While their fellow students were putting their feet up over the February half term, four Army Cadets from Sedgemoor were undertaking a week of challenges at Somerset’s Yoxter camp.
The week-long ‘Senior Cadet Instructor Cadre’ (SCIS) course (22-28 Feb) was delivered by Cadet Training Teams made up of westcountry soldiers from 43 Wessex Brigade whose job it was to inspire Senior Cadets from across the region to pass on their knowledge to younger Cadets.
Sedgemoor was well represented during the training week as four of the sixteen Cadets who took part were from Cannington and Bridgwater Army Cadet Force (ACF) Platoons.
The four Cadets are Serjeant Shannon Came, aged 16, and Serjeant Ben Squires, aged17, both of Cannington, alongside Corporal Kelly Kirby, 18, and Corporal Rachel Butt, 18, of Bridgwater.
Shannon, who has just picked up her BTEC distinction diploma in Public Services through Somerset ACF, said: “My week at SCIC was both eventful and enjoyable.”
“I managed to pass my first lesson and my assessor said that it was enthusiastic and well planned which was a real bonus.”
The 16 year-old added: “At the end of the week I was told I made the top three I am really proud of myself.
“I would recommend all Senior Cadets take part in the exercise with the Brigade Training Team.”
Immediately after the week of training at Yoxter, another of the four Cadets, Ben Squires, also of Cannington, travelled to Okehampton to take part in an Advanced Field Craft Weekend with Reserve soldiers from 6 Rifles – one of the only two Reserve Rifles Units in the UK.
The weekend was held on Dartmoor and was designed to train and asses the Senior Cadets in further practical leadership in high pressure situations by putting them through a gruelling 48 hour exercise with real soldiers.
Ben said: “Last weekend was the hardest, both physically and mentally, draining exercise I’ve ever done.
“It was a phenomenal experience that I will take away with me and I have realised that it is what I want to do in the future.
“I also got to fire more blank rounds than I ever have with Cadets, ever! The weather conditions were terrible but it was so fun!”, he added.
“The last week and a half has been awesome. I met lots of new people who I need to stay in contact with, I became a 4 Star complete Cadet in a week and a half, gained ‘best student’ on the week long training exercise with 43 Wessex Brigade and had a great time on the advanced field craft.
“Next I’ll be aiming to become a Master Cadet – I can’t wait to get started!”
Ben’s mother, Mrs Louise Squires said: “Ben was only home for about an hour and a half – enough time to shower, eat, re-pack and leave me to do all the washing!
“The Army Cadet Force has really helped Ben to excel in all that he puts his mind to,” she added, “wanting to do well and achieving as much as possible to progress forward.”
If you are interested in joining the ACF as an Adult Instructor or a Cadet and you’re in school year 8 and above please visit www.armycadets.com/somerset-acf or contact Somerset ACF on 01823 284486.