Cleveland Cadet named UK Champion Cadet

4 September 2017

The winner of the 2017 Champion Cadet Competition has been announced, with the coveted title going to Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major Harvey Duffield (17) of Cleveland ACF.

Harvey Duffield with Maj AP Clayton (Frimley Chief Instructor, Left) and Lt Col GP Jones (Frimley Commandant, Right)

Harvey was awarded the Claire Shore Trophy after a hard-fought competition against 15 other cadets at the National Cadet Training Centre at Frimley Park in Surrey, which took place between 29 August and 1 September 2017.

The competition required all the cadets to demonstrate their knowledge of military and civilian skills. Over nearly 48 hours, they took part in a range of challenges to test their physical and mental abilities, and competed against each other, both individually and as members of a team. in a range of activities - such as shooting on ranges, day and night navigation, delivering lectures to large groups and solving challenging command tasks.Throughout the competition assessors looked for signs of leadership, teamwork, self-discipline and unselfishness. In making the final assessment the selection committee looked for the competitor who was this year’s most inspiring example of an ACF Cadet.

Harvey has been a cadet with Cleveland Army Cadet Force since 2012, in the Royal Engineers detachment at Norton Army Reserve Centre. In addition to being Champion Cadet, he is the current Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM), the senior cadet with responsibility for the other 600 cadets in the county, as well as being Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for County Durham, involving ceremonial duties when VIPs and members of the Royal Family visit the region.

On top of all of his cadet duties, Harvey studies Computer Science, Maths and Physics at Queen Elizabeth College in Darlington.

“I joined the cadets because I wanted a challenge and to push myself further," Harvey said. "When I first joined I had a few concerns about whether I would fit in or not, but everybody at my detachment is really friendly and it is a fantastic youth organisation."

Harvey added that his favourite thing about being a cadet was going away to annual camp.

"It’s very much like a summer holiday, but you take all of your mates with you. We get to complete loads of adventurous training which you wouldn’t normally be able to do in school. We have been away to Germany, Scotland, Cyprus and this year we went to Northern Ireland.”

More details are available about the competition and on how ACF counties can nominate their best Master Cadet for next year's competition.