Belgium to conduct a harrowing tour of the World War One Battlefields. As the Summer sun began to come in, 34 Cadets from Portsmouth Division boarded on an educational and emotional trip to the Belgique town of Ypres in the province of West Flanders. Armed with passion and enthusiasm, they were joined by their tour guide, Mr Charles Haskell from the World War One Remembrance Centre in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Combined with our Adult Volunteers, wanted to promote remembrance through first hand views of education and commemoration to ensure that we never forget the sacrifices made by past generations. Throughout their journey, the Cadets had the ability to visit a number of cemeteries and Museums in the Flanders province, notably: - Passchendaele Museum and Trench System used. - Essex Farm Cemetery. - Lijssenthoel Cemetery. - Langemark German Cemetery. - Tyne Cot Memorial.

Many of the Cadets had the opportunity to mark their respects to those that paid the ultimate sacrifice but a particular emotional and poignant moment that took place during their visit to Tyne Cot

Memorial was when a Cadet was able to locate the name of his great-great grandfather who was tragically killed in the Great War. Without the opportunity given to this cadet by the VCC, he would not have been able to lay a cross against his relatives name and to pay his respects. Continuing on their intense and informative journey, our Cadets were invited and honoured to provide a Colour Party and laying of a wreath at the very moving daily Remembrance Service at the Menin Gate. This service at the Menin Gate (Memorial to the Missing) is a service that has taken place everyday since the formal opening of the Memorial in 1927 where the citizens of Ypres wanted to express their gratitude towards those who had given their lives for Belgium’s freedom. Hence every evening at 2000hrs, the road is closed which passes under the memorial and Buglers from the Last Post Association sound the harrowing sounds of Last Post.

Above: Cadet Fitzgerald paying her own respects to the fallen.

We touched base with Cadet Samuel Rainer-Guy of Portsmouth Division RMVCC who attended the weekend visit who says:

Above: Cadets laying the VCC Wreath as part of the ceremony.

Above: Cadets in formation as part of the Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate.

“For me, the trip to Ypres gave me a new perspective on what happened all those years ago. I now know that to truly understand or try to imagine what happened you have to visit the memorials and cemeteries on the western front; you have to read the names, you have to hear the stories, you have to walk through the rows

and rows of graves to realise the sacrifice those men and women made during WW1. The Ypres trip is something I’m so glad I did, especially with the cadets. The fact that we were on parade at Menin Gate was very special, it was an honour. Every second of the trip was the best it could've been because of the people I was with, the family I'm a part of. That sense of family was there throughout the trip; I’ve made memories, good memories, I will never forget.” Meet The Challenge!

Out With the Old… and in with the New! Field Gun has always been a popular sport for Cadets to participate in within the VCC Organisation and we have dived into our archives and found our very own HMS EXCELLENT RNVCC Cadet Field Gun Crew from 1924 on Whale Island! Above: HMS EXCELLENT Cadet Field Gun Team pictured on Whale Island in 1924.

Above: Gun Crew of HMS EXCELLENT RNVCC new Field Gun Team.

Above: HMS EXCELLENT RNVCC conducting a slow demonstration of Field Gun.

Fast forward 95 years and our Cadets from HMS EXCELLENT RNVCC, the newest Unit to have a Field Gun Team have been put through their paces on the Field Gun Track. WO1 Trevor Coleman RNC (Commanding Officer EXCRNVCC) says “Although our Cadets have not been able to run in competitions this year due to the required hours training for this high intensity sport, they have continued to be enthusiastic and shown commitment by attending each session. With the guidance of our new Trainer, Mr Barry Homer BEM (ex Portsmouth Gunner) – our dedicated Cadets have been skilled and drilled on the Field Gun Track and developed a further understanding of the discipline required within this sport. We showed the Parents and Guardians during a recent BBQ event what their young persons had been getting up to but this also created a perfect opportunity for the ‘adults’ to get up close and personal with the Gun and feel the weight of the Wheels and Limber – which of course when you have a third of a ton of metal and wood, I am not surprised it created a number of questions and great interest! BZ to all for their continuous hard work in getting the VCC’s newest Field Gun Team up and running!”

