Armed Forces

The Company enjoys long-standing affiliations with units of all three Armed Services and the three main Cadet organisations.  Each year, we host the Tankard Awards, an important event in the Company’s calendar when we strive to recognise the vital and continuing contribution made to society by those serving in the Armed Forces and Cadets.


Commanding Officers from each of the following Units nominates recipients for a Merchant Adventurers’ Tankard based on merit, which opens up opportunities for an individual whose efforts might not receive recognition elsewhere:


  • HMS Dragon  is a Daring Class Type 45 Destroyer designed primarily for defending a task force from air and missile attack using the advanced Sea Viper missile system and its associated Samson radar.  Dragon was launched in 2008 and entered service with the Royal Navy in 2012


  • The Yorkshire Universities Royal Naval Unit and HMS EXPLORER recruits undergraduates from the Universities of Yorkshire aiming to “broaden Naval understanding and develop undergraduates who show the potential to become the leaders of tomorrow, through maritime experience and exposure to the values and ethos of the Royal Navy”.  The Yorkshire URNU’s ship is the patrol craft HMS Explorer, based in Hull.


  • York Sea Cadets The first Sea Cadet unit was established in 1854 at Whitstable in Kent, created by communities wanting to give young people instruction on a naval theme. Traditionally old seafarers provided training while local businessmen funded the Unit Headquarters.


  • Yorkshire Regiment  is a top-tier Infantry regiment and the only county named Regiment in the British Army.  Today’s 1st Battalion are at the forefront of armoured infantry capability, equipped with Warrior vehicles and are experts in close combat and urban operations; the highly mobile 2nd Battalion use the latest protected Foxhounds to get to incidents and trouble spots anywhere in the world. They are both partnered by our Army Reserve 4th Battalion.


  • Army Cadet Force – Army Cadets -The Yorkshire (North And West) is one of the cadet forces sponsored and supported by the Ministry of Defence. The Army Cadet Force is open to young people from the age of 12 and and combines military and community activities whilst providing a unique blend of personal development opportunities, all designed to promote fun and friendship while also helping cadets prepare for success in their chosen path in life.


  • The Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron has a full training programme that includes flying training on the Tutor, Adventurous Training (AT), leadership training and visits to RAF stations. This aim is to introduce members to the role of the RAF and Defence and to show them the career options available to them in both Regular and Reserve service. Members of the Squadron will fly from RAF Leeming which is the base for all routine activities.


  • 110 City of York Squadron Air Training Corps is a voluntary, youth organisation supported by the Royal Air Force. Based at Duncombe Barracks, York it is open to anyone aged from 12 to 17. It is considered one of the country’s premier youth organisations and the world’s largest youth air training organisation.