Survival FTX for Army Cadets

JRouslton

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Good day to you all,

I am a volunteer instructor with my local army cadet corps. I am planning a senior cadet weekend for the beginning of this upcoming cadet year. I spoke to the cadets asking them what they wanted to do, and it was unanimous that they wanted to do a survival weekend.

From speaking with some of their friends from camp, they mentioned that there is a program where the cadets do a survival FTX, where they have to find food, water, etc. and trade what they find in for parts of an MRE… apparently how much of the MRE you get is dependant on the weight of the food you gather/hunt.

Now, what I am trying, and failing, to find is the exchange rate of forage for MRE. Does anyone here know it, or know where I might be able to find it?

Thank you in advance.

Jonathon
 

Burrows

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Instead of listening to what your cadets are saying happened, I would consult with your Zone Trg O through the Chain of Command and take direction on how this needs to be structured.  The reason being that we have a duty of care to them and need to make sure they are fed appropriately.  The amount of energy being expended on an exercise like this would have me leaning towards them needing a significant caloric intake.

It absolutely does align with PO 324 objectives if done right.  However, there are also significant safety considerations that need to be made for an exercise of this type.  Direction in these areas has tended to vary by region, so definitely use your local partners.
 

JRouslton

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Thank you for the quick reply. :)

I absolutely am going to be contacting the Zone Trg O. As I understand, they are unavailable for the next while. The person who was the Trg O is moving to Ottawa, and the new one coming in, isn’t here yet… At least that is what I’ve been told.

That said, this scenario was confirmed by other staff members. However, they don’t know the trade in value either.

And That said. I agree completely that safety has to be the number one priority, and they need to be getting the necessary caloric intake. Perhaps I could get a number of rabbits for the cadets to prepare and eat instead of using MREs for all the meals….
 

daftandbarmy

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JRouslton said:
Thank you for the quick reply. :)

I absolutely am going to be contacting the Zone Trg O. As I understand, they are unavailable for the next while. The person who was the Trg O is moving to Ottawa, and the new one coming in, isn’t here yet… At least that is what I’ve been told.

That said, this scenario was confirmed by other staff members. However, they don’t know the trade in value either.

And That said. I agree completely that safety has to be the number one priority, and they need to be getting the necessary caloric intake. Perhaps I could get a number of rabbits for the cadets to prepare and eat instead of using MREs for all the meals….

I found that living outside in a hootchie for the weekend, without getting soaked/bug eaten etc, is a pretty good survival exercise for most cadets. It might be a good idea to start there, if you haven't already, then 'graduate' to more demanding activities later on in the year. It's also a good motivator for the cadets who, if they 'pass' the basics, will know they can move on to more advanced training.

It might also give you the breathing room you need to plan out the 'MRE/ IMP thing' in more detail.
 

JRouslton

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daftandbarmy said:
I found that living outside in a hootchie for the weekend, without getting soaked/bug eaten etc, is a pretty good survival exercise for most cadets. It might be a good idea to start there, if you haven't already, then 'graduate' to more demanding activities later on in the year. It's also a good motivator for the cadets who, if they 'pass' the basics, will know they can move on to more advanced training.

It might also give you the breathing room you need to plan out the 'MRE/ IMP thing' in more detail.

We do at least two bivouac FTXs each year, plus a Nav FTX, which is what you described above... This is only for the senior cadets, so that is why I'm planning something a little more in depth. As long as we don't have any new "senior cadets" they all will have done multiple hoochie camping exercises. I think that is why they asked for a survival weekend too.

Thank you for the thought though. :)
 

daftandbarmy

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JRouslton said:
We do at least two bivouac FTXs each year, plus a Nav FTX, which is what you described above... This is only for the senior cadets, so that is why I'm planning something a little more in depth. As long as we don't have any new "senior cadets" they all will have done multiple hoochie camping exercises. I think that is why they asked for a survival weekend too.

Thank you for the thought though. :)

Good for you guys... sounds like you do a good job!

One of my favourite cadet 'survival' exercises was digging in a platoon defensive position. Nothing like having to live in a hole in the ground to get back to your inner cave man :)
 

LittleBlackDevil

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This sounds like a really interesting exercise. I bet the cadets will love it and it's something I think that the cadets in my corps would be all over.

Please keep us updated on information you learn from your Zone Trg O and whether this goes though, and if it does, how it was done. Piggy-backing off your experience I would love to recommend something like this to my CO for next fall perhaps, and will volunteer to organize it myself. Hopefully I'll be at least a CI by then (currently CV) if not CIC.
 

JRouslton

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LittleBlackDevil said:
This sounds like a really interesting exercise. I bet the cadets will love it and it's something I think that the cadets in my corps would be all over.

Please keep us updated on information you learn from your Zone Trg O and whether this goes though, and if it does, how it was done. Piggy-backing off your experience I would love to recommend something like this to my CO for next fall perhaps, and will volunteer to organize it myself. Hopefully I'll be at least a CI by then (currently CV) if not CIC.

The FTX went well. Unfortunately for me I was taken off the project... At our September sports night, I was playing basketball with the cadets, fell and broke the patella tendon in my right knee. I was in the hospital when the exercise was on.
 

LittleBlackDevil

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Did you ever find a conversion chart for items scavenged to MRE components? Was that done on the FTX?
 
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