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Fieldcraft is an exciting part of any squadron's training programme, and the promise of a good exercise is always guaranteed to get good attendance.


Fieldcraft is, to put it simply, the art of living and moving in the field. Although the ACO is generally focused on different activities, fieldcraft does play a part in most squadrons' training programmes.


Fieldcraft is taught from a single manual, common to all squadrons, so the basic lessons are very similar across the ATC; however, 'Consolidated Practical Training' (CPT) and full exercises differ greatly depending on local resources, staffing and skill levels. Exercises and CPT place emphasis on different aspects of fieldcraft – some might need you and your team to move slowly and quietly while approaching an 'enemy' installation, others require speed as well as stealth, and a quick decision on how much of the one to trade off against the other.


A generally acknowledged advantage of fieldcraft exercises is that it forces cadets to use their initiative. A relatively junior member of the squadron could find themselves in a decision-making position.


For this reason, fieldcraft is often used by squadrons as a method of assessing cadets' leadership qualities, as it forces cadets to make quick decisions and perhaps to effectively lead a team, even when they're unsure of exactly what's going on or what they're supposed to be doing. For this reason, fieldcraft forms the core of the ATC's Junior Leaders course.

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