My name is Major Dionne Konstantinious and I am Area Commander of 7 Company, Greater London South East Sector ACF. I joined as an Army Cadet in 1989.
Being a cadet was hands-down the best time of my life and I really didn’t want to leave once I reached 18, so in 1995 I joined as a CFAV (Cadet Force Adult Volunteer).
Being a CFAV is so rewarding. It’s about being part of something that positively impacts young people; giving them a safe space to be seen and heard and it’s the best feeling to watch the transformation of a young person who joined lacking in confidence; who avoided eye contact and generally didn’t engage, flourish, stand tall and exude confidence.
I have gained so much from being a CFAV. We get to attend training and development courses that enhance our instructional ability and these can reap great rewards for us, both in our volunteering role and our personal and professional life outside the organisation. The skills learnt in the ACF are transferrable into daily life; for example, managing, supporting and mentoring people to realise their potential.
The feeling of giving service to my community and making a meaningful difference to a young person is my greatest achievement.
If you are thinking about joining the ACF I’d say do it! You will work with the most amazing, talented colleagues and you will have the privilege of meeting some outstanding young people. You will learn so much about yourself and achieve more than you believed possible.
You become the best version of yourself, so you can give the best of yourself.