CCF at King's – The Army Section
As part of a series of articles about our extensive activities programme, we look at our Combined Cadet Force – Army Section in more detail.
The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) has a long tradition at King's. We currently have 260 cadets spread amongst the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Army Sections and our Chindit Columns.
The aim of this voluntary organisation is to enable the development of pupils outside the classroom: personal responsibility, leadership and self-discipline, provide young people with a range of life skills and self-confidence to help them reach their full potential at school and beyond.
With nearly 100 cadets, by far the largest section in the CCF, the Army Section is commanded by Cpt Chris Pearson, and is assisted by Cpt Steve Shaw, and supported by a team of enthusiastic officers.
Fourth Form recruits follow the Army Proficiency Syllabus which requires competence in drill, navigation, camp craft, field craft and weapons handling. In order to be awarded the AP certificate, cadets must pass in all the skill areas and have completed an overnight camping or bivouac exercise. Cadets must pass a weapons test before firing blank or live rounds on a range.
Monday afternoons are spent working through the various stages of the Syllabus.
Travelling to Yoxter in Somerset for their summer field day this year, the section conducted a field training exercise that tested all aspects of the Army Basic syllabus. This was followed by a short adventure training session. The cadets, living in improvised bashas, had to learn to administer themselves in the field, prepare and carry their equipment effectively and respond to commands in a distracting, disorientating and unfamiliar environment. The battle drills in particular, involving blank ammunition, smoke grenades and parachute illumination flares, really provided a challenging environment. However, much is still learned away from the noise and confusion in the calm periods, and the cadets must attend to their own personal organisation and readiness.
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