On the 11th-17th of April I attended the seniors NCO course with CPL. Hawinkles.
The SNCO course is the leadership course that is attended after the JNCO course (which I had attended last year) at Royal NZ Air Force Base Ohakea near Bulls. The courses aim was to provide selected NZCF Cadets the knowledge and skills to the standard of Senior NCO duties within an NZCF Unit.
Before I arrived at Ohakea I was really nervous and panicking, even though I had received past comments saying that it was much more relaxing than the Juniors NCO course.
I attended the SNCO Course with 30 other cadets from the three corps (Army cadets, Sea cadets and air cadets).
We headed over to the training centre where we were given an introduction about the course as well as introducing ourselves to the whole course. After the introduction the course separated into 3 syndicates. The syndicate I was a part of was named #1hunnet%forREALZ because we all gave 1hunnet% towards each activity we did, and it was very popular on the first day when somebody from my syndicate said it.
Anyway each cadet was given their own individual room, within a barracks and were expected to be self-managing experienced leaders – there was no wakeup call. However some of us managed to wake up 30 minutes early or an hour before it was time to get up, to wake up everyone else because we didn’t want to be late for breakfast. Each day we managed to take control of the syndicate whether it be marching or making sure everybody was organised.
The course was broken into 3 terminals, the first was Instructional Technique (“IT”) which is, in a basic sense, classroom lessons. They’re not too exciting, but they are really informative and useful when it comes to developing plans and presenting or instructing. Lessons were given by the staff before we were split into three syndicates in which we took our own turns at instructing. We first started with knot tying as a precursor lesson, before we went onto the proper test which was based on bushcraft. Bushcraft was the second terminal that we had to complete in front of our syndicates again.
Before our final terminal we were visited by Wing Commander Sinclair, who is the highest ranked officer in Cadet Forces. He talked to use about his history in Cadet Forces and other experiences he’s had while in the Cadet Forces. People would say his talk really inspired all of us who attended SNCO to gain careers in the Defence Forces. The final terminal was SNCO Drill. We were broken into each of our Corps and had to meet the standard of a SNCO on parade while taking there Corps specific drill e.g. I had to take all of the Air Training Corps Cadets.
After the final terminal we had to do one more thing which was the final parade which is the parade that concludes our course. It occurred during the afternoon of Friday straight after our final terminal, congratulating everyone for passing.
We finished a bit early so we stayed in the classroom and watched movies while saying goodbye to everyone and scheduling our next reunion.
In conclusion the SNCO Course was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my whole life. I’m glad I attended the course because everything was really awesome especially the popcorn LOL, and I definitely would encourage everyone else from my unit to go because it a really good experience and helps you a lot.