Bob Stewart is the new Officer Commanding (OC) No.1 (Hereward) Company, and has been promoted to the rank of Major. He brings considerable experience to the role, from his extensive military and police background, as well as his experience of the ACF.
As a Royal Marine in the 1980s.
Major Stewart’s military career began in the early 1980s when he became a Royal Marine Commando. He served for seven years, which included three tours of Northern Ireland during the Troubles. He trained in arctic warfare, left the Royal Marines with the rank of Corporal, and now looks back on his service ‘with fond memories.’
After a short spell as a pub landlord, Bob found he was missing the military, and had also developed an interest in Police work. He joined the Royal Air Force Police, serving for eight years, again with the rank of Corporal. He worked in Close Protection of VIPs and undertook escort duties during the Yugoslavian War, as well as serving in in Gibraltar, Cyprus and the Ascension Islands. He became an Instructor in Adventure Training, Sub Aqua, Powerboat and Water Sports. He said the military taught him: ‘a sense of discipline, good bearing, and how best to contribute to society with a positive attitude.’
Bob being awarded a Provost Marshal's Commendation for administering life saving first aid whilst serving with the RAF, 1990s.
His sense of wanting to contribute drove his next move also: to become a Police Officer with Cambridgeshire Constabulary. Based at Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, he went on to serve for twenty years, helping with major investigations, including murder. He became Cambridgeshire’s only off-road police motorcyclist, allowing him to assist in pursuits and search open land for missing persons.
Newpaper cutting showing Bob as an off-road police motorcyclist.
Now retired from the Police, Major Stewart says: ‘Looking back at my career, I’m blessed to have had a varied, worthwhile and exciting career. I particularly enjoyed working with schools to divert young people from getting into trouble, and using multi-agency problem solving to help people better themselves.’
PC Stewart is awarded a certificate from the Royal Humane Society, once again for rendering life-saving first aid, 2013.
Major Stewart joined Cambs ACF in 2010, realising his skills and military experience could be put to good use helping young people within our organisation. He became an Instructor at Walton Detachment, going on to become its Detachment Commander. He obtained a commission in 2015, served as 1 Coy Training Officer, and then became Second in Command of 1 Company one year later. In March 2021, he became Acting Officer Commanding the Company.
Major (then Captain) Stewart being congratulated by the Commandant on being appointed OC 1 Coy. Picture: Doug Stuart
Now that he has been appointed OC, he plans to continue his passion for helping to improve the prospects of young people. ‘We add value to young people’s lives. The ACF teaches such important skills as management, teamwork, and first aid. We improve confidence, which will help with interviews and career prospects, we add experience and qualifications to CVs, and we instil important values and standards. In short, our cadets leave us better prepared for the future.’
Text by PI Doug Stuart