Fleetwood Royal Marine Cadets Host Virtual Open Evening To Encourage Membership

Since the start of the pandemic, half of the Fleetwood Royal Marine Cadet force dropped out.

A Royal Marine Cadet group based in Lancashire has hosted an online open evening to encourage young people to sign up.

Fleetwood Royal Marine Cadets hosted the event to show members there is still a benefit from meeting virtually.

The Royal Marine Cadets specialise in orienteering, fieldcraft and weapons handling.

The Detachment Commander, Sergeant Ashton, explained the Royal Marine Cadets have a “very broad syllabus” and a “very wide spectrum of things” they can do “such as fieldcraft, map reading, weapons handling drill”.

“They kind of form up the core subjects along with general theory things such as learning ranks, learning Royal Marines history, Victoria Cross winners…”.

Despite the broad curriculum, Fleetwood Royal Marine Cadets, who are part of the Sea Cadets, has seen its numbers halve since the start of the pandemic after meetings moved online.

Since the start of the pandemic, they went from “eight or nine cadets” to four cadets, with “a couple more” looking to join.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many of the cadets' face-to-face activities had to be cancelled and learning had to be moved online.

The cadets practise weapons handling as one of their core subjects.

“[The pandemic] completely changed the way that we work in a way that we weren’t expecting,” Sergeant Ashton said.

“That took us a little bit of time to get up to speed and in that short period of time those brand-new cadets kind of lost a little bit of interest because we weren’t doing that much.”

One cadet told Forces News he is still enjoying training.

“We do pretty much the entire syllabus on everything. I've done a virtual weapons course.

"It’s kind of like a classroom environment anyway, which is fine for me because I’m still getting the knowledge in,” he said.

Sergeant Ashton added that not many people are aware of the Royal Marine Cadets: “It’s a substantially small organisation.

“We are part of the Sea Cadets, but we are a much smaller part of the Sea Cadets.

“Not every unit has a Royal Marines Cadets Detachment.”

The cadets are continuing to meet weekly, albeit virtually, on Tuesday and Friday evenings.

Cover image: A library picture showing Royal Marine Cadets during a face-to-face session (Picture: Fleetwood Royal Marine Cadets).