Retesting why, when it doesn't happen for everything


#1

Why do we retest on weapons every six months and differing periods for various other things, when you could not drive a car or like my son a motorbike for a number of years, yet you can just get on one / behind the wheel, and, not get retested.
I know quite a number of people who have broken limbs and not driven for several months and just started again.
The friend of one of daughters’ passed her driving test when she was 17 and didn’t drive for 4 years afterwards and then it’s only occasional weekends.
The blokes mainly who have a ‘mid-life’ crisis and buy a large motorbike probably having ridden one for 20 years.
Even riding a push bike, you might not ride one for years and get the urge, buy one and off you go.


#2

WHTs are completed every 6 months, because the same happens in the regulars, but mainly as it forms part of the Safe System of Training in that it confirms Safe People.

Cadets that are out of currency rarely pass first time, unless they normally do a lot of shooting, the cause of failure is not normally procedural but safety related.

We also have to complete a matrix test every 5 years - why our civilian licence for which I completed a Theory Test for back in 2013 isn’t good enough I’m not sure - it’s in effect an employed ensuring that its people are up to date and aware of safety rules etc.

Standard military assurance for the DDH


#3

But in the regulars it’s all part of their day job, not something you have to try and fit in somehow and normally involves taking up valuable range time for the majority.

The first time our Wing Shooting bod mentioned Safe System of Training there was a collective sigh and eye roll as we all just knew it was going to mean more faffing and less doing. I just see it as a safe system to show my job needs to be done.

None of us are employed within the ATC so why we have to play their silly games wrt things such as driving eludes me and why I have never have bothered with a 600, despite people nagging me to as I have a D1 by right. I have driven minibuses, cars and landies on a number of camps, but only ever gone down, given copies of licence, signed a book and got on with it.

I don’t give a monkey’s about the DDH as they mean nothing other than some overpaid individual who need to justify their role.


#4

I can tell you it’s not part of the day job, it’s a faff trying to arrange it once a year. Even after trying to arrange two months in advance I still ended up taking the course a month late.


#5

All more the reason for binning the need in the CF, even if dents egos.


#6

I disagree. It’s a faff for me to organise as I’m not infantry.
As for the cadet forces it should be six month testing. Especially for cadets.
At the end of the day you are putting a weapons system in the hands of a minor. In my mind there needs to be at least some safeguards in place.


#7

As a cadet like many thousand before and after had training on the .22 a few months after joining and over my cadet life went on to shoot .22 and .303. I had about an hour on the 7.62 at camp in 1981 with some Rocks and went onto shoot it without another test until I finished as a cadet, In 1985 I did a weekend course to become a .22 RCO and trained, tested many cadets and took a lot of ranges over the next 15 or so years and only ever retested one cadet as a punishment for continually talking while cadets were shooting and reminder to the others as to the behaviour I expected.

So to say you are putting a rifle (or (somewhat grandiosely) a weapons system in modern parlance) in the hands of a minor like it is a bad thing and they can’t be trusted, how we managed not to shoot others / each other, do ourselves an injury is just a mystery.

Too many people think that kids today are inadequate and for those in the ATC displaying this attitude should consider why they do it. I expect from ‘joe public’ although even they should cast their minds back a few years.


#8

I in no way think cadets are inadequate, I do however think that in order to operate the weapons they need to be adequately trained and tested, not because of the lack of incidents in the past. You don’t remove the batteries from your fire alarm because you’ve never had a fire.
The training and testing also instills the respect the system deserves. It’s not a utilitarian tool like a car, it’s a system designed to take the life of another being. Regardless that it’s used for target shooting, the original purpose for the device isn’t magically taken away by putting it in the hands of cadet forces.

And saying I should have a look at why I volunteer because I feel they should be tested? Please.


#9

This is a perfect quote.

@Teflon you seem to be a little obsessed with removing safeguards that keep the cadets safe and and allows us to deliver those activities that hold a Risk to Life. If managed appropriately it doesn’t cause an issue.

There are other burdens that could be reduced, would have a greater/wider impact to volunteering staff that we should be focusing on rather than reducing safeguards - something that simply won’t happen in the current Risk Adverse environment.


#10

Don’t get me wrong I’m not fully sold on the whole of the safe system of training, I feel a lot of it isn’t over done. (As a student I can’t stand EDIP for example).

However considering that some cadets don’t shoot very often surely that’s an either bigger reason to make sure they were tested recently? Shooting is a skill and like any skill if you aren’t doing it you will degrade.

For cadets that shoot all the time regular testing is probably not needed as much, but if they shoot all the time they shouldn’t have an issue with getting a test anyway.

WhatbI would like to see is a reintroduction of the old qCWHT this was a great qualification and made getting regular tests done much easier.


#11

[quote=“themajor, post:9, topic:3099, full:true”]@Teflon you seem to be a little obsessed with removing safeguards that keep the cadets safe and and allows us to deliver those activities that hold a Risk to Life. If managed appropriately it doesn’t cause an issue.

There are other burdens that could be reduced, would have a greater/wider impact to volunteering staff that we should be focusing on rather than reducing safeguards - something that simply won’t happen in the current Risk Adverse environment.[/quote]
I don’t know how long you’ve been involved with the Corps, but this constant testing is a new invention and we had done far more shooting before than we ever have or will after the test and retest system.

