Caithness cadets reopen doors

November 17, 2020

Army cadets from Caithness have reopened their doors to training following more than seven months of coronavirus restrictions.

Thurso and Castletown Detachments of 1st Battalion the Highlanders held their first event in 227 days last Saturday by hosting Training Day at Thurso Cadet Centre.

Since the end of March, cadets up and down the country have moved their training online to ensure cadets were not falling behind in their cadet progression and also trying to help improve people’s mental health by staying connected during the restrictions.

Throughout lockdown the cadets of Caithness have been engaging with the Battalion’s Online Programme, from weekly training lessons to online competitions and challenges. The cadets took full advantage of the day’s training on Saturday – keeping to social distancing guidelines – where they took part in First Aid Training, Drill & Turnout and Military Knowledge Testing. For those more senior level cadets who are looking to become Cadet Instructors, there was also teaching preparation for the Battalion’s upcoming Junior Cadet Instructor Course, which will be delivered virtually this month.

Keoni Jones proudly wearing his sergeant stripes.

At the end of the training the combined detachments made several presentations. Cadet Keanu Jones (14), Cadet Corporal Keoni Jones (17) and Cadet Corporal Caitlin Green (17) were presented with their National Sports Competitor Badges, by the Battalion’s Deputy Commandant (Cadets) Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Reid (53), for taking part in the ACF’s Virtual 1 Mile Competition in June. Cpl Green was also presented with her Sports Certificate and Colours for representing Scotland in ACF Rugby. 

The final presentation made was to Cpl Jones, who was promoted to Sergeant by Lt Col Reid.

Army cadets are allowed to return to face-to-face training in Scotland as it falls under the youth sector and is classed as a designated essential service that engages young people within their communities and also acknowledges the wider networks of peers, community and culture, as well as supporting the young person to realise their potential and to address life’s challenges critically and creatively.