Monthly Archives: February 2018

18 Troop Household Cavalry

Sergeant Instructor Meghan Leaver – 18 Troop Household Cavalry

Previously a cadet, SI Leaver choose to return to become an adult instructor.

Enjoying the opportunity to able to shoot, SI Leaver also likes being able to engage with the cadets in the outdoor activities.

Cadet ACF SI Leaver

Meghan said:  “Cadets really helped me through my childhood.  Returning as an Adult Instructor and giving back to cadets, who might be in the same situation I was in, is very fulfilling for me.  It is a very technology based world so it is good to get the cadets involved with outdoor activities away from PlayStation’s and phones.”


Detachment Commander Michael Sharp – 18 Troop Household Cavalry

Michael has been an Adult Instructor for 38 years after being inspired by his older brother to become involved.

Cadet ACF Ad Inst Sharp

Michael said:  “ I used to assist the county shooting officer, where we have had the opportunity to take cadets to Canada to compete.

I really enjoy the outdoor activities and being involved with the field crafting and concealment exercises.  As an adult instructor, you can never under estimate the demands of being involved with cadets but it is a worthwhile and fulfilling experience.”


Cadet Millie Lewis – 18 Troop Household Cavalry

Millie has always been interested in joining the Army as her Dad is currently a Regular soldier.  Having been with the cadets for two years, Millie really enjoys going on the camps and the overall cadet community.

Cadet ACF Millie Lewis

Millie said:  “I have two years left as a cadet and afterwards, I really want to join the army but unable to due to my eyesight.  I would like to become an Adult Instructor and then enrol with the OTC at University, where I am going to study art.”

Cadets gain first-hand experience of the inner workings of the British Army

Cadets from Nivelle Company, South Oxfordshire visited the Royal Engineers and Royal Artillery over the half term holiday to gain an on the ground experience into how the Armed Forces operates at a regimental level.


On a cold and wet Tuesday 13th February the cadets visited the Royal Artillery in Larkhill. The day started at a pace with a visit to the gun line to observe some live firing of the 105mm Light Gun. They had a chance to get up close and discover a little more about the equipment and the role of the RA, after a very welcome hot brew and range stew it was a quick move to the target end. This time the cadets, from a safe distance, were able to observe the fall of shot and how the gunners ranged onto their target for the main all guns fire mission. Finally, it was back to camp to get closer to, and hands on, some of the other equipment in the gun park, including the AS90.


On Wednesday 14th February the cadets went to Gibraltar Barracks to see the Royal Engineers in action. The visit started with an enthusiastic brief about the RE and the multitude of trades available within the Corps. A quick move to the training area saw the cadets thrown into a mental and practical challenge. With a limited range of equipment they were set the task of clarifying some distinctly muddy water. Four teams one result, clear water! This activity was closely followed by hands on experience of operating plant such as cranes, grabs and drops lorries. Finally the RE gave a demonstration of the use of pyrotechnics to produce simulations of air strikes and other weapon systems an important element to the safe training for regular soldiers, but for cadets simply awesome to see and hear.


Cadet Lance Corporal L Sprules-Hayden was one of the cadets who attended.

“I was interested in going to these educational visits as I wanted to see how the Army operates. We learned a lot about the wider Army and I had great fun moving the crane and feeling the ground shake with the Royal Engineers!”


Sergeant Instructor Jack Settle was one of the Cadet Force Adult Volunteers.

“It was very enjoyable for the Adult Instructors as well as the Cadets. This is one of the fantastic opportunities the Army Cadet Force can offer, you don’t need to have a passion about joining the Armed Forces it’s just an exciting youth organisation where young people can learn life skills and have a fun and adventures time!”


If you are interested in learning more about what the Army Cadet Force has to offer find us on Facebook or visit our website at

TS Swiftsure – Farnham SCC – Cadet & Adult Volunteer

Tyler Edmondson – Cadet TS Swiftsure – Farnham Sea Cadets


Tyler Edmondson followed in his families’ steps by becoming a Sea Cadet at TS Swiftsure.  His Mum, brother and sister were Cadets and his sister is still with the Cadets.

