Northampton Sea Cadets’ drill team are heading to HMS Raleigh after qualifying for the national championships.
Led by its Guard Commander, Cadet Petty Officer (CPO) Alex Hearn, they were named the best in Eastern Area at the annual regional drill competition last month.
It was the 17-year-old’s first ever competition leading the drill team guiding them to victory and a place in the national final to be held at the Royal Navy’s training facility in Cornwall.
He said: “To say the competition was tough is an understatement.
“Each team after months of training has only minutes to create a good impression on the judges to remember us by. The margin for error is minute.
“My heart was racing as the orders came out of my mouth and so quickly the routine was over.
“We then had to wait the rest of the day watching all the other routines until we could find out if, and how well, we had placed.”
It proved to be an excellent day all round for Alex who has been a cadet for over four years.
As part of the presentation he was surprised to be awarded badges and a promotion certificate promoting him to CPO, the highest rank a Sea Cadet can reach.
Alex added: “I am really looking forward to seeing all the other teams compete on the national stage.”