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Why Military Ethos

Simon Dean, Founder and CEO of Challenger Troop CIC, one of the country’s leading providers, outlines how its’ military ethos-style programmes can make a difference to your pupils and your school.

Our programmes are underpinned by a set of very clear ‘Values and Standards’ based on those adopted by the British Army. says Simon.

“At Challenger Troop” Simon continues, “our staff reinforces these values which are incorporated into our programmes. We believe that these values are crucial in enabling young people to comprehend what is expected of them at school, and provides them with the tools they need to become positive students.

Courage – We equip young people with the life-skills to confront and deal with both the moral and physical challenges they will face in their lives.

Discipline – We train young people to obey rules and follow codes of behaviour. Our staff encourage them to be self-disciplined and to show self-control and restraint.

Respect for others – We help young people to demonstrate positive regard for each other by encouraging our participants to listen to others’ opinions, understand their feelings and appreciate other peoples’ time and personal space.

Integrity – We identify for young people the importance of trust in all aspects of their lives.  Their ability to be trusted, coupled with their honesty and truthfulness, will identify them as outstanding individuals.

Loyalty – We support young people in understanding the importance of being faithful, showing attachment and understanding the emotion of affection.  Together this will identify commitment to a positive lifestyle.

Selfless commitment – We identify for young people the importance of dedication to a cause or activity; focussing specifically on encouraging them to consider others before themselves.

To sustain these values, we work towards giving all young people the opportunity to set themselves high levels of personal standards.


The laws of the land – We support young people in understanding and upholding the ‘laws of the land’, helping them to achieve and maintain high personal standards. 

Appropriate behaviour – We support and provide guidance for young people to behave in an exemplary manner.  Inappropriate behaviour will be challenged and sanctions utilised to modify such behaviour.

Total professionalism – We model the highest standards of professionalism at all times.  Young people will be encouraged to follow this lead with emphasis on dress code, avoidance of alcohol and drugs, and reinforcement of the importance of self-discipline.

Application – We encourage all young people to apply the values and standards throughout their lives at home, in school and in their communities.

These ‘Values and Standards’ support young people, vulnerable to disengagement, in their understanding of both school and society’s expectations of them, providing them with the tools to become positive members of their class, school and local community. We teach them that ‘what’s in it for them’ – is a better and attainable future for themselves.

This means that in your school, all your students understand and appreciate:

  • the importance of learning and educational attainment to their life progression
  • the impact on others of all aspects of their behaviour
  • the need to be fully engaged and co-operative in the classroom.

Bob Law, Principal at Goldwyn School, Ashford, Kent told me “I have no doubt as to the benefits of Challenger Troop’s Military Ethos-style programmes. I see on a daily basis how Challenger Troop affects those elements which raise educational attainment through improved “learning behaviours” and good attendance, not only in the students who attend the programmes but I see a much wider impact on the whole class as some negativity reduces, and attendance, engagement and attainment increases.”

We know that a young person who has a strong sense of well-being will achieve and that is the difference we make.

One Year Six pupil told me “Before I was naughty, now I will be nice”.

“The values are about character and spirit; the standards define our actions and behaviour” (said General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff British Army, January 2008).

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