Courage of our 151 Cadet Unit

By Stuart Ward, Head of Boarding, NRL Cowboys House

54 students, 17 different communities, 7 different schools – what activity would join our young NRL Cowboys House men together as one, where the students would learn discipline, leadership, punctuality, respect and resilience?

Introducing the Army Cadets!

Charles keeping low on the army assault course 

To bring our idea to life, we developed an activity program with the help of Captain Paul Haughton, who immediately became part of NRL Cowboys House with his energy and enthusiasm, and 151 Cadet Unit was formed!

Since the formation of the unit, our cadets have been involved in a range of character-building and sometimes challenging experiences, including:

  • Marching at the last two Anzac Days
  • Performing the official flag ceremony for Anzac Round at the Cowboys v Titans home game
  • Completing a weekend activity out in the field: army ranges, assault courses, map reading, cooking out in the field, basic map reading, camouflage and concealment and Australian Defence vehicles
  • Promotion courses to Corporal and Sergeant
Preparing for a river crossing (command task)

Most recently we were asked to place a team of ten young men into a military skills competition at Lavarack Barracks.

The weekend camp was run from Friday to Sunday, and the boys were up at 5am every day, conducting physical exercise, command tasks, radios, first aid, map reading, drill, with hardly any sleep.

I knew they would give the weekend a good go but was concerned that their lack of military knowledge may let them down. I shouldn’t have worried.

Students carrying army stores – great teamwork!

On the Monday evening after the competition, the Brigade Regimental Sergeant Major informed me that 151 Army Cadet Unit, NRL Cowboys House had been selected to enter a team in the Chief of Army Cadet Team Challenge!

This is a prestigious competition, recognised by the regular Army, that only the best Australian army cadets get to apply for.

Once they have applied, they go through further testing and selection, before each region selects the best cadets to form a regional team.

In theory, only the best top 10% of cadets across Australia get the opportunity to take part in this competition. I could not be more proud.

A well-deserved rest before taking on the firing range

The boys now fly to Melbourne for the Cadet Team Challenge on 7 July – watch this space!

I would like to acknowledge Captain Paul Haughton, Captain Kody Rowe, SGT Matt Carter and Eleasha Callaghan, who have worked so hard to give our young men this opportunity.

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