Master Cadet - a cadet's view

Cadet CSM Mae Wallace from Humberside and South Yorkshire ACF takes up the story of her Master Cadet course

18 April 2019

Being named as a Master Cadet is the pinnacle of a cadet's time in the ACF, they have successfully passed their star levels, gained so much knowledge in their journey, become a role model to junior cadets. But before they can be called Master Cadet they have to complete their Master Cadet Course.

"Today was the day! Sunday 7 April… and myself and Cdt S/Sgt Adam Gale were on our way to the Cadet Training Centre Frimley Park for our Master Cadet Course. A little bit nervous but excited to be on the course.

Mae Wallace and Adam Gale
Adam and Mae outside Frimley Park CTC

"When we arrived we had time to settle in, and to get to know everyone who was going to be with us, including the instructors. We got issued kit we needed ready for Monday when the course started properly.

"Day one started with the famous Frimley breakfast followed by a presentation on Values and Standards, before some revision on occupying a harbour area. The morning flew by and it was already lunch time. After lunch, we had to pack our kit, and get on the coach to the Training Area.

"Shortly after arriving at the training area, we had to go into tactical mode… everything we did had to be done tactically. Our first task was to occupy our harbour area, before sending out some patrols. We were getting in to the feel of doing things really quick.

"Day two in the field saw us wake up at 6am ready for breakfast, which fuelled us for a full day of activities. The course was split into sections, I was in One Platoon / Black Section, while S/Sgt Gale was in 2 Platoon / Red Section. Throughout the exercise we were given a mission to complete.While out in the field we have to protect our harbour and we were set time to be Sentry 24/7. I got the 02:00 – 03:00 slot.

"There was a break in the FTX on Wednesday as we had a guest turn up to speak to us. Ex SAS member Big Phil Campion talked to us about the course and even posted on Instagram with us.

"On Thursday morning we got up at 04:30 and were out of the new harbour area at 06:00 ready to patrol out. The final platoon attack was amazing and kept us alert and on our guard throughout.

"Once we had destroyed the enemy we headed back to Frimley Park. All the firing we'd done meant a lot of carbon build up, so we cleaned our weapons, and handed kit back, before a preparation talk about the mess dinner that night.

"The mess dinner was amazing, most of us haven’t had Silver Service before, it was a great experience and the food was beautiful - all four courses.

"After the meal, we had a guest speaker called Captain Lou Rudd come speak to us. He was an ex-soldier who had crossed Antarctica, during his presentation he showed us items he found on the trip believed to belong to Earnest Shackleton.

"Friday morning rolled around, and we had our interviews, where we found out what grades we’d received from the course. I was so happy we both achieved high grades. We’d put a lot of effort into our cadet careers and into the courses we’ve attended on the way and now we’re Master Cadets.

"Once the interviews were completed, the Sandhurst Officer Recruitment Team came to speak to us all about the Army's Officer Selection. It was really interesting to hear about the special activities on offer, such as flying a plane.

"The course was brought to an end with the final parade, before heading back to the train station for the trip home.

"I can honestly say both S/Sgt Gale and myself have had one of the most fantastic experiences we have had in the ACF and we both felt honoured to attend the course at Frimley Park. Although it was both physically and mentally challenging it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We would recommend it to all senior cadets."

CSM Mae Wallace