Preparation and packing of personal equipment
During your time in the cadet force, you will be issued a lot of new equipment. Being able to pack and use this equipment efficiently is important to being effective when you are on exercise. For those of you with experience of hiking or camping, you may have some useful hints and tips that will help other cadets in your section, but for most of you, this may be the first time you will be living outside; or ‘in the field’ as we call it.
In this lesson you will:
- Be able to identify the individual parts of personal equipment required for operating in the field
- Learn what is meant by Complete Equipment Fighting Order (CEFO) and Complete Equipment Marching Order (CEMO)
- See a demonstration of the content and packing of CEMO equipment
There are two main types of load carrying equipment that you will be issued. One to carry bulky items required for an overnight stay, and the other to be worn at all times that carries essential items. These are the patrol pack, or bergan; and the cadet training vest, or a set of webbing.
It is important that you can wear this equipment comfortably and understand what items to pack in order to have the right equipment at the right time, and in a condition that you can use it.
- Complete Equipment Fighting Order (CEFO) is the minimum standard of equipment carried when on patrol or on exercise. This consist of the cadet training vest or webbing, with a minimum of water and ammunition being carried.
- Complete Equipment Marching Order (CEMO) consists of CEFO with the addition of the cadet patrol pack, carrying all of the equipment required for longer periods in the field, usually involving an overnight stay.
Both the training vest and patrol pack have straps to enable you to adjust the items so they are comfortable to wear. They should be adjusted and tightened to they are close to the body and will not rattle or bounce around when you run. Smaller cadets may have difficulty getting their webbing or vests tight enough. The patrol pack has two shoulder straps that should be tight to hold the weight of the pack on the shoulders, keeping the back support against the body, and not hanging down. Adjusting equipment is much easier when you use a buddy to help tighten straps. Equipment that isn’t fitted correctly can be uncomfortable and cause you injury.
When it comes to packing your equipment and knowing what to bring, this is a combination of:
- bringing what has been issued to you
- what you have been instructed to pack, and
- the type of training
- personal comfort items
As a minimum, the following items should be packed (if issued) into your CEFO or training vest:
- Ammunition, loaded into magazines, is placed in the front left ammunition pouch
- Water bottle (full) and mug are placed into the water bottle pouch
- Weapon cleaning kit or utility roll in a utility pouch
- Daytime (lunch and snacks) rations and a mess tin if appropriate
- Warm hat and gloves
- Length of cord
With experience, and on more advanced exercises, you can also pack additional items in your webbing:
- Thermal mug or flask
- Torch and spare batteries
- Spare socks
- Boot cleaning kit
Because you will be quite active when earring your training vest, you must make sure the pouches are always securely fastened after getting something out of them. The worst thing is losing kit because you forgot to close a pouch!
With smaller items for use during the day carried in your CEFO, larger bulky items will be carried in your patrol pack or bergan. This 8 minute video will give you an overview of the items you can be expected to carry.
From the video we saw that the patrol pack was used to carry overnight equipment, including:
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping bag cover or bivvy bag
- Sleeping mat
- Basha or shelter sheet
- Elastic bungees, green cord, tent pegs
- Cold weather clothes (thermal layer)
- Spare t-shirt, pants, socks
- Wash kit (baby wipes, face cloth, toothbrush, toothpaste)
- Rations and cooker for evening meal
End of Lesson
Hopefully you now have a better idea of the type of load carrying equipment that you will be issued with, and how it can be fitted and packed to make your life more comfortable and easier in the field. With practice and experience you will become quicker at packing your kit, and you will learn what techniques work for you, and those that don’t. If you close this lesson, there is a short quiz to check your knowledge.