Former cadets


War Hero
During my time in the RN and since leaving time done, I have volunteered with various cadet forces across the UK, caused by postings and jobs since leaving. I now have two former cadets that are relatively young, 18 and 22 that have started as CFAVs, they couldn't make into the RN for medical reasons however and are now volunteering to teach cadets. I am immensely proud of all the cadets I have known over the years and all that they have achieved, it's great that these former cadets of mine are now friends that I volunteer with. To all those former cadets out there, it's great to give something back if you can.

Proud veteran submariner and current CFAV.

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War Hero
Couldn't agree more @BARNEYRNSM. I used to instruct at a Cadet Unit as a volunteer when I was a student, became the Jimmy of my local one when in my first job and have done odd guest spots from time to time since. Now that I'm in private practice it's become very difficult to find the time - I sometimes don't knock off until 0100 after an 0800 start. Anyone who can give their time to a Cadet unit should do so - you might inspire a youngster into a rewarding career or the ultimate achievement, a rewarding career in the RN.
I am not a volunteer at the local cadet unit but as part of the RNA we sponsor an local cadet to go on the Royalist each year, hold a joint AFD stall with all the money going to them. We sponsor a trophy at their annual presentation and have been officially affiliated to them along with the local RBL. They are a great unit however have no ex RN as staff so we help where we can.

To be honest all my spare time is with the RNA and the cadets know if they needed help they could call.

The one thing that struck me was a few years ago at the annual presentation a mum of a cadet was telling me that her son had behavioural issues, (mild ADHD un-medicated) and the discipline and structure of the cadets had sorted him out and he was changed lad. He is now an adult instructor, got a decent job and was commended by the County High Sheriff after attending an RTA and using the first aid skills he learnt at cadets. He is now in the process of joining the RN.

Ex Cadet 1980-1985 TS Tuscan, Connahs Quay, N Wales :)


Lantern Swinger
I can add to this.

I was a bit of a wayward child from a 'troubled' background. It didn't help that my Mum had had a few difficult episodes in early life and, mainly out of loneliness, had taken up with my stepdad when I was 7. I won't labour the point, but he was an absolute ******, plain & simple.

Anyways, as I began to reach teens I was beginning to fall in with what people might refer to as 'the wrong crowd'. Minor pilfering, drinking, that kind of thing. I joined the Army Cadets when I was 13 (well, I was nigh-on press-ganged into doing so by my Mum) and I never looked back. For once [albeit every Monday night and 2 w/ends per month] I had positive adult role models, a sense of structure, kit to keep clean and be proud of, like-minded mates - the list goes on. As I got older, I would volunteer for every cadet weekend I could, even if it was just to help 'hump & dump' bags and clean weapons etc. It got to the stage that it was beginning to affect my school work, but I eventually left school with enough in the way of grades to get an unconditional offer from St Andrews' University, so it can't have been that bad.......!!!

The 'wrong crowd' that I mentioned earlier on, well one died at 42 due to booze, another is a five-toothed walking zombie (due to the industrial amounts of cannabis he has smoked), he and another lad I was at school with are ostracised from their families due to their chronic drug use.

Every now and then, I look back and think that if I hadn't joined the cadets when I did then my life may have gone down a very different path. I joined up when I was 18, am still in and doing fairly well, and I'm pretty sure that the basis for that was the previously mentioned Monday drill nights and cadet weekends.

So what? Well, to all of you who are involved - in whatever capacity - with a cadet unit, of whatever flavour or service, be it as CO or a civvy instructor; thank you very much indeed. Not only from me personally, but from the countless legions of young lads & lasses whom you have helped / advised / given a gentle steer.

Any time you have an adults / instructors Mess Dinner or night out, throw much beer down your neck because you bloody well deserve it.
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