Royal Marines Cadet Second Class is Laurelle is the face of our newest value - courage. She tells us how it feels and what courage means to her.
I, myself, to be frank- was incredibly astonished to find that a photo of myself, in my Royal Marine Cadet parade uniform, was chosen as one of the Sea Cadet Corp value posters. The photo, in its own right, was unknown of; considering that I was focusing very hard on the task at hand at that present time- taking a squad “dressing”. For that matter, this photo was taken on the 21st October 2018- during the Trafalgar Parade; taking place annually in Trafalgar Square at Nelson’s Column, commemorating the Battle of Trafalgar itself. There was, as expected, a selection process and a few days of drill practice and training that had to be completed and, even so, there were further selections within the practices for the Companies that we’d represent. The parade itself was not only worthwhile but absolutely phenomenal: the training, what we’d learnt, the experience of being onboard HMS Excellent and the parade itself- marching from Horse Guards Parade, through Pall Mall and right past Buckingham Palace.
In finding a photo of myself as the face of the Corp value “Courage”, aside from honoured and humbled, it reminded me and prompted me to think of where I had demonstrated such a key value in my life thus far. In the Sea Cadet and Royal Marine Cadet Corp, and in life, courage is defined as “doing what we know is right”- especially in the face of adversity. For myself, this has ranged from reporting incidents to standing up for others, putting myself on the forefront for the sake of those who require defending or someone who has no voice. It definitely makes me smile in realising that, in fact, I have and I can demonstrate courage in my everyday activities and relations.
I do believe that, however, I have learnt something new- despite the obvious that, in any event, the paparazzi have their eyes on you, even if you didn’t expect them; but that courage comes in many forms and is a key value that mustn’t be taken lightly. In the SCC and RMC, we learn about many Victoria Cross Winners- with the Victoria Cross being the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. In order to be awarded this, one must demonstrate “gallantry in the face of the enemy”, an “act of self-sacrifice and valour, and devotion to one’s duty”. More often than not, these winners are embossed with these awards in their selfless death- in serving those whom they protected. Although these aren’t handed out freely, young people can still take these values and ethics and implement them habitually. I think that courage is a pertinent morale that can help anybody- helped by it or demonstrating it. As Harper Lee said in To Kill a Mockingbird: “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what. - Atticus Finch”
I would recommend the Sea Cadets and Royal Marines Cadets with my whole heart- as they have not only done so much for so many young people, but also enriched the lives of so many young people and adults alike. My experience has been wonderful so far; I would never have been able to take part in such a large-scaled and national event, like the Trafalgar Parade if I had stayed at home or done anything else! The SCC and RMC Corp has truly opened up so many doors for me and exposed me to new opportunities and skills. Having also been embarked onto the National Aviation course last year, with all thanks to my unit, I must say, we rarely do the “every day” and, in all honesty, I love it. From sailing to Physical Training and offshore voyages, from Marine Engineering to Communication-Information systems and shooting weekends; these are only the tip of the iceberg as to what the SCC and RMC offer. It truly adds value and depth to my skills and knowledge, as well as teaching me something new and allowing me to channel and focus on my current and newly made interests. I would have little to say without the RMC and SCC and I must emphasise, with heartfelt sincerity, that they have changed my life and made me a stronger and more confident individual- and I am more than grateful.
As I close, it is important to remember that courage itself is a beautiful thing- it separates the wheat from the chaff, highlights those who are happy to stand up for what is right, helps societies and groups to come together and build better relationships. I hope that, as we go on with our daily lives, that we’d see courage being demonstrated and shown more often- especially with the rise in youth crime and fatal incidents and attacks. To be frank, doing what is right is worth it all.
Sea Cadets have six values - loyalty, self-discipline, respect, commitment, honesty & integrity and courage.