Thetford Air Cadet’s ‘fantastic achievement’ after passing most demanding course available to UK cadet forces

Cadet Sergeant Ben Stevenson, who has passed a demanding leadership course. Picture: Thetford Air Ca

Cadet Sergeant Ben Stevenson, who has passed a demanding leadership course. Picture: Thetford Air Cadets - Credit: Archant

A member of Thetford Air Cadets has passed the toughest and most demanding leadership course available to the UK cadet forces.

Cadet Sergeant Ben Stevenson, from 1109 Squadron, took part in the Junior Leaders course which tests leadership skills in some mentally and physically challenging environments.

The 17-year-old was one of only 50 who successfully passed the course - and he was also awarded the Gold Leadership Badge for his exemplary skills, the first in the Norfolk and Suffolk Wing.

The teenager was selected for the four-phase course in 2016.

It ran over eight weekends and included theory, practical military skills and pre-deploymnet.


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Ben successfully passed all phases and reached test week where all candidates spend seven days living in the field whilst carrying out three leadership tasks - otherwise known as operations - a day.

The locations throughout the week changed and the cadet had to adapt to a varying environment and at times, difficult weather conditions.

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Ben said: “Although there were moments when you were under your shelter sheet with ice falling down or on patrol in challenging weather conditions, the experience was incredible and I have made some good friends along the way.

“I would recommend this course to anyone with an interest in leadership and fieldcraft.”

Sergeant (ATC) Matt Drewry, from 1109 Squadron, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and testament to his commitment and enthusiasm throughout the process.”

If you’d like to find out how to join Thetford Air Cadets email adj.1109@aircadets.org or visit 1109 Thetford Squadron Air Cadets on Facebook.

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