I think this is a burden on staff; those qualified and those who have to get them to where qualified staff are with rifles (sorry weapons system … must get with the lingo). I have had cadets go on Wing shoots and they have spent hours getting staff and cadets tested and then cadets sitting around or doing time fillers, waiting to shoot a few rounds. I don’t dispute there are other burdens as my survey return outlines.

[quote=“daws1159, post:10, topic:3099, full:true”]However considering that some cadets don’t shoot very often surely that’s an either bigger reason to make sure they were tested recently? Shooting is a skill and like any skill if you aren’t doing it you will degrade.

For cadets that shoot all the time regular testing is probably not needed as much, but if they shoot all the time they shouldn’t have an issue with getting a test anyway.

WhatbI would like to see is a reintroduction of the old qCWHT this was a great qualification and made getting regular tests done much easier.[/quote]
From my experience as a cadet and RCO I dispute people ‘degrading’, I think this notion is one put about by those looking to make our cadets look incompetent, unless they do some admin exercise and unfortunately too many senior people in this organisation are sheep like and won’t challenge ‘experts’.

I do agree that binning qcwht was a mistake. I had two of these on the sqn and they laughed when someone (not me) suggested doing the SAAI, they enjoyed the role and felt like they were contributing something positive.


#12

With regard to the OP, it’s not at all comparable to driving a car, based purely on frequency of occurrence. A cadet can quite easily handle the rifle for not more than 10 minutes in a single day, on some badly organised range days I’ve seen, and then go 12 or 18 months before picking it up again. For the sake of a WHT, I much rather have the assurance the cadet hasn’t forgot the drills. If you plan your range day effectively, it doesn’t impact on it at all.

I disagree with this. I used to hold qcWHT, and no other range/WI quals, and it did used to be really effective in taking burden away from range staff, and an effective means of getting testing done on Sqn. I got my qual from attendance at a coaching course, using the No8, and like many others, had it repealed. I couldn’t understand the change - it made no sense to me. Until, that is, I did my SAAI course. At which I point I realised how totally inadequately prepared I was to do a WHT on the L98, armed only with my qcWHT. The depth of knowledge required to accurately assess an L98 WHT cannot be gained or proven on the back of a simple coaching course. That said, I would be fully in favour of a re-reinstatement of the qual in a revised form, whereby it allows conduct on the No8/L144, but certainly not the FB SR.


#13

Indeed, so as you say limit it to .22 only. No significant depth of knowledge is required to understand a bolt-action rifle and you get the on-squadron capability you need without the embuggerance of having to get someone onto a week-long course.


#14

Do your cadets pass first time? If they don’t their failure justifies the requirement for the renewal of currency via WHT.

A problem is a lack of desire of staff to test those who are current but will be out of date by the time of the next shoot, as this can form concurrent activity, reducing the faff on the start of a day.

On the other side I have spent 3+ hours along with another SAAI completing tests at the start of the day due to lack of familiarity which is incredibly frustrating, but not always the fault of the cadet.


#15

[quote=“themajor, post:14, topic:3099, full:true”]Do your cadets pass first time? If they don’t their failure justifies the requirement for the renewal of currency via WHT.[/quote] Some do some don’t (law of averages) but it’s normally silly things that have no bearing on the actual ability to fire the weapon.

[quote=“themajor, post:14, topic:3099, full:true”]A problem is a lack of desire of staff to test those who are current but will be out of date by the time of the next shoot, as this can form concurrent activity, reducing the faff on the start of a day.[/quote]Surely you prioritise those that need it, rather than those that don’t

[quote=“themajor, post:14, topic:3099, full:true”]On the other side I have spent 3+ hours along with another SAAI completing tests at the start of the day due to lack of familiarity which is incredibly frustrating, but not always the fault of the cadet.[/quote]But this is down to a system for shooting that is dogmatic and intensely concentrated on paperwork and the process. Also too few staff qualified and inappropriate qualifications was always going to create problems and this is one, cadets shoot so infrequently that they aren’t comfortable with the rifle.


#16

When I had mine we did it as a bespoke Course and were only allowed to use it on the No8, if we wanted to use it for L98 we had to do a bolt on. I see no reason why it can’t be used certainly for Air Rifle & .22 rifles.


#17

Sometimes after doing so many retests especially when it is a list like the WHT it just becomes a process and you can just do it automatically without learning anything. Which doesn’t actually make you any safer or better.


#18

You think that about everything.


#19

For single shot rifles, I think that the current system is over-bearing & over-protective. These are not wpns of war, they are tgt rifles. However, I would agree that the L98 needs greater safety emphasis. In the good old days, I was trained on the No 8 by a cadet cpl who already had a marksman badge. For the .303, it moved up to a cadet sgt! We all survived… :wink:

The drills are inconsistent (carry rifle bolt open or bolt closed, breech flag / no breech flag?), the L144 will soon suffer from damaged firing pins due to firing off the action on an empty chamber, & the air rifle UNLOAD followed by inspection is a pointless exercise - after the UNLOAD (which includes firing off the action), there can’t be anything in the breech / barrel, as the huge blast of air just cleared it!

It would aid trg immensely if the drills were simplified (as per NRA / NSRA parameters) & then allow local trg (heresy, heresy!). It is because of the rigidity of the drills that there are issues, tied in with the difficulty in getting a tester (who also has to keep currency, sometimes just as difficult to coordinate).

Until SASC / HQAC flight it out, it’s not going to happen though.


#20

You don’t train locally?