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Tyler found his nights were boring when his siblings were at cadets and was keen to become a Cadet himself.

The thing he most enjoys is the drill and looks forward to the summer camps, playing games and socialising with friends.



Rebecca Crewdson – Adult volunteer TS Swiftsure – Farnham Sea Cadets


Rebecca became a Cadet with the TS Swiftsure as both her Dad and older Sibling were with the Cadets.

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As an Adult Instructor, Rebecca looks after the junior section which has four sections; drill, seamanship, boating, first aid and outdoor activities which includes camping, walking and outdoor sports. They also teach them about community and faith to help them to engage within their communities.

Rebecca enjoys seeing the children achieve their certificates and has made some great friends as there is such a lovely atmosphere.

Rebecca said:  “I have learnt about how to approach different people and how to deal with different types of behaviour and encourage them to get involved. There is so much to do and you can make such a difference in kids’ lives, it is a really happy place for them to be.”

TS Swiftsure – Farnham Sea Cadets

Lilyann Yven-Dent – Cadet TS Swiftsure – Farnham Sea Cadets


Lilyann has been with the Sea Cadets for about a year as her Mum thought it would be good for her to do something with her spare time and she agreed it would be something exciting.  Lilyann really likes the boating, finds it really exciting to go on the sea and really enjoys doing outdoor sports with the Cadets.

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Lilyann said:  “The people are nice and friendly and I would eventually like to join the Navy.”


Jake Myers Potter – TS Swiftsure – Farnham Sea Cadets


Sea Cadet Jake Myers Potter became involved with TS Swiftsure after being recommended by a friend to join because of his keen interest in boats.

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Although having the opportunity to go sailing, Jake has found the thing he likes the most is the lessons and going away for the weekends.

Jakes says “being with the Cadets is amazing and I’ve made so many friends after only knowing one person when I started.”


Inspiring Ice Maidens Help Launch Charity Appeal

Two British Army Reservists from the hugely successful ICE MAIDEN expedition will be joining fellow Antarctic crossers from the award-winning SPEAR 17 expedition at the Ulysses Trusts’ 25th Anniversary Reception at Lancaster House on Thursday 15th February 2018.

Ice maidens Major Sandy Henne and LSgt Sophie Montagne are two of the team of six British Army and Army Reservists who became the first all-female team to ski coast-to-coast across Antarctica in January 2018, using muscle power alone.

SPEAR 17 and ICE MAIDEN are just two of the 2,650 expeditions supported by the Ulysses Trust since its formation in 1992. The Trust will launch its Anniversary Appeal at the event, with the aim to double the financial support it is able to provide young Cadets to undertake their own expeditions by 2021.


Guests at this special reception will also hear the announcement of the 2017 Prince of Wales Award winners for the best expedition in the following categories – Volunteer Reserve Forces, University Units and Cadet Forces. The awards will highlight the very best in leadership, challenge, courage and planning. The winners will be presented with certificates which have been personally signed by the Trust’s Patron HRH The Prince of Wales.

The winning expeditions are:

  • Best Reserve Expedition: SPEAR 17 – British Army Reserves: This expedition saw a team of six Reservists succeed in a 1,100-mile crossing of the Antarctic Ice Cap, in memory of Henry Worsley, who died just short of completing the same unsupported journey the previous year.
  • Best University Officers’ Training Corps (UOTC) Expedition: ARCTIC EXPRESS 2017 – London UOTC: 16 cadets undertook a two-week sailing adventure from NW Scotland to Iceland, facing North Atlantic storms on-board Yacht ‘Adventure’.
  • Best Cadet Expedition: STIRLING VENTURER 17 – TS Stirling Sea Cadets (Birmingham): Six Sea Cadets from TS Stirling and five from Birmingham’s Tile Cross Academy’ Combined Cadet Force (newly formed under the Government’s Cadet Expansion Scheme) attended a five-day Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge (JCLC) alongside 300 fellow international cadets at Fort Devens, USA.

