Nijmegan March - Advice for cadets

Discussion in 'ACF' started by Dobber, Jan 24, 2012.

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  1. Here goes...

    We have an AI Sergeant in our detachment, and he wants all of the NCOs to do the Nijmegan march next year. Unfortunately he isn't being realistic, and I don't think he will ever realise how unrealistic it is until it fails miserably...

    Main points needed for advice:

    - He wants only the NCOs to take part, excluding anyone else that is fit enough but not an NCO, even though there are a few better suited to the task.
    - For every single NCO, the march takes place in the middle of school or college exams, I don't want him to start persuading anyone that this is more important because it's for charity... There are better ways to fundraise with our resources.
    - We're being made to do it in green kit for some reason, even though we've been measured up for MTP and should have been issued it by then, which means everyone will need a set of black boots that should be suited to walking long distances, will issue boots + insoles + bridgdale's be good enough?
    - We've been told to wear issue bergans, and that we have to carry 40kg of kit even though we have a minivan, there is no requirement to carry this much kit, and it doesn't seem safe, especially for the smaller NCOs.
    - He thinks we should do the gold march, 35 miles a day... again this doesn't seem like a sensible goal for 17 year-olds unless they're naturally physically fit, which some NCOs are, but most are not.
    - The dropout rate is somewhere around 25% so county money (being used to subsidise the trip) will be wasted on a few cadets.

    This sounds like we're a bunch of lazy gits, which we are, regardless, although some would be able to manage it, I don't think many could.

    This would also be a Sergeant that walks around with his hands in his pockets and his beret looking like a flying saucer.

    Any advice on the above would be much appreciated, I'm trying to save cadets time in being "persuaded" in to something they don't want to do, along with preventing a waste of other people's money and time.

    Cheers, Dobber.
  2. Has your County CoC actually agreed to it, considering you say next year and not this one? And I'm not too sure from your post - are you a cadet or another AI?
  3. I'm not sure if any of what i'm going to say is any use, but i'll say it anyway. Having completed this march in 2007 as an Air Cadet, I am aware of the preparation that goes into it. I'll explain how Kent wing approached the situation and maybe you could extract things that would be helpful. Something that they put on was a taster weekend the previous year of the march (around christmas time), this gave people an idea of what the march would entail, team skills, foot care, equipment checks, walking and so on. This could be something you could use, to make sure you dont waste time of those that don't fully understand the concept of it. After this we started training in the January, setting up 1 weekend everyone month where we upped the distances covered over the weekends, because of this, none of us dropped out as we were all physically and mentally prepared for the march (it is mentally tough walking for such a long time and distances). Because we were all under 18, we did not have to carry any weight, however we did put out 5 teams, and those who stayed in the military base and were walking as part of the military contigent had to obey the guidelines. They also had to march in combats, with beret on, stable belt and combat boots. So unless you are marching as part of the military contingent, the clothes you wear do not matter. For example my team and one other stayed in a local gym and wore OGs and white tshirts for the 4 days of marching. I definitely agree with the weigh carrying poiny, 40kg is a lot of weight. Sorry if this is long winded and totally not the answer you was after, but as I said, thought i'd share my experienced on how we did it, and maybe it would help. Let me know.
  4. County hasn't agreed to it yet, I'm hoping it will be stopped/sorted there, but last time I sent a letter to County concerning new kit, three months ago, I didn't get a reply.

    I'm a cadet NCO, if it helps.
  5. When The local ATC did it a few years ago it was own boots, Own day sack with water proofs in it and all that crap you kids carry, and a Sqn T-Shirt Instead of Cs95 shirt, This Ai sounds like a cock, as much as most ACF think. they are just kids
  6. 40kg? For 35 miles? In issue boots? For cadets?
  7. Do the cosford march first
  8. Tell him to cock off, he sounds like a throbber of the highest order.
  9. Right, advice is based on my Company, in the West Mids, your experience could, and probably will vary, with regard to how det staff operate.

    Your CSM is there for concerns like this. He should be sharing that with the 2ic (responsible for staff - and therefore this issue) and the CO, who will making the case to HQ. Concerns about exams are perfectly valid, remember family->work/school->ACF. From speaking to other County staff at the CTC, etc. Nijm is one of those things that is talked about, but happens very rarely. It's a *lot* of work (outlined nicely above).
  10. No matter what boots you use , your feet will be in bits by the end of day 2 , because you are walking 25 km /day on cobbled roads . Brufen , needle and thread , loads of fresh socks and sticking plasters will all help , but it will still hurt . If you need a medic , try to find an American one , they have loads of good stuff with them , lots of sympathy and their girl medics are very pretty .
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Mind, if one of the cadets passes out due to the heat, lack of sleep or whatever the whole team could be pulled from the march because of "irresponsible behaviour". Kids doing Nijmegen only need to carry their food/drinks/plasters.

    I don't see why he'd push it with the distance. It's 40K for kids aged 16-18. If they don't train or are otherwise unfit I'd stick to the 40K. That should be managable for everybody.
  12. If things have not changed, their military march requires 10 Kg of kit and they do only the 40Km/day, the green label was applied. 40Kg is dangerously lunatic for all bar a few very fit cadets, endov. Roads pound feet.

    This is a report from a cedet who attended the 2011, shamelessly lifted from the Hants and IoW site: (Note the age comment, I suspect lower limit may be 16yrs)

  13. Sounds like your AI Sgt nees a bit one-to-one counselling from your County HQ Staff! To kick start this he/she needs the support from your Coy Comdr, permission from County HQ, consent from Parents or Guardians and more importanly, the willing consent of the individuals he is encouraging to take on this monumental task! Sounds like he's ex Marine/Para trying to achieve his failures through sucess with Cadets!

    Regarding the clash with School exam prep and training; for me there is no contest - school exams and academic qualifications come head and shoulders above anything the ACF may wish you to achieve!

    PM me if you wish to chat further.
  14. 'e's 'avin' a giraffe!
  15. I did this march as an air cadet back in.......1969. I was 13 years old at the time. Our preparation was traveling to what was a transit camp at Shornecliffe/Cheriton every other weekend on a Friday afternoon/evening and then marching around Kent all day on the Saturday and Sunday mornings. Sunday afternoon was the train back to West Drayton near Heathrow airport. The MOD used to give us train warrents. As the march got closer, we started going every weekend.

    When we did the march, we were split into two teams. A military team and a civilian team. I was in the military team and we march in uniform with webbing. It was the old 38 patt webbing. It don't remember the weight now but it wasn't weighted down much. It was pretty hard work but I don't recall anybody dropping out. I remember the instructor was an old boy, old to us anyway, called Mr Flood who oversaw the training. He swore by drinking hot tea. Even on a boiling day, we drank hot tea. Stopped you getting stomach cramps by cooling your stomach too quickly but kept you nice and hydrated. Seemed to work for us kids although I never heard of it when I was in the mob?

    It was of course, an extremely strenuous year and needed a lot of time and commitment. It's not to be undertaken lightly. Of course, 43 years later, who knows what it's like now?