Cadets embark on awards project

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The West Lowland Battalion Army Cadet Force is an operating authority for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, qualifications instantly recognised throughout industry and commerce as well as by colleges and universities.

Over the past few years the local army cadets have taken huge strides forward in their successes in the own proficiency syllabus and 2011 was their year of sport. An example was the Scottish ACF Athletics Championship in June last year, from which the battalion left with six of the eight trophies, a best ever performance.

Unfortunately they cannot be top in everything so the numbers of cadets involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Award has dwindled over the past couple of years. The decrease has also been compounded with the award recording mechanism moving from the record book system to an online electronic database.

In September 2011, many adult instructors, along with a few senior cadets, attended an introduction to the DofE training weekend to bring all up to speed on operating successful Duke of Edinburgh Award groups. Last month a group got together to put the theory into action and relaunch the award through the army cadets in their local areas.

Local Duke of Edinburgh Award representative, Sergeant Ben Askew from Newton Stewart, said: “The Duke of Edinburgh Award is an internationally recognised qualification. We owe it to all youngsters in the Army Cadet Force the opportunity to take part. It may in the future give them the edge in getting the job they want or the university or college course they have set their heart on.”

The West Lowland Battalion covers a huge area including Ayrshire and Arran, Inverclyde, East and West Renfrewshire and Dumfries & Galloway, and has 34 local detachments.

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Picture 429 The representatives from the Army Cadet Force planning to take the Duke of Edinburgh Award forward during 2012