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Passed with flying colours!

Published Tuesday 22nd of March 2016 09:33:10 AM

Major-General Richard Wardlaw OBE, Chief of Staff at the multi-national headquarters of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps in Gloucestershire, visited St Benedict’s School Combined Cadet Force (CCF) in Ealing on Monday March 14th as part of the biennial inspection by the Ministry of Defence. The formal part of the review had been conducted earlier at Longmoor Camp on Friday March 11th by Lieutenant-Colonel David Garner RE. The inspecting officers saw the cadets involved in a variety of activities: at Longmoor, navigation and weapons training, shooting on the DCCT, and the obstacle course; in Ealing, more weapons training, first aid, and a typical parade. Their verdict - passed with flying colours. Lieutenant-Colonel David Garner RE wrote: "The overarching impression of the Contingent is that it is well structured and organised with dedicated, enthusiastic and professional staff... The cadets themselves were impressive and eager to learn, with the more senior cadets being excellent examples to the newer members... The Contingent is extremely fortunate to have an experienced ex-Regular Warrant Officer as the SSI... The Contingent is well run and well recruited... The staff should be congratulated and thanked for their personal time, commitment and effort". The CCF Contingent Commander, Capt Shaun Hullis, said: “MG Wardlaw’s incisive grasp of the strengths of the Contingent and the challenges which we face made a strong impression on all of us. It was a great boost for all those cadets who won awards or promotions to have them presented by MG Wardlaw, and to hear his praise for their "Selfless Commitment", one of the six core values of the British Army which we aspire to uphold. Among the awards were promotions to Staff Sergeant for Sergeants David Cuss and Hugh Norman, and to Corporal for Lance-Corporals Charlotte McCosker and Lucy Atkinson. The £50 prize for the best recruit went to Cadet Alexander Will. The CCF's most prestigious award, the Conabor Sword, was presented to Cadet Belinda Perez, a Year 10 cadet from our partner school, Cardinal Wiseman in Greenford, whose cadets make up one-third of our CCF's strength.” Major General Wardlaw wrote to Chris Cleugh, the Headmaster of St Benedict’s, as follows: "I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with the cadets and I was hugely impressed by the dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism shown by the staff and cadets alike. Bringing two schools into a single contingent is a first for me to see and it seems to be working very well indeed... Talking to the cadets, it is clear that they are enjoying everything that has been laid on by the Contingent thus far, in particular the camps they have been on. Crawling through the heather on Pirbright Training Area to launch an attack on their opposite numbers was mentioned by many of the recent recruits as one of the best things they had ever done. The standard of instruction I observed by both the cadets and your school nurse was first class... They brought immense credit to their CCF, the school, and of course in the investment made by their Headmaster and teaching staff."
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