Sea Cadet Officer's Jacket

Officer Development Programme

After over twelve years with the Sea Cadet Corps, I finally joined the Officer Development Programme (ODP). I’m not sure I ever considered myself ready as such. Mostly caused by my issues around self-esteem. Eventually however, I started to allow myself to listen to some of the positive things others had to say about me. So to coincide with the fact that I am due to receive my long-service medal, I took the plunge.

The first weekend, or ODP1 as it is known was tough. I won’t go in to detail for obvious reasons but the assessment is rigorous to say the least. ODP1 is held at area level (South West in my case) and took place in September 2023. From the moment you arrive, to the moment you’re given your result, you are continually being assessed, based on the the varied criteria. At the time, this was very stressful for me. directing staff are very good at ensuring the candidates welfare, but of course, it is important to all of us that we put our best selves on display and nobody likes to fail at that. Looking back, ODP1 was enjoyable. I perhaps would not think so had I not passed, but I can honestly say it was a great experience, from which I learned a lot.

So why do we put ourselves through these things. Why am I actually looking to do it again at national level for ODP2. Well for me, it is important that I continue to grow and develop myself. If I don’t, how can I mentor young people to do the same. I am sure my fellow candidates feel the same way. Wish me luck!

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