Guests were marched over with threats of disciplinary action

Officer Cadet Todd Ledwith blogs from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He’s undergoing Officer Training and writes here about a busy week which has included an outdoor exercise, a Guest Dinner Night and blowing things up with plastic explosives…

Officer Cadet Ledwith

Officer Cadet Ledwith

This week began with Exercise EAGLE STRIKE. It’s the final TEWT (Tactical Exercise Without Troops) before PRACTAC – which is the formal assessment of our skills in the orders and estimate process, which takes place next Tuesday. The cadets of the intermediate term then spread to the four corners of the country, or in some cases to Germany, on their respective regimental visits. I attended a visit with the Royal Engineers which took place at their barracks in both Chatham and Minley. As ever, the Engineers hosted an action-packed visit which included crawling around a simulated search environment in blacked-out respirators, operating the up-armoured plant machinery, flying up and down the river Medway in the rapid ‘Rigid Raider’ assault boats and finally detonating PE4, the British Military’s plastic explosive, on the ranges at Minley. As well as showing what each Regiment or Corps has to offer in terms of their roles in the British Army these visits allow us, the prospective young officers, to meet serving officers, NCOs and soldiers in order for both sides to assess whether we would ‘fit in’, the importance of which cannot be overlooked.

Upon our return from the visits on Wednesday, it was time to brush down our Blues and ensure our George boots were so shiny that they could double as mirrors as they were about to undergo inspection from the most severe of all critics; our mothers. The Guest Dinner Night allows each cadet to invite two guests to a formal dinner so that they may experience the traditions of hosting and etiquette which frame such events. Of course, it is also a chance to enjoy oneself with the other members of Alamein Company. The following morning the cadets hosted the Directing Staff and Guests in the Chapel (prior to which the guests were marched over with threats of disciplinary action for their respective hosts if their drill was not up to standard) after which the event was concluded with a late breakfast. It was a fantastic event and many thanks must go to all involved in hosting and organising and also to the guests for remembering their left and right so that disciplinary repercussions were avoided.

Academia dominated the rest of the week with more time spent in the classrooms of Faraday Hall. The focus of the weekend will now be preparation of our ‘command kits’ in lieu of PRACTAC on Tuesday.

3 thoughts on “Guests were marched over with threats of disciplinary action

  1. The Alamein Company Dinner was brilliant and it was lovely to put a face to name after often reading Officer Cadet Ledworths blog!
    The marching of the parents to Chapel in the morning was tremendous fun and despite the early start (and some of us nursing hangovers) all the parents were laughing and enjoying it hugely!
    Well done to the whole company for putting on such a wonderful evening!

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  2. An interesting narrative Todd, at times I wish Id taken a commision rather than enlisting. With my father being in the military and I having the “privilige” of attending 6 different secondary schools, further education didnt appeal in order to make the criteria! As an ex SNCO in the Royal Signals may I be so bold as to provide a crtitique on your turn out? This is limited due to the head and shoulder photograph provided!
    1. For a potential officer the beret looks very good, YOUR troops will respect the manner in which you wear your head dress.
    2. You probably don’t have a NAAFI in Sandhurst but next time you visit Fortnum & Mason try and find some starch for the shoulder pads! Apply prior to ironing and allow to part dry before introducing iron to “wobbly” pads. It’ll work a treat I promise.

    Only 2 more very minor points;

    3. The tie! Before even attempting to use the finest military tie this also needs to be treated to a good going over with a steam iron, stretch the tie as much as humanly possible across the ironing board and apply elbow grease. Once treated the tie will comply and a fine Windsor knot can be achieved.

    4. Last one Todd and you’ll probably think I’m being “picky” it’s more a design fault with the jumper where the “head hole” seems to continue to grow leaving the well starched shirt overly exposed. This can be overcome easily by inserting a lace into the collar ( it’s hollow ) and tying from the back, the excess lace is simply tucked inside the jumper.

    The result? You’ll look as smart as your troops.
    I thoroughly enjoyed my time serving Queen and country, I understood the need for training both physical and military.

    Ok, a little tongue in cheek but there was nothing worse than being worked like a Trojan as a junior soldier, lots of training, very little sleep and the OC comes out to review his troops having not put the same effort in as his troops.

    I wish you the very best of luck Todd and hope you enjoy service as much as I did!

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