The impact of expeditions can be summed up in the words of Cadet Hannah Jay, SCC (Forward Division) who took part in STIRLING VENTURER 17: ‘When I started on the JCLC I was so scared and homesick I wanted to go home and was crying all the time.  When it finished I didn’t want to go home and was crying at having to say goodbye to all my new friends. I have learnt so much. It was the best experience of my life so far’.


The event will be hosted by the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, Sir Gordon Messenger KCB, DSO*, OBE, who was himself a Mountain Leader with the Royal Marines, and a keen rock climber. He and Ulysses Trust Ambassador Levison Wood will be presenting the Prince of Wales Awards. Levison will also be taking part in a question and answer session with young cadets posing questions to the seasoned adventurer, author and film-maker.

The finale will be a display of drumming from ATC Sqn Corps of Drums from 114 (Ruislip) Sqn ATC.

The Ulysses Trust’s Chairman Nick Kurth said, ‘The event recognises the last 25 years of the Trust and looks forward to the future. In its first 25 years, the Trust has provided over £2.8m, thanks to a wide range of benefactors, to support some 2,650 expeditions benefitting over 34,000 young people. This is an important achievement contributing to the development of young people.’

Anyone wishing to support the Ulysses Trust can make a donation via its website:


  1. The Ulysses Trust supports adventurous activities for the UK’s Volunteer Reserve and Cadet Forces. It aims to benefit individual participants (by providing them with the opportunity to acquire skills such as leadership, confidence, teamwork, initiative, self-discipline and judgment), their Units (in terms of recruitment, morale and retention) and Society at large.
  2. As part of its 25th Anniversary celebrations the Ulysses Trust is launching an appeal to raise £1.5m by the end of 2021 to significantly increase the amount of support it can give to cadet expeditions.
  3. Ulysses Trust ambassador, Tania Noakes, has embarked on an expedition to raise funds for the appeal. Tania is skiing the classic Norge På Langs, or ‘Norway from end to end’ a journey she began in January 2018 of over 2,500km from the southern tip of Norway, Lindesnes to the most northerly point, Nordkapp. Follow her progress via
  4. The Ulysses Trust was founded on the back of a Territorial Army attempt at a first British winter ascent of Everest in 1992 led by Philip Neame (now a trustee and vice chairman of the Ulysses Trust), to provide funding assistance for challenging, adventurous and exciting expeditions and activities which involve members of the Reserve Forces and Cadet Forces.
  5. Further details of all expeditions supported by the Ulysses Trust can be found in the Expedition Reports section of our website including:
    1. SPEAR 17
    2. ARCTIC EXPRESS 2017

6. Registered Charity number: 1170600

RAF Benson Reservists

Corporal Simon Hartley

Cpl Simon Hartley joined up to the reserves following his interests in helicopters and refueling.

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Enjoying the different way of life, camaraderie and an opportunity to see the world, he has been privileged to work in Cyprus, Falklands and Afghanistan.

Being self-employed, he is able to be flexible with his work and still continue his work whilst deployed.

Due to the recent changes to the Reserves, the opportunities to progress through the ranks have increased and Cpl Hartley has recently been promoted.  He hopes to continue with the reserves for many years to come.


Senior Aircraftman – Hamlin – 4624 Movement Squadron

After seeing an advertisement for the Reserves, SAC Hamlin started the process to see if he could complete the challenges required to become one. He saw it as an opportunity to become part of the ultimate team and be constantly challenged as it is completely different to his civilian role.

As a self-employed specialist mover, he is able to supplement the regulars and work alongside them on shift and there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer to do the job for real.

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SAC Hamlin said “I had a fantastic week where I got to spend a week working at RAF Odiham, whilst helping them prepare to go on exercise which led to a flight on a Chinook, much to everyone’s envy.

The best thing is becoming part of the military family, the Reserves family and the Squadron family.  Everyone is great and with the diversity of all the different people, you learn to exist with everybody.  I’ve made some really good friends and you do have a special bond with the people you do your training with.  It’s the people you meet, the friends you can make and you have the sense that you are serving your country and you do your bit for real.”


