On Saturday the 21st October 2023 I set off on potentially my biggest adventure within the army cadets. The master cadet course is designed to be mentally and physically the most challenging course the ACF has to offer, and that it is.
After 2 trains, 2 tubes and many confusing looks at train schedules I made it to Cadet Training Centre Frimley Park. Upon arriving I was allocated a bed space and was issued all the kit I needed for the following week, from foot powder to a helmet, I was given everything.
Then we were separated into sections and assigned with a section commander. They were to answer any questions and help us get through the course. We were then given the standard course brief and told the dos and don'ts. After this the night was ours to get to know the people we were going to be living with for the next 6 days.
The following day we had a series of refreshers on subjects we will need to know to complete the activities. We went through mainly CIS and fieldcraft as the fieldcraft element of the course is the biggest phase. It was interesting to see the difference in training levels in all cadets. Following this we walked through the obstacle course and were given tips and safety points to reduce the risk of injuries. We then had the rest of the night to pack for the fieldcraft.
On day 3 we were faced with the physically demanding task of the log run followed by the obstacle course that we were shown the day before. As a team we had to carry a log weighing around 40KG 2 miles then straight into the obstacle course. This was timed and we wouldn't be told our time until the end of the course. After dinner we were then deployed into the field. I was chosen as the first section commander. This meant I had to organize the section and make sure everything that should be done was done. I then went into a set of platoon orders, for this I had to take the parts relevant for my section and deliver my own set of orders to my section so everyone knew the plan. We then had to create a stag rota and put up bashers and get some sleep. I found it hard getting up at 2:30 for stag but looking back on it it wasn't that bad.
The next day was my time to shine. I had to lead my section out of the harbour area to the Forming Up Point (FUP) to clear a set of wood blocks. When clearing as expected we were contacted by the enemy. I then had to formulate a plan to destroy the enemy. My plan was that the delta fire team would create a baseline of fire to keep the enemy heads down. Whilst my fire team ('charlie') would flank to the left, drop off a point of fire, and me and a rifle man would go in and destroy the enemy. I then had a debrief and was told it went well. I just had to create the plan quicker. then everyone else in my section had the chance to be section commander throughout the day.
The next day we all had another go at being section commander implementing the points raised the previous day. On my command appointment I was chosen to use artillery fire. As section commander I called in the artillery fire on the enemy position then took my section into the enemy position to destroy any remaining enemy. I was told this was one of the strongest attacks of the course and I really enjoyed it.
On the last day in the field we conducted a platoon attack. For this my section was fire support whilst 1 section did the initial attack. We then had to run 500 meters to cut the enemy off. During this I was a simulated casualty and the rest of my section had to carry me to the med evac point. This was the end of the fieldcraft phase.
Once back at CTC we handed our kit back and had a 3 course carvery dinner and this made everything worthwhile.
On the last day we were told how we did on the course and I passed. This course was by far one of my favourite things I have ever done in the cadets and I would recommend anyone who gets the opportunity to go and do it.