CCF Biennial Inspection – 11th May 2022
On Wednesday 11 May 2022 Headington School CCF received its first Biennial Inspection in four years. The Inspecting Officer was Lt Col Catherine Skinner (Royal Artillery) from HQ Regional Command.
The Biennial began with a formal inspection of the full Cadet Contingent. Our Senior Cadet, Cdt S/Sgt Emma took command of the parade and led Lt Col Skinner through the ranks introducing cadets while Lt Col Skinner spoke to every cadet on Parade. Lt Col Skinner commented on the smartness of each cadet and was especially impressed that, when spoken to, every cadet looked her in the eyes and spoke with confidence.
Directly following the inspection Lt Col Skinner addressed the parade, spoke about the value of the Cadet Force to society and how the Cadet Force’s core values would stand the cadets in good stead for life. Lt Col Skinner also talked about her journey as a female officer in a regiment not used to being led by women those many years ago, but how attitudes in the military have moved on leaps and bounds to the point where the sex of a soldier is no bar to advancement and success. Lt Col Skinner began her military career as the first female commissioned officer to serve in the Royal Artillery and has previously served alongside Headington School’s Bursar, Richard Couzens MBE.
Following a meeting with Headington’s Headmistress, Bursar and the Contingent Commander (Maj Anisha Charania), Lt Col Skinner visited the cadets on the school playing fields where they were conducting three different cadet activities; 1) Patrol Lane – this involved two cadets working as a team in order to defeat and enemy using the tactics of ‘Fire & Manoeuvre’. 2) Living in the field – cadets practiced building field shelters using ‘Bashas’ and how to cook field rations using and individual field stove and mess tins. 3) First Aid & CASEVAC – cadets got to practice their first aid skills in a scenario-based archery incident. Stage make-up techniques were used to transform two cadets into casualties with realistic make-up. the other cadets had to manage the scene of the incident before treating the casualties and carrying them to safety using a field stretcher.
A light afternoon tea followed before Lt Col Skinner presented promotions of Cdt Sgt to Alina and Elaine who will be taking over as the Senior Cadet and second in command in the September term.
Maj Anisha Charania said: “Every cadet, regardless of rank, conducted themselves in an extremely professional manner which was noted by all. They acted as a credit to the CCF and to Headington School. Well done!”
Lt Col Skinner began her military career as the first female commissioned officer to serve in the Royal Artillery and by happy coincidence has served alongside Headington School’s Bursar, Richard Couzens MBE.