Leading Aircraftman – Carter

LAC Carter’s grandfather was a chief technician on the Vulcan Bomber and as an Air cadet himself, he hoped to join at 16 to work on the Chinooks at Odiham but was unable to do so.  As the Reserves developed and more information became available about how to get involved, he followed his ambitions and signed up to the Reserves.

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LAC Carter said: “Brize Norton is the main hub and having so many opportunities there, I managed to complete all my licences at Leconsfield in less than a year and become operational. I am loving the diversity of the role of MT Driver which can be anything from driving Artics through to chauffeuring the Royals. The amount of stuff I have learnt has been amazing and there are endless opportunities to get qualifications through the RAF, I can’t see a downside.”


Leading Aircraftman – Reed – 606 (Chiltern) Squadron

Whilst looking for another job to compliment her self-employed job as a photographer, LAC Reed saw an advertisement for an RAF Photographer.

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Following on from the open day and fitness test, she wasn’t 100% sure if it was the role for her as she progressed through the training programme.

One of 11 girls of a 30 string troop during basic training, she found it to be hard and challenging.  On completion, she had a specialist interview with the media team and went straight into the 606 squadron from the strength of her self-employed portfolio.

LAC Reed is now enjoying the challenge and the disciplined side of military photography and being able to do something completely different, which brings another aspect to add to her portfolio.

When asked what has been the highlights, LAC Reed said: “The best thing so far has been; being able to fly and completing the flight safety day alongside the regulars, learning essential skills required to photograph in the air.  It’s not an opportunity you will get anywhere else.”

Royal Navy Reservists from the Medway Tender

Lieutenant Commander Tracy Peyman – Officer in Charge – Medway Tender

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On completion of her regular Royal Navy contract, Tracy transferred directly into the Reserves.

It enabled her to bring her existing naval skills to her role and give something back to the Reserve unit.


There was an existing Reserve unit within range of her home so it was an easy choice and has meant Tracy has been able to continue with the recruiting and training that she enjoys.


Tracy said:  “I would recommend anyone to sign up to either the Reserves or the Regulars.  There are so many opportunities within the Reserves and they are a lot more flexible so you can manage it around other commitments such as work and family. It’s a great hobby, fantastic experience and you are able to take your training and skills into your civilian employment.”



Lieutenant Jane Snoswell – Assistant Unit Operations Officer – Medway Tender


After fulfilling her British Airways career and being a mum, Jane returned to take up the opportunity to become a Reserve. Originally wanting to join the Navy as a full time sailor, the Reserves seemed like a really good option.


It can be difficult at times to balance the Reserves role with civilian life but the benefits are something that she really enjoys and her children enjoy her taking part in the activities that they do.


Jane said:  “I get all the challenges that come with being a submarine controller in my warfare job, as well as working with the unit.  As the divisional officer, I enjoy the opportunity to work with the unit as a whole.  The best thing about being a Reserve, is having that extra family and that extra challenge and be able to share those experiences with, not only with reserves here at Medway, but with the wider Reserve family as a whole.”

4th Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment

Private Adrian Woolston

Adrian saw the TV adverts for the Reserves and decided to apply as it was something he’d always wanted to do. As a self-employed Carpenter, he was looking for some excitement and the camaraderie that being involved with a team can offer.  Being self-employed, he is able to fit the reserves around his work to do as much or as little as he can afford.

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Having been previously with A Company, Adrian has transferred to the newly formed 4 PWRR with a view to promote next year after completing the qualifications required such as his team medics and Defence Instructional Techniques Courses.

Adrian said:  “ Being with the reserves has helped develop my confidence and allowed me to complete courses not available through my own career.  I have enjoyed travelling with them to Estonia and National Armed Forces Day was brilliant, with all the different forces working together and the support from the public.  Its been a fantastic experience.”


Private Rhiannon Nogan

Rhiannon began to show an interest in joining the Army at just ten years old and spoke to the careers office at aged 15 about her options to join.  There she was advised to apply to University with a view to enter through Sandhurst as an officer.

