MattB, to answer your points…
I didn’t say we have always done it that way, I said we have always done it and there is no reason to stop it. That is in comparison with trying to start doing something we have never done on a corps wide basis.
So your target shooting officers will be happy the their rifles will be taken into the woods, get dropped, covered in mud, soaked in the rain and, according to Baldrick, take twice as long to clean? This will reduce the time they can be used for target shooting, a core activity!
VGS pilots have to take the same medical as fast jet pilots. Again this is not a sensible argument. VGS pilots are not asking to fly fast jets. There is a massive difference between flying a glider and a Typhoon. What you are proposing is providing an Armed aspect to basic Infantry training, which is what FT is. Therefore you should be as fit as an Infantry Soldier to provide Armed FT. Another reason for this fitness will be supervision levels. There will be a requirement for this and it will most probably be 1:5 close supervision. This means not driving round in a Land Rover, but being with them as they run around the woods. Not many FT staff I know would be able to do this.
This is an emotive issue and it will take a great deal to change my opinion. This will add costs to an activity that is currently provided cheaply as cadets (or squadrons) will have to buy more kit, more training course will have to be funded on top of paying for the rounds and greater upkeep of the rifles. This would be fine if we had money sloshing about, but we don’t. Cuts are being made everywhere and I do not see the justification on providing such an expensive change to an area that is already providing fun and leadership experience to the cadets.