King's CCF – Royal Marines Section
As part of a series of articles about our extensive activities programme, we next take look at a year in our Combined Cadet Force – Royal Marines Section.
The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) has a long tradition at King's, and celebrated its Centenary in 2002. 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.
Our Royal Marines Section is led by former Royal Marine and CCF Contingent Commander, Major Steve King RMR, supported by Capt Pete Belfield.
Pupils wishing to join the section are required to take and pass the Royal Marines Selection test – challenging their observation skills, physical fitness and endurance, team working and problem-solving skills.
The section has enjoyed great success in the national annual inter-schools Sir Steuart Pringle Trophy, winning six times and coming second twice in the last ten years. This year, the section came second in this prestigious team event that involves various stances such as section attacks, drill, first aid scenarios and leadership tasks at the RM base at Lympstone.
With a largely unbroken line of King’s cadets holding the position, Cadet C/Sgt Zac Stickland was appointed Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet in November. He was nominated for his contribution to the Royal Marines Section, where he has developed into a thoroughly competent instructor and mentor to our junior cadets.
On Monday afternoons, the cadets adhere to the Royal Marines Cadet Syllabus, which encompasses topics such as weapon handling, physical fitness, observation, fieldcraft and leadership. We also benefit from the support of the RM Youth Team, and the RM Visibility Team. Members of staff from these teams regularly run specific sessions that have included hand-to-hand combat and leadership.
During their summer field day, the section deployed to Croyde in variable (wet) weather conditions to spend time surfing and rock climbing at Baggy Point. The Royal Marines are world leaders in military vertical cliff assault and ascending these sea cliffs offers in a way some insight into the training undertaken by not only modern-day commandos, but our forebears from WW2.
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