From The Senior Under Officer WCACU, Christopher Salem
On Saturday, 19 October, 24 personnel from the Waverley College Cadet Unit participated in the Annual CAS Cadet Units Military Skills competition. The competition consisted of teams from all CAS Cadet Units, with a range of activities that engaged and tested them in several fields in the bush location at Holsworthy Army range. Activities included: navigation, medics/ first aid, contact in the field and sending radio messages. There was also a quick decision exercise to test the team’s initiative. Each activity was conducted by a different school/unit and provided an enriching and comprehensive lesson for many of the younger cadets. The teams then gathered for a BBQ lunch to celebrate the event, and many Waverley cadets took this opportunity to engage with members of other units, discussing their experiences during their time in cadets. The competition was won by the team from the Trinity Grammar School Cadet Unit who were suitably congratulated by all of the other teams. The trophy, previously held by Waverley, was formally presented by the Commander of the NSW 2nd AAC Brigade, Colonel Michael Miller. Although Waverley were not victors, our men gathered to sing ‘Men of Waverley’ for our Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel (AAC) Frost acknowledging his last CAS Military Skills Competition as the CO of Waverley College Cadet Unit.
Our team then headed to the Holsworthy Base rifle rang range for a ‘live fire’ activity. We were met by the RSM of the 4/3 Battalion, Royal NSW Regiment, and were introduced to the new standard issue rifle for the Australian Military; the EF 88 Austeyr. Each member of the team was instructed and practiced with the safe handling procedures for the weapon before being given the opportunity to shoot the rifle on the range. This event also sparked another competition of ‘best shot’ among the group to see who had the most accurate shot on the target.
Following the shoot: the team was then shown and were able to handle three different types of weapons used by the Australian Military; these included: the MAG 58 Light Machine Gun, the 84mm Recoilless Rifle and the 66mm M72 LAW portable ‘rocket launcher’. The cadets also got to try on some of the body armour and helmets as well as equipment worn by the Australian Army.
Overall, the experience was a highlight for many cadets and provided them with an insight into the practical side of the Army and the process and skills required to become a member of the Australian Army, as well as an opportunity to test and compare themselves among the other CAS units maintaining a friendly rivalry and basis for competition.