Members updated at Area Meetings

December 8, 2021

The HRFCA Northern, Southern and Eastern Area Committee members were finally able to meet face-to-face this year.

The HRFCA membership, including Armed Forces and Veteran champions as well as the heads of the Service Cadets and the Armed Forces units in the Highlands and Islands area, is geographically divided into three Area Committees. The committees typically get together annually to network and discuss challenges, developments, achievements and future plans.

The Northern Area Committee Meeting took place on October 30 at Ross Company 1st Battalion The Highlanders Army Cadet Force Headquarters at the Dingwall Cadet Training Centre. Commodore (Retd.) Angus Ross led the meeting as the Chairman.

The Northern Area Committee meeting in full swing.

The Southern Area Committee Meeting was successfully held virtually via Zoom on November 2, led by Chair Lieutenant Colonel Gilly Moncur. A key focus at the meeting was the Engagement & Outreach Committee’s endeavours, including their Diversity and Inclusion efforts.

Last but not least, the Eastern Area Committee Meeting was facilitated by Angus and Dundee Battalion Army Cadet Force at their Headquarters at Barry Buddon Training Camp on November 30. The Eastern Area Committee Chairman, Colonel (Retd.) Jim Kinloch, led the first half of the meeting.

Eastern Area Committee members
From left, HRFCA Chief Executive Brigadier Mark Dodson, Eastern Area Committee Chairman Colonel (Retd.) Jim Kinloch, HRFCA Chairman Nick Dorman and Eastern Area Committee Representative Member Lieutenant Colonel (Retd.) Eric Blyth.

A group of Angus and Dundee Battalion cadets and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers organised three cadet stands for the Eastern Area members. The members got the opportunity to learn and try out three different cadet activities: Scorpion Air Rifle Range, Laser Shot Gun and First Aid. HRFCA has helped fund some of these amenities.

Scorpion Air Rifle demonstration
A group of Eastern Area Committee members at the Scorpion Air Rifle cadet stand.

The Laser Shot Gun has been popular with the cadets, which seemed to be the case with the members too.

members trying out the Laser Shooting cadet stand
Eastern Area Members trying out the Laser Shot Gun cadet stand.

The cadets demonstrated some of their First Aid training, which is a big part of their training syllabus. They went through scenarios such as bandaging up a bleeding injury and helping someone who is choking.

cadets demonstrating First Aid
Dundee and Angus cadets and CFAV demonstrating how to treat someone with a bleeding injury.
cadets demonstrating First Aid
Dundee and Angus cadets and CFAV demonstrating First Aid with a training tool.

One of the Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAV), Probationary Instructor Robert Harkness, is an instructor with the Monifieth Detachment of Angus and Dundee Battalion’s Cambrai Company. He recalled his cadet experience and achievements to the members: “It was right before lockdown that I joined up as a CFAV. I was a cadet from the age of 12 and when I turned 18, I joined as a CFAV, which is now one year and nine months ago. I completed a Basic Conduction and an Intermediate Conduction Course, learning the Cadet syllabus. Then last week, I went on my Advanced Induction Course, which is basically a week of teaching. I also got a SQA qualification out of it as well, which is a great thing that HRFCA paid for. I’m just waiting on my Sergeant promotion now.”

Quite a lot of his training was conducted virtually over Zoom. The process took longer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why the Battalion wanted to surprise him with the presentation for his promotion to Sergeant Instructor. He recently completed his Advanced Induction Course at Barry Buddon, qualifying him for promotion. HRFCA Chief Executive, Brigadier Mark Dodson, presented him with his badge after the cadet stands.

cadet receiving a promotion
From left, Company Commander for Arras and Cambrai Companies Major Sarah High, newly-promoted Sergeant Instructor Robert Harkness, HRFCA Chief Executive Brigadier (Retd.) Mark Dodson and HRFCA mascot Sergeant Major George.