The VCC would like to extend their gratitude to the Major J Walker TD and the entire Board of Trustees at the Connaught Trust for their recent donation to the Volunteer Cadet Corps. This grant will be used towards the Summer Camp for both Royal Naval Cadets and Royal Marines Cadets in the Isle of Wight.

Meet The Challenge!

1SL Cadets Take on The Big Smoke The presence of the 2 VCC First Sea Lord’s Cadets was requested by the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC DL to attend the Ministry of Defence Main Building in central London on Thursday 25 April 2019 to visit and meet the Navy Board. During the trip, presentations form senior RN personnel were given to the 1SL cadets to give them an insight into the internal workings of the RN form a command point of view and to see what career options are available to those who wish to join the service. Lunch was had with the NB members which gave an opportunity for the Cadets to speak to the NB members individually and to tell their stories and aspirations for future careers Cdt PO Alfie Stoddard reports on the trip to meet the 1SL NB in London:

“I am Petty Officer Cadet Alfie Stoddard and I represent the Volunteer Cadet Corps as a First Sea Lord cadet alongside Cdt Sgt Razzell from Portsmouth Division Royal Marines Volunteer Cadet Corps. Being a First Sea Lord cadet means that I travel around the country on various events that are in attendance by the first Sea Lord and other dignitaries as well as the other eleven cadets from the Sea Cadet Corps and Combined Cadet Force. Recently we travelled to London to attend the a visit to the Navy Board, on this visit we met various personnel differing from a military background to civil servants. Allowing us this rare opportunity as First Sea Lord Cadets means that as cadets we can gain a new perspective of the Naval service and the processes that are used to direct funding and

resources across the service. As well as a visit to meet the Navy Board we also had a tour of the historic Navy Board Room where the defence secretary of state, Gavin Williamson, situates when meeting with the navy Boards Executive and Non-Executive members meet. It is a great privilege to be one of the eleven First Sea Lord Cadet and experience so many life changing opportunities.”

Right: Cdt PO Stoddard RNC sat proudly in the famous and historic 1SL seat within the Navy Board Room.

Below: Cdt PO Stoddard RNC and Cdt Sgt Razzell RMC along with 1SL Cadets of SCC and CCF and the then First Sea Lord.

Planning an Event?

Complete relevant Paperwork

Upload EASP on Westminster Record attendance before the event

Enjoy the event!

Time to time, there are a number of questions about what to do when planning an event for our Adult Volunteers. It can be confusing to some for the first time but it is a very simple job. We touch base with our HQ Training and Safety Officer, SLt Alfie Richardson RNC, who explains that once the relevant paperwork has been completed and signed off internally, it is vital that your EASP (Exercise Action Safety Plan) is uploaded as an attachment onto our database – otherwise known as Westminster. It is also fundamental that the recording of attendance is completed before the event even takes place. Once this is all done, all that it left to do is enjoy the event. If you do need further assistance when it comes to any event planning documentation, please do not hesitate to contact SLt A Richardson RNC or your Unit Training Officer for more information.

REMEMBER: No consent form = NO ATTENDANCE! Safety First

Meet The Challenge!

First Steps into the Field Exercise First Waves took place for our Royal Naval Cadets of HMS COLLINGWOOD RNVCC and HMS SULTAN RNVCC and Royal Marines Cadets of Gosport Division RMVCC over 19 – 21 July.

Royal Navy Values

This is a fun filled weekend giving our cadets their first taste of life in the field with basic skills such as bivvi building, cooking in the field and hygiene awaited them and despite the scorching Summer Sun, all the recruits (and staff!) got stuck in!