Res Bio - 4 PWRR - Nogan, Rhiannon

Rhiannon was initially unsure how joining the reserves would work because as far as she was aware, no other females had joined across any of the PWRR Battalions.  Females are not able to apply to the Infantry until September 2018, but luckily Rhiannon has been able to transfer over to 4 PWRR, as she is already enrolled with the University Officers’ Training Corps.


Rhiannon said:  “If that one guy in the careers office had not given me the advice I needed, I wouldn’t have gone to college or Uni or joined the UOTC.  I only wanted to join PWRR as most of those I have trained under at the UOTC, are with PWRR.  They achieve things in a really proactive way and everyone really gets on and enjoy the challenges they are faced with.  I had never been amazing at sport but had always tried to improve.  I really want to push myself and be someone that my family can look up to, so it is definitely what I want to do and therefore I have to make it happen.”

Exercise Winter Challenge 2017

Exercise Winter Challenge was a ski expedition that took place in Tignes, France with the Southampton University Officer Training Corps (SUOTC) between 16th and 23rd December 2017. The expedition was aimed at developing individual’s leadership qualities, navigational skills, physical robustness, confidence and ski expertise. This was certainly achieved and enjoyed by all through the excellent instructors and the continual practical application on the slopes.


On the afternoon of 16th, 30 Officer Cadets with 5 training instructors flew from Southampton airport into Geneva where they boarded a coach to make the 170 km, 3.5-hour journey to Tignes. Upon arrival, ski kit was issued and distributed by two staff members that had showed a great willingness to serve and act as support by making the 14 hour drive down the day before with all the necessary equipment needed.

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The UPCA accommodation that was used was originally set up by the French government to encourage and provide people with affordable accommodation to explore the outdoors. With buffet style breakfast, lunch dinner there was plenty eat. Bedrooms allowed for 4 persons with 2 rooms sharing bathroom facilities, which made for a cosy evening.


With the accommodation at 2,100 m in elevation sitting at the foot of the Grand Motte Glacier at 3,653 m, getting to the slopes in the morning didn’t take long at all. Lectures were delivered in the morning before breakfast; covering topics surrounding the area of skiing, mountain safety and awareness. To aid the learning experience, officer cadets helped deliver some of these topics such as cold weather injuries and weather patterns.

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Ski foundation (SF) 1 and SF 2 courses were run with all the officer cadets finding themselves in an environment that was challenging, forcing them to grow in confidence with the ability to make decisive decisions which is a fundamental skill within the British Army. The SF 1 group, comprising of some individuals who had never skied before and others who were still beginners, were taught the basics of downhill skiing and developing their natural effective position which saw them at the end of the week navigating down red runs. The SF 2 groups which had more experienced skiers, focused on finer details, refining their ability to tackle difficult black runs, off piste slopes and re-learning incorrect habits. With 300 km of ski runs available and more with the off piste, ranging from an altitude of 3,456 m to 1,550 m there was no running out of trails to do.


Although there wasn’t spectacular weather the whole week, this didn’t stop their activities. On the day, it was blowing a blizzard causing low visibility, the instructors utilised the harsh weather to run through avalanche search and rescue procedures. Transceivers were switched to search, bags were buried and with the clock ticking their well-rehearsed techniques became second nature. The probe line search technique was also taught and practiced so if in the event of a person not having a transceiver on them and they are buried by an avalanche, they can still be rescued.


A highlight for most of the officer cadets during the week was the introduction to ski touring. This was the first time for many of them in experiencing what ski touring can offer and the places it can take you. Although all of them would have liked to adventure further into the Alps, the instructors did well in finding a location away from the populated, maintained piste but not too far as to be too strenuous. The instructors did an excellent job in advertising the benefits and enjoyment that comes with ski touring.  Another memorable moment for most was evaluating the avalanche risk, aided by digging a rutsch block and identifying the snow pack alongside digging snow holes and using rescue shelters.

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After an exhilarating yet enjoyable week the expedition finished well, all this having been able to happen because of the generous support from South East RFCA .  All the officer cadets are so thankful to the instructors and staff’s efforts in managing the logistics to put together such an amazing expedition which ran so smoothly.