COOTAMUNDRA / TEMORA
256 Regional Cadet Unit was started on 13 May 1989, with the enrolment of 45 cadets. Half of these cadets had been travelling 54 km one way to Temora Platoon of the 200 RCU South West Slopes. With all the expense, it was decided to try and start a unit in Cootamundra.
256 RCU’s probationary period was from June to August 1989 and on the 2nd September 1989 256 RCU became an official unit of the Australian Cadet Corps.
The number 256 was specifically applied for as we wished this unit to keep a link and have an association with the 56th Battalion, "The Riverina Regiment".
256 RCU also adopted the 56th Battalion’s colour patch of green and white.
The establishment figure for the unit at this time was 60 cadets and six Officers of Cadets.
In 1991 the Unit was presented with its Banner. This was designed by Lt(ACC) Jacqui Vincent and hand embroided by Mrs Marge Manwaring and Lt(ACC) Jacqui Vincent. Major Graham Campbell announced the official approval, of the design, only 2 hours prior to the dinner at which the banner was presented.
The banner resides in the foyer of the Cootamundra Ex-Servicemen’s and Citizens’ Memorial Club Limited and is paraded on ANZAC Day and the unit’s Ceremonial parades each year.
In June 1995 this unit had a drop in ceiling to 40 cadets, 4 Officers of Cadets and 2 CUO’s.
In November 1995 a meeting was held at Young in New South Wales where a decision was made to amalgamate three cadet units into one company. The Units involved were 200 RCU – South West Slopes, 223 RCU – Boorowa and 256 RCU – Cootamundra. It was decided that day to amalgamate under the name of 256 RCU – South West Slopes as this number had the banner. The headquarters of the company was to be based at Young with Captain(ACC) Errol Bourke the Officer Commanding.
The new unit started parading in February 1996. The towns involved were Boorowa, Cowra, Cootamundra, Grenfell, Temora and Young.
On 20 April 1996 a meeting was held at Young with Eastern Region Cadet Staff, the OC’s of all the towns units and sponsor delegates. This meeting was held because of a number of problems arising from the amalgamation and ideas were discussed to redivide the Units . The redivision occurred as of 1 July 1996 after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding. This memorandum was signed by OC’s 200 RCU, 256 RCU and 223 RCU, LtCol(ACC) ER, CO 8 Sig Regt, CO 1/19 RNSWR, and sponsor delegates from each town.
256 RCU – South West Slopes was divided into two units. The towns of Boorowa, Cowra, Grenfell and Young, retained the name of 200 RCU – South West Slopes with its headquarters at Cowra and command being administered by temporary Captain(ACC) Trevor Clark. This unit had an establishment figure of 50 Cadets and 4 Officers of Cadets.
The original 223 RCU – Boorowa was disbanded in name only. The second unit was 256 RCU – Cootamundra incorporating the towns of Cootamundra and Temora. The unit headquarters being at Cootamundra with Officer Commanding, newly promoted Captain(ACC) Jacqui Vincent. This unit had an establishment figure of 40 Cadets and 4 Officers of Cadets.
In 1997 the name of the "Australian Cadet Corps" was changed to the "Australian Army Cadet Corps" .
On 1 December 1997 the Australian Army Cadet Corps was restructured and control of the Corps changed from Australian Army Land Command to the Australian Army Training Command in each state. Eastern Region (NSW) Cadets are now commanded by Regional Training Center NSW. This group was changed to Regional Training Center NSW with the move to Steele Barracks from Bardia Barracks in late 1998. The Commander is Brigadier MJ Cochrane (who happens to be an ex Cootamundra boy).
On 1 July 1998 the fostering unit of 256 RCU was changed from 1/19 Royal New South Wales Regiment to 1 Recruit Training Battalion, Kapooka. Kapooka is now known as Army Recruit Training Center. The change in foster units has proved very beneficial to this unit at this time. The expertise of the staff at Kapooka has enhanced the standards at which this unit functions with available resources being borrowed.