Adventure Training Award

As the cold morning dew lay still on the grass. The faint sounds of cheer emerged from Camp Chaney as the Syndicates of the Adventure Training Award crested the hill. Our Trinity and Meriden cadets interspersed amongst 12 syndicates demonstrated their liveliness and perseverance in times of adversity over the five-day camp.

The Adventure Training Award (ATA) is a prestigious achievement awarded to only the best cadets in the country. Candidates were tested on a variety of skills developed over their time in the cadet corps. During the camp, candidates were split into 12 syndicates of ten, with dozens of units being represented across the award. Their ability to function as a syndicate was constantly tested throughout the five days, with exercises such as the outdoor obstacle course being completely reliant on each candidate’s capacity to work in a team.

Candidates arrived at the Holsworthy Army Barracks at 11 o’clock on the Sunday morning to be greeted by shouting and temporary revocation of ranks. They were then thrown onto the bus to be transported to the MUD for a safety briefing and lunch. From there they were marched up to the army’s state of the art fitness facilities to commence the personal fitness barrier test, consisting of a set number of pushups, situps and beep test challenge. This was the first major challenge, seeing members fall out and be sent home almost immediately. From there, candidates were moved into the army’s protected mobility vehicles for an introduction to army transport and movement methods. This was followed by transport down to Camp Chaney, which would be the base of operations for the next four days.

0455 was the wakeup call for the camp. Reveille being held at 0500, a morning parade conducted in syndicates to ensure everyone is present and accounted for. Within 20 minutes half the camp was formed up on the road and ready to leave for the rest of the day. Still working with nightlights and torch, the teams of ten navigated through the barracks, moving to the fitness centre, navigation exercise locations, extreme obstacle courses, and more. The teams spent the days eating ration packs with hot food given every now and then to improve morale.

The final challenge was a rigorous and lengthy navigation challenge. Syndicates walked up to 55kms in a single day(BH). This not only challenged candidates mentally but physically in the most demanding manner. The navigation itself was also the result of equally strenuous preparation. In the days preceding, candidates were tasked with creating their own navigation data sheets, being given only an encoded list of co-ordinates. Working on minimal sleep, the teams pushed through and achieved the ultimate award. Around 5 o’clock of the final day syndicates began to trickle into Camp Chaney looking exhausted and near defeat, out of the trees emerged Syndicate 4, “country road, take me home, to the place, I belong”, the sound of weary voices echoed through the campsite as the rest of the camp joined in.

Members from our unit included; CDTSGT Curtis Sioulas, CDTSGT James Brockie, CDTSGT Jay Campbell (D13), CDTWO2 Lillian Havansky (HQ), CDTWO2 Eduardo Da Costa (HQ CSM), CDTWO2 Bruna Da Costa (B CSM), CDTWO2 Oliver Walker (HQ), CDTWO2 Edward Feng (B CQMS), CUO Tim Hosken (HQ), CUO Alexander Paterson (ADJ), CUO Zac Robb and CUO Hamish Agnew (XO).

From the XO and ADJ: Congratulations, team! After an incredible experience, we have both seen each of you pushed to your limits and still persevere through the hardest of challenges. Keep up the good work as we finish off the cadet year!

CUO Hamish Agnew (CDTXO) and CUO Zac Robb (CDTADJ)

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