NEWS

FEBRUARY 20TH 2019

My Combined Cadet Force Experience

Jack giving a Fieldcraft lesson to younger cadets

Jack giving a fieldcraft lesson to younger cadets

For more than 150 years there have been Cadet Units based in schools, in the early days these helped prepare pupils for joining the Volunteer Corps but have now become about helping young people to develop and reach their full potential by providing adventurous, challenging and fun activities.

The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) has a significant impact within a school but what kind of effect does it have on a pupil and how do the experiences they have in the CCF help them get a head-start in life?

Cadet Sergeant Jack Taylor is an Army section cadet at The King’s School in Grantham, below he outlines why he joined the CCF, what it has taught him and where he hopes it will take him.

Jack during ceremonial duties at school

Jack during ceremonial duties at school

“I first decided to join the CCF in year nine just after the rugby season had finished. I was eager to get my uniform and attend my first Thursday night parade. I joined the CCF to have some fun with my friends, to be adventurous and do things that I wouldn’t be able to do in normal school life. I also saw the CCF as a taster for military life. Besides, which year nine boy wouldn’t want the opportunity to roll around in the mud and effectively play ‘toy soldiers’?

“I am a big fan of drill as I enjoy discipline and improving my communication skills. Another of my favourite activities is live firing which all Army Cadets get the opportunity to do. This is one the most adrenaline pumping tasks a cadet will get to do and one experience that they would be able to tick off from their bucket list. However, my absolute favourite CCF activity is blank firing during scenarios and simulated war scenes where a long chain of command comes together to work effectively in the field. These are only a few of my personal favourites as my full list is too long!

Jack getting ready to take part in fieldcraft

Jack getting ready to take part in fieldcraft

“The CCF has taught me a multitude of things as well as changing my attitude to many aspects of everyday life. I think that I have become a much more disciplined character that respects the CCF and school hierarchy. I have also become a lot more organised, especially with timings. The most important skill that I have gained is being comfortable with responsibility. Everyone has to take responsibility in life, whether it’s being a senior Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) or a manager of a business. I feel like the CCF has given me a jumpstart.

“I was given the opportunity to go on the Senior Cadet Instructors Course (SCIC) with two fellow Army cadets. This one-week course, based at Beckingham, aimed to get senior cadets and teach them all the different elements of teaching. SCIC also included teaching in the field, complex night navigation exercises and constant lessons needing to be prepared and practiced, ready for assessment the following day. Overall, I found the course difficult, mainly mentally not physically, however despite these challenges I still received the top award of ‘Highly Competent’ at the end of my week. These teaching skills have assisted me not only in the CCF but also for my presentation skills in English lessons. I would advise anyone who gets the opportunity to participate in this course to attend and reap its benefits.

“I aim to continue attending camps and exercises so that I can pass on my knowledge to other younger cadets and to carry on leading groups of cadets as a senior NCO. My main goal is to sign up to the Armed Forces after Sixth Form or to attend university where I can specialise in medicine. The CCF will continue to help me get there.”

"I think that I have become a much more disciplined character that respects the CCF and school hierarchy. I have also become a lot more organised, especially with timings. The most important skill that I have gained is being comfortable with responsibility. "