Link with Rowallan Company

The Rowallan Company at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst (RMAS) was named after Lord Rowallan who as a Lt. Col. was Commandant of the Highland Fieldcraft Training Centre (HFTC) in 1943/44. The HFTC was set up by the Adjutant General in 1943 for the purpose of developing leadership qualities in servicemen who had been graded "NY" (Not Yet) by the War Office Selection Boards (WOSBs) looking for potential officers, at a time when the Second Front was shortly going to require a large number of junior officers to fight in Europe. It is generally recognised that the training at the HFTC was highly successful in developing character and leadership qualities in the cadets, and the pass rate at the WOSBs convened at the Centre at the end of each 10-week "Outward Bound" style course in the Scottish Highlands was about 70%.

The Rowallan Company was a successor to the HFTC. The Rowallan Company was set up in 1977 in similar circumstances to address the high failure rate (70%) of officer cadets on the Regular Commissions Board (RCB). The 11-week course was based on the training developed at the HFTC in 1943/44 by Lord Rowallan, who was consulted about the establishment of the Company. Since 1977, 53 courses were completed and of the 2,900 cadets who started the courses, 65% were successful. Of the successful Rowallan cadets, 92% were successful on the subsequent Commissioning Course and many of these reached high ranks in the service. A successful innovation was to admit women officer cadets to the Rowallan Company courses as well as men. Its disbandment for financial reasons in 2002 has been a major disappointment to those who served, either as directing staff or cadets, in HFTC and in Rowallan Company. The proven theme of punishing failure and rewarding success, alongside total uncertainty, creates a tremendous motivating ethos for cadets and it is hoped that the Rowallan philosophy, "Develop character first and military leadership will follow", will extend into its successor. The new course, called the Sandhurst Development Course, is shorter and smaller in numbers.

The HFTC Association was set up in 1947 by the Directing Staff (DS) and ex-cadets who had trained at HFTC in 1943/44 and is still active with about 180 members. The Association always enjoyed a close link with the Rowallan Company whose ethos was the same as that of the original HFTC, and members have attended Rowallan Company exercises and events at Sandhurst and elsewhere. It is hoped to continue this link with the Sandhurst Development Course.

In July 1994 the Rowallan Company carried out an exercise in the Cairngorms designated "Home Run", and the CO, Major David Pointet, invited members of the Association to take part in a Service at the Cairn in Glenfeshie during this exercise. An description of this occasion was included in the September 1994 newsletter. A number of members and guests attended the Service and an account and photographs of the occasion can be found by clicking on this link.

In July 1995 members of the Association were invited by the Rowallan Company CO, Major Graham Gibbs, to attend a Rowallan Company exercise "Brecon Brenda" and a group of nine members and guests travelled to Merthyr Tydfil to observe this. A description of this occasion was included in the September 1995 newsletter and an account and photographs of the exercise in the Brecon Beacons can be found by clicking on this link.