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Fourth place in Combat Cadet

Published Thursday 8th of May 2014 01:37:55 PM

In April, a team of Upper and Lower Sixth Form pupils attended one of the country�s premier cadet competitions. Combat Cadet, as it is known, is a competition between Army Cadet Forces (ACF) and Combined Cadet Forces (CCF) from all over the East of England.

Oundle Instructor, Mike Williams commented, �On arrival on Friday night the newly acquired 6 man tents were erected and the trailer kitchen set up. That night the temperature dropped well below freezing which lead to a restless night�s sleep before launching into a whole series of stands on the Saturday morning.�

The Oundle team enjoyed good results on all of the military stands including a withdrawal from contact, First Aid and specialist weapons stands. Saturday Night was their �Ace in the pack� of competition elements - the night navigation exercise. The team was very fit and had some excellent map readers. The team completed the course in a new record time and at the end of the first day sat in 3rd place overall from 22 teams.

Day 2 started with breakfast of bacon and egg sandwiches being served by the SSI, WO2 Williams. This was followed later in the morning with a 5 mile run, quickly followed by a run over an obstacle course. After the previous night�s exertions, the run proved to be extremely challenging with Cadet Colour Sergeant James Williamson commenting �that is one of the hardest short runs I have ever done.� A time just over 5 minutes on the obstacle course proved to be competitive with only 3 of the ACF�s and one CCF getting a faster time.

At the end of the weekend Oundle School walked away with a cup as winners of the second stage of the competition and also a very creditable 4th place overall.

Contingent Commander, Major Andrew Mansergh commented, �Combat Cadet is a great opportunity for our Cadets to compete against other Cadet Forces and to demonstrate the skills and qualities they have gained throughout their time in the CCF. Winning the Navigation phase and finishing 2nd amongst all the CCFs in the competition demonstrates clearly how hard our Cadets have worked throughout the year. Well done.�


The team was:

Cadet Colour Sergeant James Williamson (Section Commander)
Cadet Sergeant Alex Johnsen
Cadet Sergeant James Higginbotham
Cadet Corporal Andrew Watson
Cadet Corporal Will Fennell
Cadet Lance Corporal Robbie Thouless
Cadet Lance Corporal George Barker
Cadet Lance Corporal Morgan Ball

Oundle�s Combined Cadet Force (CCF)
Contingent Commander: Major A.C. Mansergh Royal Marines
The Cadet Force is the largest single organisation in the School; numbering 460 cadets out of an eligible pool of 820 pupils. Eighteen members of staff provide a varied and exciting training programme every Wednesday afternoon during the term. Additional staff assist during the field weekends and holiday periods. Success and recognition is achieved at national levels; in both 2010 and 2011 a senior cadet was the runner up in The Duke of Westminster Award. Drawn from the country�s best 200 cadets this annual competition is run to find the top cadets. Oundle has produced three finalists in the last four years.
The CCF comprises of three sections: the Army Section, the Royal Navy Section and the RAF section, and is compulsory for all pupils for one year only (in the Fourth Form or Year 10). All three sections have a common core of Drill, Turnout and Skill at Arms. The RN Section then specialises in rowing, sailing and power boating, the Army Section in infantry skills and tactics, and the RAF Section in flight training. At the end of their Fourth Form year cadets may leave or decide to stay in the CCF and enter one of the specialist training sections: Advanced Infantry; NCO training within the Services; Fire and Rescue (the unit trains on its own fire engine); Adventure Training; and Diving.

Training takes place every Wednesday afternoon with two field weekends, one in September and one in April. In addition, every cadet will undertake at least one camp during School holidays. These camps include skiing in the Alps, diving in the Red Sea, climbing in the Alps and Scottish Highlands, as well as military camps organised by the RAF and Army.

The Oundle School Corps dates back to 1902, as the 'Rifle Corps' 1st (Volunteer) Battalion the Northamptonshire Regiment. Since 1958, the Cadet Corps at Oundle has continuously maintained all three Service sections (Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force). Cadets are able to attend the many national camps and courses available to them, some of which are aimed towards gaining qualifications (e.g. power-boating and first aid) whilst others are aimed at developing leadership and teamwork skills.
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