Master Cadet Course, April 2024

Master Cadet Course, April 2024

One Saturday over Easter, Sgt Wolstenholme, Sgt Veldtman and I arrived at CTC (Cadet Training Centre) Frimley Park, filled with equal part excitement and nerves, as we had just arrived at Master Cadet.

The first day was spent getting to know our section, people from everywhere in the UK and preparing for Monday’s deployment into the field with team-building activities – soon it felt like we had known our sections for years.

Monday rolled around and, hyped, we set off on the log-run and obstacle course. Panting through the finish line and onto the bus, we set off to the training area just as the heavens opened, setting a wet atmosphere for the rest of the week. After a short trek through the forest, we occupied our harbour area and set to work making it our home. After a long night, with middle-of-the-night wake-up calls to stand in the freezing cold on stag, Tuesday morning came too early.

The next three days in the field saw us attacking enemy positions, conducting recce patrols, laying ambushes, evacuating casualties or building bridges, with each of us taking command appointments on rotation. When evening came, we retired shivering and exhausted to our doss bags for snatched hours of rest.

The last evening in harbour was spent preparing for the next day’s platoon attack: models were made, rifles cleaned, and orders delivered. At 0500 hrs, we were up and busy packing up what had been our home for the last three days. By 0720 hrs we were rolling out, ready to take on any enemy that may come our way. Soon shots ripped through the air and we were off. As each enemy was taken down another just seemed to pop up out, ready to take us on. Yet we kept pushing through, a continuous assault. As we thought the attack was drawing to a close, screams filled the air: we had taken multiple casualties that needed evacuation. So, we sprinted to the evacuation point, hasty to get the casualties to safety (and for them to call end of exercise!). As ENDEX was called, we all took a big sigh of relief and pilled back onto the bus. Never have a group of cadets been so happy to see a training facility. That evening called for celebration and relaxation with a full mess dinner.

On Friday after final parade it was time to pack our bags and leave, saying goodbye to Frimley and newly made friends. Leaving the security gates we were shattered but riding the high of passing Master Cadet, the most demanding course in the Army Cadet world.

Sgt Beukes (Lower VI Army)

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