Cadet Sergeant Nathan Ellis of 8F (1 st City of Coventry ) Squadron attended the Air Cadet Leadership Course (ACLC) at RAF College Cranwell between 21 st to the 28 th of July. He is the first cadet on the squadron to have taken part and passed this particular course achieving a sort after award.
The Leadership Course was attended by 38 ATC and CCF Cadets from across the country, the course also welcomed 2 Hong Kong Air Cadets as part of the Air Cadet Exchange.
The week started with induction briefings and map and compass revision, followed by a march to the fire section for the standard fire brief.
Sunday started early with a 0530 wakeup call followed by a 1.5mile run along a runway which turned out to be a warm up for the 22km walk we took on Sunday.
Monday saw another 0530 start and the day started with a session of drill which was a run through for the graduation ceremony that would take place at the end of the week watched by our families and friends.
This was followed by command task demonstrations by SNCO's and officers, after which we all got stuck into the Phase 1 - Command tasks.
More 0530 starts followed again by drill. Phase 2 command task, these were a lot bigger and more difficult to lead and saw many tripods erected we also had a surprise guest later in the day - Air Commodore Moulds. With Phase 2 complete, mid- course debriefs took place and saw everyone pass on to Phase 3. Phase 3 was briefed in and Tuesday's activities finally finished in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Wednesday saw us move out to Beckingham Training area. When we arrived it was straight off the coach and into putting up the 12 by 12 tents in which we would sleep in.. much later... We were then issued with 2 24hr ration packs which were to last us till Friday morning. The afternoon saw the start of the Phase 3 command tasks and ended with a night ex around the training area.
Thursday morning saw the camp awoken by the sound track from Gladiator which was blasting out of the Course Commander - Squadron Leader Miller's - car.
Phase 3 command tasks continued and were greeted by a heavy down pour of rain which lasted whilst we moved to a new camping site and set up our bivvi's in which we were to spend the night under.
Once camp was set up we embarked started on a course tradition "Exercise Top Dog", designed to pick a best flight. The exercise consisted of a 1.5 mile log run and an orienteering exercise in a nearby wood. The day ended around 2300.
Friday saw us break camp. The course returned to RAF Cranwell and the first order of business was to get a hot shower and then a rush to get our uniforms pressed. Once in uniform we went to lunch for our first decent hot meal in 2 days.
The course resumed after lunch and saw most of the afternoon spent on the drill square in preparation for Saturday's event.
During the first few days of the course we were told that we had to prepare a presentation on a new briefing method and a devise a new style of command task.
Our group came up with EOMQE (Environment, Objectives, Method, Questions, Execution), we also came up with Easy On Me Queen Elizabeth as an easy way to remember it.
After the presentations of everyone's briefings, we broke for dinner and returned to the Learning Centre after four an individual interview with our Flight Commanders, this was basically a pass or fail briefing.
The day ended with the courses first social evening of the week.
Saturday finally dawned and a new spirited feeling for the graduation parade at the famous College Hall was felt amongst everyone, I suspect nerves had something to do with it especially with loved ones in attendance to make the day more special.
The parade began with the course contingent march on to the parade square and halted in front of stands in front of RAF Cranwell College Hall.
Air Commodore Moulds was in attendance as our reviewing officer and he personally congratulated the course and handed out our Leadership badges to us individually pausing to speak to us on achieving the award.
The parade came to a close and the course marched off the parade square. The course then travelled back to the billets for a few final words of congratulations and then we were dismissed.
Although the course was incredibly demanding and it felt like a 100m sprint as soon as you stepped off the coach, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I could safely say the whole of course 77 felt the same way.
I would recommend the course to anyone reading this who is looking for a challenge and a chance to develop there leadership skills.
I know I will take away valuable skills and knowledge with me together with a lot of laughs and happy memories.