1st Battalion The Highlanders Army Cadet Force (ACF) held their Annual Camp at the Barry Buddon Training Area near Carnoustie from 15-28 July.
Highland RFCA’s Deputy Chief Executive, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Andrew Macnaughton, visited on 18 July. He was welcomed by Commandant Colonel Michael Anderson, Deputy Commandant Lieutenant Colonel Tim Martin and Cadet Executive Officer Major Jim Stout at the Unit Headquarters. They held a meeting at the Officers’ Mess where they discussed some of the challenges and successes of delivering the cadet experience.
The Annual Camp saw 158 cadets and 57 Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAVs) taking part. This was the Battalion’s first proper Annual Camp since 2019. The Commandant emphasised the resourcefulness and improvisation in the last few years. Colonel Anderson said: “The resilience of our staff has been nothing short of outstanding.”
One of the CFAVs helping to make the Annual Camp possible, Moray Company’s Second-in-Command and Culloden Detachment’s Commander, Captain Bart Lucas MBE, is the twelfth longest-serving CFAV in the country as well as the third longest-serving CFAV still in uniform who holds a rank. He was made a Member of the British Empire in His Majesty The King’s Birthday Honours List for 2023. The King’s Birthday Honours mark the extraordinary contributions and service of people across the UK.
Throughout his forty-plus years with the ACF, Captain Lucas has held several key appointments within the Battalion, ranging from the Battalion’s Duke of Edinburgh Officer to Company Commander and even the Battalion’s Adjutant. Prior to reaching retirement age, Bart was also employed as the Battalion’s Administrative Officer as his day job, working from the Battalion Headquarters in Inverness.
The ACF core syllabus training is progressive and allows cadets the opportunity to learn vital skills that are recognised in formal qualifications. All cadets receive training in life-saving first aid skills to enable them to cope in the event of an accident or incident. On the day of the HRFCA visit, intermediate 1 Star Cadets were learning how to help an unconscious patient, how to dress a wound, and how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Another group of cadets was taking turns delivering presentations on minor injuries to each other.
For the cadets, Annual Camp really does reflect the ACF tagline of “Fun, Friendship, Action and Adventure”. Camp is also when the cadets really get to grips with the ACF syllabus with two weeks of training. This year’s Camp programme included paintball battles, navigation and expedition, fieldcraft, first aid training, adventurous training, drill and shooting.
Fieldcraft is one of the most popular cadet activities in the ACF. Fieldcraft is taught throughout the year, but the cadets look forward to going out in the field and working as a team to patrol an area at night during Annual Camp. Teamwork and communication are both skills developed in fieldcraft exercises that are readily transferable to everyday life.
To find out more about 1st Battalion The Highlanders ACF, click HERE.
- Main image, top of page: 2 Star Cadets gathered ahead of fieldcraft.