Action-packed Term for CCF Cadets
Michaelmas Term is always an action-packed one for our CCF contingent. This year was no expectation, and with a Biennial Inspection from Major-General Charles Stickland taking place in November, staff and pupils were under pressure, not only to go about their usual termly activities, but to make sure everything was ‘spick and span’ in time for his visit!
The end of the summer holidays saw the nine-strong Pringle Team commence their training ahead of the Sir Stueart Pringle Trophy competition, that would see them test their metal against 20 other schools from around the UK in the challenging but prestigious test of annual military skills and leadership.
A solid performance saw them scoop the runner up trophy in a closely fought contest, with Rob Coombs lifting the Break Contact Drill trophy.
For some, it was a swift transition from Pringle to Field Day, with all sections heading out to various locations in the South West. The Army and Royal Marines Sections enjoyed battle antics at Scraesdon Fort and the junior cadets from these sections headed to Yoxter under the command of our NCOs, who were completing their Instruction and Leadership course.The basics of living in the field as well as camouflage and concealment were the order of the day.
Cadets from our Royal Navy Section spent time visiting Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) in Dartmouth. The weekend also included a low ropes course, with a highlight being the visit to the bridge trainer, which simulates the environment of the bridge (wheel house / control room) of a warship. Despite the fact that the room never moves, the motion through the "windows" was sufficient for some to feel slightly concerned!
A trip to Devonport Dockyard, and time on HMS Courage and HMS Bulwark afforded pupils the opportunity not only to witness the largest naval base in Western Europe, but also to see these huge vessels up close and to hear from Naval personnel, what life is like working and living at sea.
CCF is a popular Monday afternoon activity, with a total of 235 cadets across all three sections.
While the majority of activities cadets undertake have a military theme, this is a vehicle to promote the values of perseverance, self-reliance, robustness, teamwork and ultimately, leadership. Cadets learn a great number of skills that prepare them for life beyond King’s College. As the old adage goes ‘You only get back what you put in’ and our cadets often prove themselves as dedicated and hardworking, looking for opportunities outside their Monday afternoons.
A number of pupils successfully gain qualifications and take up posts of significance and importance throughout their time in the CCF. This term, Zac Stickland was appointed Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet – following a largely unbroken line of King’s cadets who have also held this position. 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.
Ranulf Mason gained his RYA Day Skipper’s qualification as a member of the Royal Navy Section this year. Since joining the section, Ranulf has made extensive use of the camps and courses available to him during the school holidays. The qualification now enables him to skipper vessels up to 24 metres in length and weighing up to 80 gross tonne.
Another pupil who has also taken up the wider opportunities open to those in the CCF is Ben Tingey. During Michaelmas, Ben headed to CTC RM Lympstone, where he took part in a Potential Officers “Looks at Life” course.
A number of cadets from the Army Section can be congratulated for the way in which they have constantly delivered excellent training and development to the cadets. At the end of the term those NCOs who consolidated their teaching skills were promoted to the rank of Corporal. Sgt. Campbell-Smith and Sgt Cameron were promoted to SSGT and joint heads of the section.
Next term sees the start of months of training for the annual Ten Tors Challenge, as cadets prepare to take on the respective distances of 35, 45 and 55 miles across Dartmoor. We wish those selected every success, and look forward to hearing of their progress