You might not know a lot about the Army Cadet Force but I would say that it has been the greatest experience of my life and I am so glad I joined the Irish Guards, Rickmansworth Detachment at The Royal Masonic School for Girls.
There are five companies in the Beds and Herts County with eight detachments in each company. I am in 3 Company with detachments such as Watford, St. Albans, Harpenden and Leavesden Green.
I have been in the cadet force for the last two years and have learnt life skills as well as made new friends and experienced new things. I am a Corporal and my role encourages leadership - before coming a cadet, I didn't have much experience of this. The ACF is somewhere you can go to be free of thoughts of school and exams and learn new skills.
Girls and boys take part aged 12 to 18 with a range of different skills and interests. The life skills that you gain from the ACF consists of first aid, map and compass, leadership and much more. You will be given kit and be able to wear your ironed kit and polished boots with pride.
There are at least six camps a year which include a competition weekend with your detachment. The small weekends give you the opportunity to learn new skills and make new friends or catch up with old friends. For the weekend camps we go to Bassingbourne Barracks, which is where the regular Army used to train, but for the 10 day summer camps we go all around England, for example Crowborough Camp in Yorkshire.
It is an honour to be asked to participate in competitions and many cadets really achieve at a high level, for example regional or national swimming, shooting and football. The cadets come from many different backgrounds and areas and have different abilities but everyone joins together as one huge family.
Although joining the Army is not the reason many of us participate in ACF, some of the cadets have gone to Sandhurst and completed their Officer Training. It is a brilliant experience, and for most of the cadets, the ACF is one of the highlights of their school life.
Previous ACF members have met Prince Harry and travelled the globe…you could be next!
Company Sergeant Major Scanio says:
I have been part of the Army Cadet Force for five years and have enjoyed it thoroughly as it has taught me vital skills such as first aid and navigation as well as more skilled subjects such as shooting and Fieldcraft. I was awarded Company Sgt Major recently and encounter this promotion as a huge privilege as no one from RMS has made it to this rank before. I am the highest cadet that has every attended Rickmansworth Detachment and I feel it is a great honour to take over as Cadet Sgt Major of such an organised and prestige community. I was honoured to attend the Master Cadet Course which is specifically run for cadets at the peak of their careers in the ACF. I hold a lot of pride stating that I came in the top 3 cadets on the course which is held at a national level.