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Army April 14, 2011
By Lt Darren Elder
SHAGGY Ridge is a name few
Duntroon graduates recall with
fondness. The multi-day leadership
exercise pushes cadets mentally
and physically to their limits.
For the 103 staff cadets of
Duntroon's centenary class,
Exercise Shaggy Ridge was all
about surviving long marches,
heavy loads, gruelling activities,
searing temperatures and the driv-
ing rain of Queensland's Wide Bay
Held in late March, Shaggy
Ridge was a significant milestone
in the cadets' 18 months at the
Royal Military College.
Senior Instructor I Class Maj
Mark Wales said the course pro-
vided cadets with an insight into
the current operational tempo and
the confidence they would need to
be successful leaders in their Army
"Shaggy Ridge is very rel-
evant," he said. "It gives cadets a
good understanding of what it takes
to lead and motivate small groups
when everybody is under duress.
"The cadets get a reduced
amount of sleep and a reduction in
their food intake during the exer-
"Combining this with challeng-
ing physical and mental activities
creates a situation where they are
under extreme duress."
Physical activities the cadets
were faced with included a water
crossing, stores carries, casualty
evacuations, infantry tactics, and
vehicle and gun pushes.
"The mental activities force
the cadets to draw on everything
they've been taught at Duntroon to
make quick decisions," Maj Wales
said"The extra complexities we add
into some activities, for example,
also challenge their ethics."
When Shaggy Ridge finally
ended for the cadets, most reached
for their mobile phones to call
home even before hitting the show-
ers and the barbecue.
Ex Shaggy Ridge derives its
name from a successful World War
II campaign by Australian forces
who persevered in difficult terrain
with limited supplies to overcome
entrenched Japanese forces in
north-eastern New Guinea.
Shaggy Ridge itself was named
after Capt Robert 'Shaggy Bob'
Clampett, 2/27th Bn, whose com-
pany first reconnoitred the area.
Hard yards: SCdt Erin Archibald hauls a heavy load to a patrol base
during Ex Shaggy Ridge at the Wide Bay Training Area.
Photos by Cpl Bernard Pearson
Adapt and overcome: Staff cadets negotiate Kauri Creek in an improvised raft
(top) and don NBC gear (above) as part of the gruelling final training exercise.
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