Cadet takes the lead

Midshipman Tiffany McCormack at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. Photo: Corporal Julia Whitwell

Cadet takes the lead

The responsibilities of Australian Defence Force Academy’s (ADFA) Cadet Captain have come with different challenges this year, because of bushfires and COVID-19

Midshipman Tiffany McCormack understudies commanding officer in a student-formed command structure to liaise between headquarter staff and students. 

“I am the midpoint between command intent and the understanding of that intent by trainee officers and act as a representative for their initiatives,” Midshipman McCormack said.

As emergency services staged at ADFA during Operation Bushfire Assist, cadets provided logistical support, taking responsibility for accommodation and rations, with Midshipman McCormack in charge of this cadet effort. 

COVID-19 also presented logistical challenges. It shifted the cohort’s studies to online delivery and disrupted leave period when cadets would usually travel home. 

Midshipman McCormack said these challenges had added pressure to an already heavy work and study load.

“My role would revolve around facilitating guest speakers and coordinating events and cadet incentives,” Midshipman McCormack said. 

“This year was a lot of trying to find a balance between what staff needed to achieve due to restrictions and managing what people were going through. 

“We’ve done a lot of work around promoting resilience and mental health.” 

Midshipman McCormack said the role was rewarding and challenging.

“At a junior level you’re exposed to more tactical situations, but in this role I’m thrown into situations where I have to understand how to think more strategically,” Midshipman McCormack said.

“I’ve had exposure to logistics, planning and decision-making on a scale I wouldn’t otherwise get until much further into my career.”

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