About 80 Australian Army Cadets from units around the country did battle at Puckapunyal recently as they fought for their most significant award.
The cadets gathered at the local military area to take part in the annual Chief of Army Cadet Team Challenge (CACTC), which was taken out by South Queensland Army Cadets.
It was a gruelling two-day, three-night event in inhospitable weather, with nine teams representing each Australian Army Cadet Brigade and battalions from around Australia.
The CACTC cadets were assessed on a raft of skills including field navigation, firearm skills and knowledge, use of radios, first aid and patient management, obstacle course, field engineering, water obstacle, leadership and problem-solving.
Cadet teams each comprised 10 young men and women and were drawn from units across the country. They underwent rigorous military-style training in their units before taking part in the challenge.
Army chief Lieutenant General Angus Campbell reviewed and presented awards at a parade of more than 500 people.
He said the army was very proud of the wider application of the cadet program and he had a word of advice for the cadets.
‘‘Whatever you choose to do, do it at the best of your ability and when you do, you’ll enjoy it,’’ he said.
The Australian Army Cadets is a leading national youth development organisation.
There are about 16000 army cadets ranging in age from 13 to 18 years in about 220 units.
‘‘Cadets competing in the challenge are some of the finest for their generation and may one day become some of the country’s national leaders,’’ Australian Army Cadets commander Brigadier Wayne Budd said. ‘‘Cadets is a fantastic organisation that gives young Australians opportunities they would not otherwise experience, but with a military flavour.’’