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10 GMC Prep School cadets visit United Kingdom through cultural exchange visit
(GMC Prep School cadets visiting the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. Standing (l-r) are MAJ Amanda Mercer, Emily Arp, Mattison Strom, Anna Caldwell, Lyssa Blair, Melinda Steele, Natalie Hanberry, Jacob Kauzlarich, Sean Herndon, Aiden Greer,Jason Schneck, Dr. Steve Greer.)
10 Georgia Military College (GMC) Prep School cadets traveled overseas for an opportunity of a lifetime. The cadets left the United States on June 13, to take part in a 10-day cultural exchange visit hosted by the Royal Hospital School (RHS) in Holbrook, United Kingdom (UK). The RHS was originally founded in the 1700’s to prepare boys for service in the Royal Navy, but today the school promotes and encourages leadership, a sense of adventure, and self-discovery. Last summer, four GMC Prep cadets established a bond with nearly 30 students from the RHS during a military training at Fort Benning, Georgia, which set precedent for this trip.
“The purpose of this trip was to develop a partnership for future engagements with the RHS,” said Dr. Steve Greer, GMC Prep School’s Associate Principal. “Ultimately to develop a relationship so that we can have the RHS come over here for a period of time to experience our culture and Prep School.”
(GMC Prep Cadets preparing to conduct the 48 hr Field Training exercise. First row (kneeling, l-r): Anna Caldwell, Melinda Steele, Lyssa Blair, Emily Arp, Natalie Hanberry, Mattison Strom. Standing (l-r): Aiden Greer, Jacob Kauzlarich, Sean Herndon, Jason Schneck.)
To be selected to go on the trip, the cadets had to be highly motivated, physically fit and have good grades. During the 10-day excursion, the cadets experienced a wide array of cultural and adventure training opportunities alongside their peers at the RHS. The cadets viewed the Sunset Parade and attended a Royal Dinner with dignitaries from the UK. They also participated in adventure training which included firing the British SA-80 rifle and the British Light Machinegun, navigating an obstacle course, and conducting a night ambush patrol with members of the combined cadet forces. Cadet Sean Herndon says the training was an eye opening experience for him.
“I decided to go on the England trip because it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience,” said Cadet Sean Herndon. “The event I enjoyed the most was the 48-hour Field Training Exercise. It was my favorite because it gave me an opportunity to learn some military strategy.”
(Cadet Anna Caldwell negotiates the high wire obstacle at Merville Barracks, Colchester, UK.)
Cultural visits to London and Greenwich gave cadets the opportunity to tour several historic places including the Royal Naval Museum, the Queen’s House, the Royal Observatory, Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing Street, Big Ben, the House of Parliament, and the Tower of London. They also tasted the UK’s best “Fish & Chips” at Aldeburgh Beach along with a boat tour down the River Cam through the City of Cambridge. The cadets wrapped up their visit with a tour of the Imperial War Museum at Duxford and the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial. Cadet Emily Arp says she gained new friends from the trip.
“I enjoyed meeting a lot of people from the school and making new friends,” said Cadet Emily Arp. “Learning the different cultures was a lot of fun for me, and I think that was my favorite part of our UK trip. Seeing the old and amazing places that England has to offer was a once in a lifetime experience, and I’m thankful that I got the chance to go.”
(GMC Prep School cadets attending the Royal Dinner at the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook. Standing (l-r) are Jason Schneck, Aiden Greer, Sean Herndon, Jacob Kauzlarich, Anna Caldwell, Lyssa Clair, Mattison Strom, Melinda Steele, Emily Arp, Natalie Hanberry, and MAJ Amanda Mercer.)
GMC is working with the RHS to make this cultural exchange visit a bi-annual experience for their students and plans are underway to join them next summer at Fort Benning.
The Cadets and Faculty Members who participated in the UK Exchange Visit to the Royal Hospital School