Sergeant Major Instructor Stuart Taggart (32), from 1st Battalion The Highlanders, was presented with a Lord Lieutenant's Certificate of Meritorious Service last Tuesday evening.
SMI Taggart has part of the Battalion since 2011, having previously been a former cadet himself with the Army Cadets in Northern Ireland. Stuart started volunteering as an Adult Instructor at Culloden Detachment, where he was appointed the Detachments Commander in 2018. Due to family commitments Stuart moved up to Caithness in 2019, where he wanted to continue volunteering with the cadets, and transferred to Thurso Detachment where is was also appointed as the Detachment’s Commander.
Throughout lockdown last year Stuart become a well known face throughout the Army Cadet Force by co-hosting weekly interviews, along with fellow instructor Second Lieutenant Daisy Burnside from Culloden, on the Battalion’s YouTube Channel. The interviews, conducted over a 13 week period, saw them both speak to various personalities from the Cadet Force, from the Battalion’s own personnel, former cadets and even high profile members of the organisation including author and TV personality Big Phil Campion who is the National Champion of the Army Cadet Force.
On top of his morale boosting activities, he was also ensuring that the cadets of the Battalion – which covers the Highlands, Moray, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland – had been progressing with their normal cadet training, with Stuart helping deliver the Battalion’s Online Training Programme. Stuart was also helping host the fun activities for the cadets of Caithness Company, such as Bingo evenings to all the cadets to socialise and catch up as many of them would not have seen each other until the schools returned if these were not being put together.
SMI Taggart was presented with his Certificate last week by Caithness Company Commander Major Neil McLean in front of the cadets of Caithness.