Cadet Sergeant Ben Stevenson, 17, of 1109 (Thetford) Squadron has recently passed the toughest and most physically demanding leadership course available to the UK Cadet Forces, the Junior Leaders (JL).
As the title suggests the course focuses on the cadet’s leadership skills in some very mentally and physically challenging environments. Approximately eighty cadets started the course but only fifty successfully passed and can now be called ‘Qualified Junior Leaders’.
The journey started back in 2016 for Ben who, on passing selection, started the four phase course. This was run over eight weekends and included a Theory Phase, two phases of Practical Military Skills and one phase of Pre Deployment. 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 Ben had to adapt to a varying environment and at times, difficult weather conditions.
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’.
The success didn’t stop here for Ben, he was also awarded the ‘Gold Leadership Badge’ for exemplary skills which is the first in Norfolk and Suffolk Wing. This is an outstanding achievement and shows what can be achieved with hard work and commitment.
Sergeant Stevenson has relished the opportunity to teach leadership at his Squadron, where he now delivers the first class leadership lessons to the junior cadets.
This is a fantastic achievement and testament to his commitment and enthusiasm throughout the process.