Monthly Archives: November 2017

MEC Leadership Awards 2017 at Brighton University

The University Officers’ Training Corps and University Royal Naval Unit Leadership and Recognition Awards have now taken place at Brighton University.

The evening began with a welcome from Professor Debra Humphris, Vice-Chancellor and an inspiring address by Major General Robert Nitsch.

Awards were presented by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Peter Field, Peter Stock and Keith Richardson from Chartered Management Institute who sponsored the event.

Presentations were given by Midshipman Harrison Kerr and Midshipman Jordan Hardwidge from the URNU and Junior Under-Officer Guy Whittaker and Officer Cadet Taylor from SUOTC.

Also in attendance were, The worshipful Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Cllr Mo Marsh; Representing Newhaven Council, Cllr Steve Saunders; Mr Christopher Gebbie OBE DL and Vice Chancellor of Sussex Professor Adam Tickell.

Major General Robert Nitsch had an opportunity to meet with the award recipients after the presentations and said:  “It is a fantastic pleasure to be here this evening, it is great to see the integration between the universities in Brighton and also the URNO and the OTC.  I think it offers a great amount to the students but it also it offers a huge amount to the services, as we benefit from these relationships and I am really grateful to the CMI and Brighton University who have hosted this evening.”


The annual awards ceremony has been successfully run for the last years, with an aim to raise awareness of what leadership training is available through the UOTC and OTC.  It offers students an opportunity to improve their employment prospects and provides amazing opportunities to grow and develop as citizens.

The University Officers’ Training Corps (UOTC) is a Type B Army Reserve unit, but is very similar to a University society. It presents university students with a unique opportunity to develop themselves as leaders and challenge themselves by partaking in military exercises, adventurous training, sport, community projects and expeditions both in the UK and overseas.
There are 15 UOTCs and 2 Officer Training Regiments (OTRs – incorporating 2 UOTCs each) spread across the country. Catering for over 4000 university students drawn from about 150 Universities.
UOTC members are classed as Officer Cadets (OCdt) and are members of the Army Reserve, paid when on duty. UOTC members cannot be mobilised for active service, have no obligation to join the armed forces when they leave university and can resign from the UOTC at any time.
The UOTC has two key roles. Firstly to provide a positive military experience to those OCdts who ultimately go on to civilian employment, so that they are minded to act as positive advocates for the Army and secondly, to aid in and facilitate the recruiting of regular and reserve officers.

East Kent District Sea Cadets Multi Training Weekend

Over 70 Sea Cadets and 50 adults took part in a variety of training and testing this weekend at St Martin’s Plain Barracks in Folkestone.

Activities included:

Core seamanship, catering & stewarding, drill, First Aid, marine engineering, piping, chart work and boating at Lydd.

There was also an Adult induction course (AIC) which is a mandatory induction course designed to introduce new adults to the Sea Cadets, and create awareness of safe practices along with an insight into Sea Cadet training and career processes.

Cadet 1st Class Dejuan Greaves from T.S Jamaica, Margate, has been in for just over a year, we caught up with him during his piping lesson, he said:

“It’s been a fun weekend, I moved from London and I’ve made lots of new friends as we get to meet other people from across the county.

The multi training is great as you can work towards your qualifications and get to take part in a lot of different activities”.

Sub Lieutenant Sarah Butler, East Kent District Training Officer (and Commanding Officer at T.S Lynx, Dover and Deal Sea Cadets) was one of the many adults in charge to make sure the training was safe and fun, she commented:

“The multi training has been running for over 25 years and is well respected amongst our peers.

The cadets get so much from these weekends; meeting other units, gaining confidence building both practical and interpersonal skills. They really do get a great breadth of training both from the syllabus but also from the great volunteers who bring their own experiences to the organisation – we couldn’t do it without them.”

The multi training is held four times a year and teaches practical leadership and problem solving skills, progress towards qualifications all whilst having fun.



Chief Petty Officer Alan Tinker, TS Lynx, Dover & Deal

Alan is a recipient of the Merchant Navy Medal; this is a great honour for him and recognises his commitment to the organisation. He was a sea cadet and spent 38 years working in and around shipping both on ships and for the Royal Naval Reserves.

He now works for P&O and decided to bring his years of skills and experience to the Sea Cadets, he has experience in communications including VHF, radio and teaches piping.

“It’s both rewarding and challenging, the kids are a blank canvas when they join and when they get a qualification no one can take that away from them.

I’m still learning and would encourage anyone who can offer themselves as a positive role model to join, it’s great to do something positive”.


Cadet Merrony Cracknell, 12, TS Hazard, Whitstable

I’ve been in the Sea Cadets for about a year; my sister joined the Army Cadets so I wanted to try something different, my mum was also a Sea Cadet.

I really enjoy the sailing, power boating and I love drill – I have a great drill voice, it’s very loud!

Being in the Sea Cadets is great, apart from all the activities I can amaze people with some really fun ways of tying shoe laces from the knots I’ve learnt – it will also look great on my CV”.


Petty Officer Amy James, TS Bulldog, Ramsgate and Broadstairs

I’ve been in for about three years; I have a family connection with the unit. I really wanted to get involved in youth development and what with having previous sailing experience thought it would be a great opportunity.

We’re all one team and everyone is equal – it’s great to be a role model and that’s important for the young people.


Cadet Jake Jolliffe, 13, T.S Lynx, Dover and Deal Sea Cadets

Jake suffers from dyspraxia and has learning difficulties but being in a supportive environment has seen his confidence flourish, we spoke to him and asked him what he enjoys about being in the Sea Cadets.

“I’ve been in for about three years, I play in the band and have played at the Remembrance Day parades, I really enjoy first aid and progressing through the subjects”.

His Commanding Officer Sub Lieutenant Sarah Butler couldn’t emphasise how much Jake has developed since he joined:

“His confidence has grown massively as well as his speech, he enjoys marching and playing in the band – he’s just so keen he’s a pleasure to teach”.