One of the highlights of my time at PGS has been the Combined Cadet Force, this has given me opportunities ranging from parachuting, conducting an exercise with the Royal Marines and meeting HRH the Princess Royal. I started my journey in year 9, inquisitive to try something different; I joined the CCF and have never looked back, I’m sure not many eighteen-year-olds can say they have done what I’ve just mentioned, and that has all been down to this invaluable experience the school offers.
After working my way up the ranks, I was privileged enough to be put forward as a candidate for the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet, and selected, perhaps the rarest and most prestigious appointment a cadet could hope for. The position entails acting as a personal aide to the Lord Lieutenant (the Queen’s personal representative of which there is one in each county) and to assist him in his ceremonial duty. My duties have mainly been in parades, laying wreaths in ceremonies, but more recently, in March, my job was to open Princess Anne’s car door and escort her to an exhibition she opened in the dockyard. I have also recently attended a ceremony opening a memorial to the recipient of the Victoria Cross, and was humbled by the story of extreme courage in the face of death shown by LCpl. James Welch. On behalf of the Lord Lieutenant I laid a wreath to commemorate the bravery shown and took part in a parade with the Rifles regiment.
I commend the CCF to all pupils, no matter what stage in their school career, and offer evidence that with commitment, hard work and determination, any cadet can achieve and experience things far beyond others of their age.