Ex Army Cadet considered best
Every year ex-ACF cadets attend the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and pass out as Officers in the British Army. There are 3 pass out parades each year and at each parade the cadet considered best overall by the Commandant is awarded The Sword of Honour. On the 9th August 2013 222 cadets passed out as Army Officers with 2Lt Peter Gornall, an ex cadet from Hampshire and Isle of Wight ACF, presented The Sword of Honour by The Countess of Wessex.
2Lt Peter Gornall who was a cadet in A Company at Fleet and Church Crookham detachment joined the ACF when he was aged 12 with a friend who suggested it would be a good idea. At 16 he decided that a military career was what he wanted. Peter said “having done some time with the cadets it confirmed that it was a job I would enjoy and gave me the motivation to attempt Westbury for an Army Scholarship. My father doing a Short Service Commission in the 15/19th King’s Royal Hussars also played a part and I always knew I wanted to be an officer as it was always leadership that I enjoyed and the opportunity to lead a troop of soldiers is the ultimate challenge and responsibility.’
In 2007 Peter attended Westbury and qualified for an Army scholarship which he recommends to anyone else considering an Army Officer career “it’s a fantastic support through college and university and allows you to go on some excellent trips in the summer breaks. In my opinion the sooner you start engaging with the regiments or corps you hope to join the better and this allows you to look at areas that you might be interested in pursuing.” Peter commissioned into the The King’s Royal Hussars and following the next stage of his training, the RAC Troop Leaders Course in Bovington, will assume command of four Challenger 2 tanks and a troop of soldiers in March next year. He will then be qualified to lead his first Troop well and he hopes attend an operational tour.
Describing Officer training as challenging Peter said “the lack of sleep and pace of life through junior term is relentless and operating with little to no sleep on exercise added a challenging element and is something you certainly get better at with time. However the opportunity to lead your peers when in command appointment and receive feedback from the best staff that the British Army has to offer is very rewarding. It is also great fun living in a platoon of 30 Officer Cadets. The experiences you go through as a group certainly produces some friends you will stay in touch with for the rest of your life.”
Asked how he felt about being awarded the sword of Honour Peter said “It certainly was a surprise! You don’t know that you’re in contention until the final exercise in Scotland and the Commandant keeps his cards close to his chest until 10 days before commissioning. I am incredibly grateful and hugely honoured to be awarded this prestigious prize.”
In his final year in the ACF Peter was the Lord Lieutenant Cadet for Hampshire as well as cadet RSM which was his proudest achievement. He said “being in the ACF gave me an early taste of leadership and I learnt a great deal that has helped me in both military and civilian spheres. I am incredibly grateful to all the staff that volunteered their time to instruct us.”
For more information on the Cadets as an Adult Instructor or Cadet please visit http://www.serfca.org/en-gb/cadets.aspx