Tuesday 20th November 2007 by C. Freeman
The work of the Army Cadet Force was highlighted during a recent assembly. Lt Sean Smales, Detachment Commander of Corby III detachment, told students of the opportunities and training the organisation offers.
Activities include map and compass work, first aid, helping in the community, fitness and skill at arms training. There is scope for cadets to also take part in the Duke of Edinburgh's award scheme as well as trips and training days.
Lt Smales told students: 'What we do is very varied. We teach you military and civilian skills so that you can go out there and command a squad of cadets in an exercise and win.'
Several students from Brooke Weston already attend the Army Cadets and they recently formed a Guard of Honour to welcome Falklands Veteran, Simon Weston to the College's prizegiving. Now Corby III detachment is hoping to swell their ranks from their current total of 38 cadets up to around 50.
New cadets are taught basic military skills and then follow a 'star' rating system, learning increasingly complex skills, and progressing through cadet, lance corporal, corporal and sergeant ranks. There is also scope for cadets to attend the UK Army Cadet Force Headquarters in Surrey for a leadership course, a qualification that is recognised in civilian life.
Cadets get the chance (after appropriate training!) to go target shooting on a fullbore outdoor and smallbore indoor range.
Typical fixtures in the cadet calendar include parades, first aid weekends, a Christmas party, expeditions, hikes, detachment training days, company weekends training in Yardley Chase, annual camp (with 1,000+ cadets from the county) and educational training at Browndown Camp near Gosport where the television series 'Bad Lads' Army' was filmed.
Corby III Detachment cadets meet up on Tuesdays from 18.30 to 21.30hrs at the headquarters in Crucible Road Corby (near the Fire Station), and it costs £30 for a year's subscription. A free uniform is provided but cadets are expected to supply their own army boots. New recruits (who can be aged from 12 to 18 years) will be given a tour of the building, an introduction to Skill at Arms and can expect to do a lot of drill to get to a certain standard in as short a time as possible. But Lt Smales said: ''We're teaching you how to be a leader and how to help the people around you, but most of all, whatever we do it's always fun, we make sure we enjoy it.'
Lt Smales joined the Army cadet force three and a half years ago after moving to Corby. He has previously worked with scout groups and the Territorial Army.