Army cadets: Sections – Physical

Award Physical Recreation programmes are contained in the publication Programmes File, available from Award Scheme Limited This is an expensive item, and a distribution of one per Area / Company would be reasonable.

While working for the Army Proficiency Certificate (APC), all Army Cadets will participate in Physical Achievement.

A more detailed description of this programme can be found in the APC Syllabus.

Physical Achievement

What is it?
A series of tests of agility and muscular endurance. Improvement is measured by allocating a points system to each test. Physical Achievement can be used in conjunction with any general fitness programme. The APC use Physical Achievement tests at each star level, details are given in the APC Syllabus. (Note: Skipping has replaced Bailey Bridge in the Award tests).
Safety Message
Physical Achievement sessions should be supervised by an Adult with a compete understanding of the nature of the exercises. Cadets should not be encouraged to attempt exercises beyond their capabilities.

The tests are:

Speed Test (Sprint)
Ball Speed Bounce
Trunk Curl
Skipping (Bailey Bridge in APC syllabus)
Push up
Single leg squat thrusts

A suggested method of running the tests is:
Base line assessment: best score following a period of introduction to techniques etc. Base line improvement: improved performance will be indicated by improved scores during the period of participation. A useful scoring system is given in the APC syllabus (Annex E to Section 1)
Progress should be monitored by an Adult with knowledge of the tests.

Sections – Skills

Ceremonial Drill

What is it?

The study and practice of drill, its use and history.

Safety Message

Cadets should only undertake practical drill sessions within their physical capabilities


Cadets should select ideas from the list below according to their interest, and the length of the period of activity. During the course of the studies the cadet should be progressing in the Drill, Turnout and Military Knowledge syllabus of the APC (ACF). It is not acceptable for Ceremonial Drill to consist solely of practical sessions.

Make a study of services, such as the Armed Services, who require good drill to carry out their duties. Understand the significance of drill in training

Investigate the variations in drill between different services or Nationalities (e.g. naval piping aboard, national marching steps)

Investigate drill carried out in National Voluntary Youth Organisations, and note the variations

Recognise and name two military marches. Research composers, and dates.

Participate in Church Parades and other ceremonies such as Remembrance day, and research the history of the occasions and parading of flags and banners.

Study the history of uniforms, particularly ceremonial dress.

Study the history of the carrying and parading of Colours by the Army.

Study the bands and marching of non military organisations.

Research the format of, and if possible visit, a major event involving drill such as Trooping the Colour, the Edinburgh Tattoo etc.

Study the history of the Changing of the Guard, the Keys ceremony at the Tower of London or a similar event.

Be aware of the role of drill through history. If possible visit a site of historical interest i.e. Roman fort, Civil War Battlefield, First World War

battlefield and investigate the drill or battlefield tactics of the period.

Undertake an advanced drill practice such as Cane Drill, Sword Drill, Guard Mounting, Silent Drill.


Practical progress should be assessed by an Officer or AI approved by the County Training Officer to conduct testing. Studies and investigations may be assessed by a suitably experience person e.g. serving or retired Serviceman or woman, Military Historian, Military Museum curator, senior non commissioned ranks in other uniformed Voluntary Youth Organisations etc.

Forces Insignia

What is it?

The Armed Forces have traditionally used badges to identify themselves, to record achievements and qualifications, and local connections. This is collectively known as Insignia, and includes cap badges, shoulder titles, flashes, regimental devices and qualification/skill badges.


The Cadet should make a study of badges and other insignia, which should be built up over the period of involvement. As time permits other topics as below should be included.

Make a study of as many cap badges as practicable, with a sketch or photograph.

Know the official title, nickname if applicable, order of precedence and three major battle honours of the Regiments selected above.

Find out the date of the introduction of each badge, the Regimental devices, and where appropriate, the mottoes and names of the Regimental marches of the Regiments selected.

Visit a Military museum dedicated to at least one of the Regiments studied, and produce an account of the visit.

Develop a knowledge of the history of the headgear in one of Her Majesty’s Forces from the beginning of the 19th century and produce either original

drawings or cut-outs of the headgear, showing how badges were worn.

Know the correct heraldic terms for the colours and metals used in the badges in the collection

Research the development of the uniform of one of Her Majesty’s Forces to the present day

Study the history of a number of Regiments

Visit other Regimental or Military museums, and record details of the visit with sketches of some of the exhibits.


The assessor should make regular inspections of the collection and of notes kept of any other project undertaken. Assessment may be undertaken by any person with the necessary military background.

Music – Bugles & Trumpets / Drummers / Pipers

What is it?

Learning how to play a musical instrument. The examples given are those likely to be followed by Cadets who are members of a Band or Corps of Drums.

Safety Message

Cadets should take care to read and follow any instructions on cleaning materials


Cadets should select items from the list below appropriate to their ability and preference.

Bugles and Trumpets.

Have a high standard of turn out, and be able to keep the instrument clean

Be able to march well (not playing) carrying the bugle or trumpet in the right hand with the bell on front right hip, attention to be paid to swinging the left arm.

Be able to play the five notes of the bugle or trumpet.

Research the history and development of bugles and/or trumpets.

Be able to sound three single routine calls – e.g. ‘Fall In’, ‘Cookhouse’, ‘Lights Out’.

Be able to play ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’.

Be able to take part in the bugle or trumpet marches

Carry out the bugle or trumpet drill movements as used in the Cadets unit.

Be able to sound ‘Retreat’, Tattoo ‘First Post’

Be able to play as many as possible of the following calls: Orderly Sergeants, Double, General Salute, Dismiss, Fire Alarm, Warning for Parade (Half Hour Dress)

Continue to build up a repertoire of calls and tunes.


  • Have a high standard of turn out, and be able to keep the instrument clean
  • Be able to march well (not playing) with drum slung and stick in the right hand. Particular attention to be paid to swinging the right arm.
  • Be able to beat 2/4 and 6/8 time) And be able to play a good three pace roll. (Side & tenor drummers)
  • Show good stick drill when playing at the halt (Bass drummers)
  • Be able to play ?off? beats in 2/4, 6/8 and 3/4 time, be able to beat a good seven pace roll and take part in six different marches as solo side drummer. (Side & tenor drummers)
  • Be able to march over prescribed distance (50m minimum) beating prescribed paces to the minute and show good stick drill with two sticks on the march. (Bass drummers)
  • Be able to play a good five pace roll and fifteen pace roll (Side and tenor drums)
  • Be able to demonstrate ‘the Flam’, ‘the Drag’ and ‘the Paradiddle’. (Side drummers only)
  • Be able to demonstrate good stick drill, maintaining a good rythmic beat in quick and slow time while introducing ‘stick twirling’. (Bass and tenor drummers)


  • Understand care and handling of practice chanter. Simple hygiene
  • Be able to play the scale
  • Know what grace notes are and demonstrate them
  • Be able to play simple grace-notes combinations or doubling
  • Be able to play Taorluaths, Leumluaths or Crips
  • Be able to play four tunes on the practice chanter.
  • Staff notation – be able to name and play notes and grace-notes and recognise doubling
  • Be able to play 12 tunes on the practice chanter
  • Be able to play 6 tunes on the pipes
  • Have a knowledge of note values and be able to explain the writing of doubling. Able to read music
  • Know the correct procedure for holding reeds and removing joints.
  • Have a knowledge of general care and maintenance of bagpipes
  • Have a knowledge of tuning pipes and making adjustments to reeds
  • Have a full knowledge of staff notation
  • Be able to play slow airs, marches, strathspeys and reels on the bagpipes