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to the RMAS mould. It must be remembered that these courses are merely a vehicle to deliver the required information at a set standard to the Officer Cadets. The training programme is tight and a lot of instruction is done out of hours but this is where your character and method of delivery are key in order for your Platoon to progress at the set standard. Back to the two speeds: there are actually two definite rôles as a Colour Sergeant at RMAS: for a number of terms, you will find yourself in the Skill at Arms Wing where you will teach platoon weapons, run ranges and assist in the training of Officer Cadets on exercise. The other, often more challenging and definitely more time consuming rôle is as a Platoon Colour Sergeant, as second in command to a Captain Platoon Commander. This relationship in itself is critical and a sound working relationship is a must in order to deliver the best training to the Officer Cadets.


The cadets themselves are brilliant - brilliantly bright, brilliantly eager and brilliantly frustrating all in the same period of instruction. Ultimately, they are so keen to learn and do justice to the soldiers that I feel proud to be commissioning 29 (at the


moment in 8 Platoon, Inkerman Company) this summer. In the Wing, you get a lot more time off and there is a very mature approach when not teaching: within reason, you can get away and relax. The Commissioning Course, dependant on which term you find yourself instructing, enables less free time but the dynamic is different and the time does actually fly. If you are married or live in, it is easier during those lulls to get some time away from the cadets (although the Married Quarters are not the best). They need time off from the Colour Sergeant as well! Whilst on the subject of time off, as we run three terms of fourteen weeks, there is plentiful leave in between and this is where the STOP bit comes in. Extra curricular opportunities are plentiful and varied too. The wing often provides small training teams to go and instruct in the many partner countries that have forged strong alliances, not just with the British Army, but specifically RMAS. The countries represented at any one time can number more than twenty and, recently, RMAS has Commissioned cadets from the Peoples Republic of China and from Palestine. Colour Sergeants during my time have been involved in and led training in USA, Sri Lanka, Canada and many of the


Arab States. The scope to see the world beyond Iraq and Afghanistan is massive and there is often a free space or two on Adventurous Training expeditions during the generous leave periods that Colour Sergeants are able to take up.


We are assured that RMAS does wonders for your career and I am sure in some respects it does, indeed there is often a large percentage of Colour Sergeants and Staff Sergeants who complete their time here assuming the rank of WO2 prior to leaving or very soon after. Without doubt, Sandhurst is fantastic for personal development which can only give you a step up in terms of career and promotion but, more importantly for me, it is what you are doing here for the future good of others that is important. These men and women are the future leaders of our soldiers and we owe it to them, the soldiers, if no one else, to ensure they have the best trained, motivated and capable Officers. In placing yourself as a Colour Sergeant at Sandhurst you are shaping the leaders of men, the Officers and as encapsulated in the RMAS motto, you can enable them to “Serve to Lead”.


Anzio Company 2nd Infantry Battalion Infantry Training Centre Catterick


by Maj Johnson OC:


Pl Comd: Sect Comd:


Maj R N Johnson Lt B Smyth


Cpl A Cartledge


Anzio Company of 2nd Infantry Training Battalion was formerly known as Somme Company of 3rd Battalion until a change in name and location gave it a new focus. Based in Helles Barracks in Catterick, Anzio Company is responsible for the provision of the Combat Infantryman’s Courses (CIC) for both Junior (JE) soldiers and Territorial Army soldiers and a TA JNCO course. Within 2 ITB are also Guards Company, Para Company, Gurkha Company and P Company. The Company is made up of a small Company Headquarters and four training teams made up of a Platoon Commander, Sergeant and four Section Commanders supported by a small number of civilian staff. However, due to the number of courses annually and the varying number of recruits attending the Company it is also boosted as required by training teams allocated from the 1st Infantry Training Battalion five Divisional Companies (POW, Scots, Queens, Kings and Rifles). As Anzio Company trains recruits from all infantry regiments less the Guards and The Parachute Regiment (but including The Gibraltar Regiment), Anzio staff are mixed cap badged. 1 ITB Divisional Companies are, of course, Divisionally-manned.


130 October 2009


Also known as “The Short Course Company” that name explains exactly the type of courses Anzio is responsible for. The JE intake from the Army Foundation College (AFC) at Harrogate and the Army Training Regiment at Winchester (ATR(W)) are received twice a year following their completion of phase one training of 40 and 20 weeks respectively. Due to the type of recruit that Anzio deal with, the instructor/ recruit ratio is high and sections are established where practical at no more than ten. Losses are hoped always to be small! The ATR(W) course is fourteen weeks long whilst the AFC course is ten. Both courses are intensive and aim to fine tune and build on the basic infantry skills taught during phase one training. Both courses have three initial tactical exercises, the last completing digging to phase three, perhaps the most challenging and emotional event for any under 18 year old! The course finishes with a Final Tactical Exercise and Live Firing Tactical Training period covering two weeks (the battle camp). The JE are as named and, on arrival, are under 18 and generally ranging from 16 to 17 years old. The recruits arrive phase one trained and, to the relief of the Anzio or attached staff, can therefore already march, they have an ability to administer themselves and already have a wide range of low level infantry skills. However, having a sole intake of under 18 year olds has its disadvantages.


Duty of care is an issue and Platoon Commanders spend a considerable amount of time speaking to parents even about the most trivial matters.


Recruits arrive at ITC apprehensive about the bigger and more specialist infantry training environment (and one JE recruit has even refused to enter the gate!). This has hopefully been dispelled not only by the phase one visits to ITC as part of their phase one programme but, also, with the comprehensive liaison visits by Anzio staff to both phase one establishments including assistance in training. The recruits have a wide knowledge of Army matters having already served for a considerable period and will, of course, try it on! Unfortunately, also, in the case of ATR(W) intake, the “Discharge as of Right” period is still open for approximately a three week period on arrival at ITC and, for some, the shock of capture is enough for them to request discharge. Fortunately, it appears that liaison with both phase one establishments by Anzio Company has lessened this impact. A further annoyance for staff is that even at this stage a small minority of recruits still wish to transfer to other arms (and also infantry to infantry) - annoying as they have had plenty of opportunity to do this during phase one training. Their request to transfer is honoured but only after they have had a retention interview from their losing


The Mercian Eagle


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