On Thursday the 28th of September, Benenden School and John Wallis Academy Combined Cadet Forces had the honor of being inspected by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne. HRH had been visiting Benenden School for their Global conference ‘Inspiring Future Female Leaders’ and had requested to inspect the CCF on the day. Though a tight schedule constrained her, HRH made time for many of the cadets of all troops and took a moment to have a small conversation with each of them. She seemed largely interested in what Cadets felt they had gained from their time in CCF, or what had drawn the new Cadets to join. Many reflected on the skills and enjoyment they gained from being in CCF, whilst several comments on how excited they would be to take part in the parachuting course, much to HRH seeming amusement.
Overall, for the cadets, this is guaranteed to be a lifelong memory and they were as proud of themselves as those around them, in both their conduct and skill. In the lead-up to HRHs visit, the Cadets, the bulk of which had only been in CCF for three weeks made a huge effort, taking considerable time, to ensure all uniform was properly prepared to a high standard. With the Contingent increasing 3-fold at the start of term it was a challenge to ensure all had the uniform.
For myself the occasion was as equally nerve-wracking as it was exciting, leading the parade on the day. I am honored to have had the privilege of leading the Cadets for this academic year. The CCF is a significant part of my life, the skills I, alongside the other cadets, learned during our time in the CCF, such as leadership and self-discipline, are invaluable lessons that extend beyond life in the cadet forces. CCF for many acts as a source of enjoyment every week, with the opportunity to build strong friendships both within and between the two schools, reflecting the cohesive and friendly nature of our CCF.
Written by Cadet WO2 Louisa Lesslar, Senior Cadet, Benenden School and The John Wallis Academy CCF
scan for footage of the visit
There are CCF contingents in over 500 secondary schools all over the UK, offering young people a broad range of challenging, exciting, adventurous and educational activities.
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