Above: Recruits from HMS COLLINGWOOD RNVCC, HMS SULTAN RNVCC and Gosport RMVCC gather post-ex

The Winner Take it All The Cautley Cup was introduced in 2010 by the Colonel Commandant Royal Marines Cadets, Colonel Paul Cautley OBE CMG DL, to test the military and field skills of the Royal Marines Cadets of the Volunteer Cadet Corps, and to see how they live up to the Commando Spirit. The much fought after Cautley Cup took place at Commando Training Centre, Lympstone on the last weekend of June The cadets arrive on a Friday night to be welcomed by the OC of the competition, usually an officer from the Corps Colonel’s department at CTCRM, and then shown to their ‘luxury’ accommodation. A written test and kit layout assessment is normally held that night before the cadets get a good night’s sleep ready for a long day on the Saturday. After an early breakfast on the Saturday all the teams are taken to nearby Woodbury Common Training Area, a facility well known by anyone who has ever passed through Lympstone for training. The teams are then set off on a ’round robin’ of visiting various stances distributed widely across the common. These stances range from map reading to first aid, command task to observation skills test. The cadets carry all their own kit and can cover up to 6km whilst also spending a lot of time carrying out the tasks at each stance. By around 1630 the teams should have finished and are then taken back to CTCRM for a much welcomed shower and to clean their kit ready for the next day. After dinner the teams will then meet again for some fun sports and swimming activities, and spend some to get to know the teams from the other RMVCC divisions. Another early breakfast sees the cadets mustered on the famous Bottom Field at Lympstone for Sunday’s activities. Here, the teams are put through their paces undertaking physical and team challenges such as a Land Rover pull, obstacle course and ammo box race. It is during this morning, especially after a tiring day beforehand, that cadets need to find all the Commando Spirit possible to continue working as a team and achieve some good marks. Sunday morning concludes with one of the senior cadets from each team attempting the regain over the water tank (fully supervised of course) and then off to get showered. At about 1300 the team re-assemble in the Falklands Hall eager to find out the results. The cadets with the overall best scores from the senior and junior teams are then presented with The Cautley Cup the Corps Colonel and COMCORE. Congratulations to Lympstone Division RMVCC for once again winning The Cautley Cup.

Above: Lympstone Division RMVCC, winners of 2019 Cautley Cup, posing with Brigadier D Kassapian RM, Commander Core Naval Training

DofE in ACTION! By Cadet Sergeant Will Weaver RMC

The 2019 Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expedition took place at Longmoor Military Ranges training area over the weekend of 29-30 June. The 16 cadets who took part were from the RNVCC Units at HMS SULTAN, HMS COLLINGWOOD and HMS EXCELLENT and the RMVCC Divisions at Portsmouth and Gosport. We were all mixed in together to form three teams; Trafalgar, Jutland and Zeebrugge. To pass the expedition we needed to complete a 10-12 Km walk each day carrying all of our personal kit, tents, cooking equipment, rations and water – everything we needed for the Exped, we had to carry! We all returned to our Base Camp at about 1600 where we all had to make camp, cook our own dinner and prepare for the final day. The DofE Exped is all about self-reliance and independence and we chose to start very early the next day and were all up at first light, breakfasted and everyone ready to move before 0700. All teams returned to camp during the afternoon and it was great to see that our teamwork had paid off as everyone had passed their expedition section of the Bronze Award.

I had already completed the Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections of the award it also meant that we were presented with our Bronze Award by Lt Col Wing RMC in the field! Since then, my Trafalgar team-mate Cdt Mylenna Pacheco from HMS EXCELLENT RNVCC has also gone on to complete her Bronze Award and many others should complete their over the summer. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Exped was a fantastic experience and gave me the opportunity to learn what it is like to be a leader of a group of men and women and the responsibility you have to look after them and make sure they all finish a set task safely and efficiently. I also learnt how much it helps when you take time to pre-plan a task a few hours or an evening before it – doing this meant that we could set off instantly set off and the save time during the actual walk. Recruiting for the 2020 Duke of Edinburgh’s Award will begin in September. If you are interested in doing your Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award with the VCC then ask your Unit Training Officer or go to

Above: Cadets inventing a new method of carrying bergen's whilst out on the navigational expedition.

Above: De-brief with DofE Leader and Commander VCC, Lt Col T Wing RMC.

