Royal Navy opens Royal Marines Combined Cadet Unit at Exeter Academy

A prestigious academy school in Exeter has become the first in the West Country to open a Royal Marines Combined Cadet Force Unit, as part of a MOD Scheme.

ISCA Academy Exeter, has established the new cadet unit as part of the Cadet Expansion 500 programme which jointly between MOD and the Department for Education is seeking to increase the number of Cadet Units in state schools.

There to take the salute from the Royal Marine Cadets and officially open the new CCF Unit was Royal Navy Commander Gavin MacDougall, who works in Plymouth as part of Flag Officer Sea Training Cadet & youth team.

“It is an absolute honour and a real privilege to be here today and officially open this Royal Marine Combined Cadet Force section at ISCA Academy in Exeter,” said Cdr Gavin MacDougall.

It went really well today, I really enjoyed being in charge.

Royal Marine Cadet Lance Corporal Beth Harper

“This will be the first Royal Marines Unit to be opened under the scheme in the whole of the West Country and with the obvious links and proximity of the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone, I am confident it will flourish.”

The Government have devoted £50M from LIBOR fines to support the cadet expansion programme, which provides a safe place for young people to develop through undertaking fun and changing activities.

By underpinned the values and standards of the Armed Forces it recognises that Cadet Units in schools, continue to change many young people’s lives for the better.

“My school already has a strong ethos of providing opportunities to develop the wider skills and experiences of our students through our extracurricular provision,” said Aimee Mitchell, Head Teacher at ISCA Academy.

“The cadet force enables the students to be part of a structured youth organisation, which is well supported by the MOD and strengthens further the school community ethos of high expectations and self-discipline.”

The Royal Navy is committed to supporting the scheme and believes the exciting initiative will enables pupils and staff to experience benefits, where cadets can develop self-discipline, resilience and improve their team building, problem solving, leadership skills.

There are also opportunities to gain nationally recognised qualifications and life skills grown as a cadet can develop a pupil’s employability.

Cadet Units in Schools can have a positive impact across the entire school as the improvement in leadership, confidence and discipline among cadets provide good examples to other pupils.

Teachers who become Cadet Force Adult Volunteers can also benefit and gain recognised qualification, receiving training and enhance their career development.

Royal Marine Cadet Lance Corporal Beth Harper of ISCA Academy had the privilege of taking charge of the parade in front of parents and staff. Beth was the Cadet out front leading the Unit on their big day.

“It went really well today, I really enjoyed being in charge. I’ve been in the Cadets for two years, I joined when it started in the School, but I did do Sea Cadets before, so I’m used to the way things are done. It’s a lot more fun involved and there are a lot more life skills involved. There’s a lot more variety it the activities.”