JNCO Course - March 2014
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By Cdt S Hall - 2431 (Keighley) Squadron
On Sunday 9th March 2014, 4 cadets from 2431 (Keighley) Squadron ATC, attended a Junior Non-Commissioned Officers (JNCO) Course at their very own Squadron HQ in Keighley. This course is designed to see if they have what it takes to be an NCO.
On 9th March 2014, myself and three other Cadets; Cdt Finch, Cdt Connell and Cdt Eastwood attended a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer course with the hopes of putting on a Good Example of Uniform, Drill and Mental Capabilities.
The course was set at my own Squadron HQ in Keighley. Twenty Eight cadets were looking to show off and prove themselves came to 2431 that day and some of them out-performed their expectations.
The first part of the day was an introduction to the course, myself having read the JNCO syllabus the evening before had a good understanding of what was needed and explained from 264 (Skipton) Squadron ATC's Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant Coates.
After a while of talking about leadership and the Do's and Do not's of the Junior NCO, We moved onto Drill and Uniform inspection by Warrant Officer Lister. This turned out to be delightful, but he never went into depth on what was the matter with our uniforms, I suppose that's what will be coming back in our reports of the day.
During Drill we were all taken out, one by one to do some pre decided Commands, first up for me was to do Three paces rear woods, Two paces left, three paces Forwards and lastly Two paces left. After that I would right incline them and set them off marching, doing eyes left, about turn and then a halt. Once more I was asked one more thing of me, to March at the side of the squad and 'bark' orders while doing them myself, one of the other cadets was the only one to do Cadence, (say 'Left right left.').
After Drill we had lunch which gave us all time to communicate and get to know some of the cadets we have been spending time with for the past three hours, before not really talking to one another.
After this Joyful experience we moved onto 'Syndicate Task 3' Which was for Quote.
"Your group are required to present a 10 minutes syndicated presentation to the rest of the course staff and cadets.
All members of your group are to be involved. You will have limited resources, i.e. a white board, your memory bank. You WILL NOT have use of PowerPoint.
The main resource will be yourselves and you can be as articulate as you like!
Your topic for the presentation will be:-
Aircraft of the Royal Air Force.
You have 30 minute slot during this day for your group to plan, create and practice this before presenting this later."
This was a more or less impossible task for the simple fact that not a single member of my group had any knowledge on this matter, which took the mick in presenting the ones that had mobile phones used then for their own aircraft of choice, my own was the Harrier GR7A which I listed pretty much the basic detail, but that doesn't matter.
After this very fun exercise we then went on to keeping the alive, a task where we had to keep the egg alive [Not Broken] by only using;- 10 pieces of paper, one balloon of our choice and four elastic bands, we put the egg in the balloon, used some sellotape to stick on screwed pieces of paper onto the side and same with the Bands we then felt our hearts sink as my own Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant Crabtree chucked the egg five metres. I myself rushed towards the egg, the other cadets thinking it had smashed, but the egg had survived.
After this we went onto an exercise to determine our choice, there was 20 items on a list and we have to put them in an order, 1-5 in which we would need, we failed this exercise by doubting our choices.
At the end of the Seven hour day, all four groups presented their own syndicate task, Two had the rank structure, we had the Aircrafts of the RAF and the last had uniform, we where last due to the fact we were group four, we never really got any feedback, but had a jolly good time doing the day and hope to stand out, some did this more then others.
With a Five o'clock send off, most of the Cadets where quickly out of the door, desperate to get some food down their neck, overall I personally really enjoyed that day, we where never really taught anything accept the little secrets hidden in the tasks, the other Cadets I have spoken to have enjoyed this very much so, and some will go onto getting their own double chevrons.
For more information please visit the Squadron website