Above: Cadet Sergeant Will Weaver RMC receiving his Bronze DofE Award at the end of the expedition by Commander VCC, Lt Col T Wing RMC.

As both Cdt Jasmine Curtis and Meet The Challenge!

#DDay75 Commemorations The World’s eyes were set on Portsmouth as was the epicentre of the #DDay75 commemorations that took place in June 2019. Some VCC CFAVs were lucky to be part of such a special and sombre event.

The Challenge Magazine’s very own Editor, Lieutenant Louis Colpitts RMC, who many of you know floats around on the seven seas on a cruise ship, works for the company that the Royal British Legion chartered a ship from. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Boudicca embarked over 300 Veterans and Serving Personnel, followed the same route s the brave soldiers involved in the Battle of Normandy, sailing across the English Channel to Le Harve, France on 6th June 2019 – exactly 75 years after the frightful raid.

Portsmouth RMVCC’s Commanding Officer, WO1 Oli Seebohm RMC was asked to represent the VCC in attending the Royal Commemorative Ceremonies at Southsea Common, alongside Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness Prince Charles and world leaders including President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May. Emotional tributes, speeches, memoir readings, performances of song and poetry, and much more was enjoyed by all in attendance, before a Royal Air Force flypast and Red Arrows aerobatic display provided a fitting finale. WO1 O Seebohm RMC gives thanks to Headquarters VCC, the Royal British Legion and Portsmouth City Council for extending the invitation to the youth organisations of the City to be part of the country’s remembrance festival. Below: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Boudicca sailing out of Portsmouth Harbour with their very own special cargo escorting by RN vessels.

Lt Louis Colpitts RMC, although not working onboard Boudicca looks back on the cruise: “The excitement and buzz throughout the fleet of our company was phenomenal. There was great pride in all, regardless of country of origin and beliefs. Together, across the fleet at the same time, we all stood, silently to attention to reflect and give our own moment of thanks to all those that fought in World War Two – creating such an emotional and unforgettable day for all. Throughout the cruise, I was receiving continuous updates from my colleagues and friends onboard with photographs and dits from the Vets travelling, whether it was Sir Rod Stewart singing Sailing prior to departure or Portsmouth’s own D-Day Veteran, John Jenkins (aged 99). I, for one, was very proud of the city I was born and raised in and also the company that I work for but fundamentally, give thanks to those that fought in the War and gave their ultimate sacrifice.”

Photo courtesy: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Right: D-Day Veterans from across the Allied Forces gather on Southsea Common.

Joiners & Leavers Leavers: Capt Nigel Foster RMC(HQ VCC) Warrant Officer First Class Steve Matthews RNC (HMS Sultan RNVCC) Position Change: SLt Alfie Richardson RNC is appointed as Headquarters Training and Safety Officer.

To your Duties…

…Quick March! With the watchful eye of Commanding Officer 30Cdo IX GP RM and Commanding Officer, Plymouth Division Royal Marines Volunteer Cadet Corps, Recruits from Plymouth Division RMVCC successfully passed out under the direction of CSgt Evan Doyle RMC.

Fire! Fire! Fire! As part of their Cadet in the Community element of the Cadet Common Military Syllabus, Arbroath Division RMVCC Cadets visited the Arbroath Community Fire Station and got hands on with the equipment used in a real scale emergency!

Ceremonial Divisions HMS COLLINGWOOD RNVCC were invited to HMS COLLINGWOOD's Ceremonial Divisions on Friday 26 July 2019, this was a first in CWD RNVCC history. The cadets has the opportunity to march pass, with the newly appointed First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin taking the salute. Afterwards the cadets were invited to the Wardroom to meet the 1SL and a WW2 Veteran Stanley Richardson. The cadets displayed true C2DRIL both on parade and later when meeting the 1SL. BZ to all involved. Meet The Challenge!

The aim of the VCC is to provide opportunities for young people to develop in to responsible, dependable and useful members of society, employing the traditions and practises of the Naval Service as the basis for their activities Š Volunteer Cadet Corps 2019

Meet The Challenge!