Fieldcraft policy update - Dec 2018


Yeah, what Angus said. The model of Fieldcraft we teach is infantry based, as in it is based on using only what you can carry on your person.

It’s just that we now have to teach a model where the cadets aren’t allowed to have bags big enough to allow them to carry the kit they need? Seriously, read the CEMO kit list in the ACF manual, then look at the size of the approved NI pack. It makes no sense.


You say NI pack. Are you referring to the old Northern Ireland issued pack or the current cadet patrol pack? I don’t think there would be too many issues getting the CEMO kit in to a current patrol pack if the side pouches are used and the sleeping bag isn’t a massive one.


If you make the cadets you are letting have a waterfight dress up like firefighters, use hoses like firefighters and use tactics that firefighters use then yes you would be!

Nice to be called thick when I am just pointing out the flaws in your logic!!


Unless I am massively mistaken, the cadet pack as required in the lessons is just a rebranded NI pack, they look very similar in the photographs.

@talon, can you assist?


One is a day of dressing up and playing with hoses, another is a four month, full time course covering everything from driving, first aid, firefighting, chemical handling, confined spaces training training and half a hundred other things.

You still don’t see a huge, vast, fundamental difference?


Yeah, I see what you mean now, I had a smaller 30 litre patrol pack in mind that I referred to as an NI patrol pack but seems the 50 Litre is almost identical to the Cadet one.


I was trying to explain it to my boss on Monday, so I took an issue sleeping bag, and the NI pack we randomly have in stores and challenged him to put the one in the other. It does not work.


It is rated at 50L based on the Cadet Kit Shop page. But having seen the ACF ones up close it’s about a 35-40L main compartment. So slightly smaller than the PRI PLCE Infantry daysack without rocket pouches.
It’s not too bad a bit of kit for the money, but it ain’t a Bergen either!


Agreed. The issue sleeping bag if nothing else actually stops anyone’s bergen (even a full-size infantry one) from being too heavy, as there’s very little space left to put anything heavy in it once the bag is in there.


I fundamentally disagree!

What about fitness tested, 17+ yo cadets on JL?
What if you are out in cool weather and want to make sure cadets have plenty of warm kit even though they have a 1/2 mile walk in to the harbour?
What about when you’re travelling over longer distances with some tiny sprogs for whom 10kg is a pretty hefty weight but would be seen as ‘fine’ because there’s an arbitrary number that they’re below?

What we could do is just use some common sense and match the requirements to the situation…


Which always begs the question with me, watching the Cold Weather RAF Regiment climatic injuries video. If that bloke managed to go on exercise without his sleeping bag, smock or roll mat, What was in his bergen??? (and it is a bergen in the packing scene, but may be a NI pack in the clearly daylight with a blue filter outdoors bit.)


Harribo and ‘specialist literature’.


JL demonstrates how stupid this is. JL issued every cadet on the course with a set of PLCE in September, each will have been shown how to properly fit it, issued with SOPs and instructions on how to pack it, and now, technically, the next weekend they are banned from using it! The cost to the Corps to replace that kit would be huge, especially when the webbing they had was blagged from the regulars for free!


And four cans of Stella.


Perhaps if he’d spent more time reading the literature with the standard actions on, he would have kept warmer?


It is the same basic design but it is a little larger. I believe an NI pack is somewhere around the 30-35L mark. The issue cadet bergen is 50L. Now, you can just about pack you kit in there for staying out for 1 night in summer, but any more than that and they are too small. The pack is OK for juniors to use, but senior cadets have to do more and therefore take more kit. I issue all my cadets with infantry bergens instead, and they are all shown what to pack in there.


We’ve got some NI packs but they aren’t suitable for overnight jobs - there are two problems with a ‘this is appropriate, so thalt shall…’ approach - the first is that it takes little account of the differences in equipment that cadets have and can afford: so a 3 season synthetic bag from Snugpak that cost £90 will compress a great deal smaller than a 3 season synthetic bag from Argos that cost £30, and the second is that it fails to take into account the difference between how effectively and efficiently you can pack your gear in a warm, dry room and half an hour to do it in (to prove a point to whining Sqn people who say you are divorced from reality), and who’s quickly and efficiently you can do it in the rain and mud of a training area.


Another factor is there just aren’t enough of them anyway. The ACF are supposed to use them but the scale is worked out depending on how many live weapons you have, despite the fact that there are not enough weapons for 1 per cadet, so on ex we often have to swap rifles around etc. This means that if we were only to use the issued kit, about half of our cadets would have to deploy on ex with no load carrying kit.

The morale of the story is: Don’t bother with the cadet training vest or cadet ‘bergen’. Burn them with fire.


Not for the cadets it isn’t!

What is so wrong in calling it Infantry Training? Why are you trying so hard to define it as something different?


Of course, the vest was designed with Army cadets in mind. We definitely do deliver infantry training. Sounds like bad procurement to me.