CRC students join forces with University OTC for ‘survival’ training exercises

Uniformed Services students at Cambridge Regional College are learning essential team-leading and innovative thinking skills through action-packed ‘survival’ exercises, thanks to support from Cambridge University’s Officers’ Training Corps.

Designed to train the army of the future, the exercises are also bringing benefits in the classroom, with students feeling more confident and bringing their new-found independence to their studies, say tutors.

“We take the students from sitting at home playing on the computers, with their phones always at hand, to living in tents they have built themselves and cooking their own food on open fires,” said Dale Turner, head of CRC’s Uniformed Services at the college.

“All the students benefit enormously from the experience – each one of them feels more independent, everyone has had a chance to shine and there is more of a team atmosphere. And above all, they have a huge sense of achievement. We really notice the difference in them when we get back to the classroom.

“The training also gives them an introduction to the skills employers want – working as a team, being independent and thinking for themselves. Not every student will join the Services, but the skills they are learning will give them a head start in any career they choose.”

In an exercise run in partnership with Cambridge University’s Officers’ Training Corps, 75 first year Uniformed Services students at CRC had a taste of life in uniform – with survival training taking centre stage. During a week’s outdoor training at a MoD training centre in Suffolk, they lived in camouflaged shelters in the forest, ate army rations and fought off night-time ‘enemy’ attacks by members of the OTC.

“Eight or nine of our students are planning to go on to university and now, having seen the OTC in action during the exercises, they are very keen to join the Corps, so it’s good to see that the OTC is benefitting as well,” said Dale.

“The university students also got a lot out of the exercise – they had leadership roles and gave us a lot of support and guidance which was great for both us and the OTC members.”

Cambridge OTC-Commanding Officer Lt Col George Macintosh said: “The survival exercises provides a great practical opportunity for Cambridge University Officer Cadets to demonstrate their leadership prowess and gives the Cambridge Regional College students a real taste of army life.”

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MEDIA ENQUIRIES

For more information, please contact Lynn O’Shea, Cambridge Regional College Press Officer, on 01223 418773 or email loshea@camre.ac.uk