March 28th 2024

Resilience and teamwork showcased at Combat Cadet Tournament

Combat Cadet Tournament

Cadet Forces from Lincolnshire to Essex travelled to Beckingham for the all-action Combat Cadet Tournament in March.

The most prestigious fieldcraft competition for Army Cadet Forces (ACF) and Combined Cadet Forces (CCF) in 7 Brigade, the tournament builds on the core syllabus to test Cadets’ resolve and leadership skills.

Physical and mental challenges such as casualty evacuations, house assaults, paintballing, wood clearances, navigation and camouflage and concealment are all part of the programme. For 2024, each stand was made even more challenging by the wet and muddy ground conditions.

Congratulations to King’s School Grantham CCF for finishing in second-place, the highest ranking of all entrants from the East Midlands.

Head Master Simon Pickett said: “It is a great privilege to have such a successful and high achieving Combined Cadet Force at the King’s School in Grantham.

“I was delighted that our Cadets demonstrated that they remain excellent ambassadors for themselves, their school, family and the CCF.

“We are all very impressed that they achieved second place in the Combat Cadet Tournament and that the training of the CCF team continues to prepare them to achieve at the highest levels. I look forward to them winning next year as the unit goes from strength to strength.

Combat Cadet Tournament

Combat Cadet Tournament

Under watchful eyes

Cadets were under constant observation from the moment they arrived at Beckingham Training Camp on Friday, 15th March right through to the competition’s end on 17th March.

Captain Dave ‘Granny’ Granfield, Team Commander – Cadet Training Team East (Central), said the Combat Cadet Tournament event was about commitment, teamwork and resilience.

He added: “Combat Cadet is a senior Cadet weekend aimed at the 2-star and 3-star level.

“We send out a message 9 months before the activity starts and the CCF and ACF throw their names into the hat. Everyone wants to do it because it’s the premier weekend and well resourced.

“It’s really about testing the resolve and leadership of the section. All the skills they have learnt during their first 2-3 years are tested under test conditions with each stand being scored differently.

“For example, patrolling is about formations, communication, reaction to enemy fire – all of the fieldcraft skills Cadets start to learn from the basic 12 months to where they are now.”

Captain Granfield added that the competition was a real team effort and only made possible by the core training team working alongside Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and, for 2024, Reservists from 3rd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment.

Corporal Noah Parr, from the Holbeach Detachment of Lincolnshire ACF, said: “My highlight has been training with the Royal Artillery. We had a simulated section attack with covering fire and mortars firing overhead, which was really cool.

“Another thing we’ve done is a house clearance. A group of people come up to the house, clear windows and clear through the house from bottom to top. It’s really compact, and really intense.”

Combat Cadet Tournament

Combat Cadet Tournament

Colonel Ian Sackree, Commandant of Lincolnshire ACF, added: “We are a young team, we had no-one in the team who has done this before and I am beyond impressed with the junior leadership I saw on display and the bonded effort demonstrated across the weekend.

“Friendships have been formed, new skills learned and memories made – the whole reason we do this.

“It was particularly uplifting to see newly promoted Cadet Sergeant Major Cranch lead her team with so much enthusiasm and positivity, in what were pretty cold, wet and generally challenging conditions.

“I will maintain that their section attack was one of the finest I have seen in my 37 years of infantry work; the effort, energy and skill needed to cross two fields, via a waist deep stream and destroy two depth positions, was beyond impressive. I’m proud of them all.”