It has been announced that Deputy Commandant Gavin Jones will be taking up an appointment as Commandant across the border with Cheshire ACF on 1st December 2023.
Commandant Martin L Craven said “I am delighted that Colonel Gavin Jones has picked up his well-deserved promotion. He has been an invaluable member of our team, contributing significantly to the success and growth of C & G ACF. It is with mixed emotions that I bid him farewell, as he embarks on a new and exciting journey as the Commandant of Cheshire Army Cadet Force, but I am confident that he will bring the same passion and expertise to his new role.”
Looking back on his 33 years involvement with the Army Cadets in Wales Gavin reflected:
In March 1990, as a 12-year-old, I nervously stepped into the 4th Cadet Battalion RWF, joining the Mold Detachment alongside friends. The initial apprehension dissolved when I encountered my first Detachment Commander, 2Lt Carol Pye, who provided reassurance and guidance. That moment marked the beginning of a transformative journey that would shape my future.
In 1991, I participated in the NCOs Cadre, an intense weekend challenging the cadets. Despite contemplating leaving due to the difficulty, the encouragement of my Det Comd compelled me to persist, a decision I am profoundly grateful for today. The subsequent years saw steady progress: from Lance Corporal to Sergeant and in 1995 I was promoted to Company Sergeant Major and following my Master Cadet Course at CTC Frimley was promotion in 1996 to the rank of Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major a role I held until 1997.
The defining moments arrived during my attendance at significant courses like the SCIC at Kinmel Camp and the UKLF Leadership Course at Nesscliffe Camp. These experiences, designed to test and refine senior cadets, honed my skills, leading to promotions and acknowledgments for outstanding performance.
Transitioning into adulthood in 1997, I embraced the role of a Sgt Instructor, learning the ropes of leadership in various Detachments. This period of grassroots experience laid the foundation for my subsequent decision to pursue a Commission, which culminated in my appointment as a 2nd Lieutenant.
In 2006 I was promoted to Lieutenant and became Company 2ic, in 2008 I was promoted to Captain and took on the role of County Training Officer, pivotal at the time as we were moving towards amalgamation with Gwynedd ACF which took place in 2009.
As part of the newly formed Clwyd and Gwynedd ACF I took on the role of Officer Commanding Somme Company, promotion to Major followed. Over the following seven years I commanded three Companies before taking a secondment to the Cadet Forces Commissions Board at Westbury as a Deputy President and over the following 18 months commissioned over 100 new officers.
Throughout my service, pivotal moments arose with roles such as Detachment Commander at Mold and later, as a Major leading different companies. The exposure to diverse responsibilities, under the mentorship of remarkable individuals within the Cadet Executive Officers and Commandants, played an instrumental role in my growth as a leader.
Fast forward to the present, I took on the position of Deputy Commandant in February 2020 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Reflecting on the past 26 years of adult service, it has been a journey that offered immense personal and professional development. The guidance and influence of numerous esteemed individuals have contributed significantly to shaping my character and leadership style.
Now, as I prepare to embark on the role of Commandant for Cheshire Army Cadet Force, I am both excited and humbled. My advice to the younger generation is simple: seize the opportunities within the ACF, for you all possess the potential to lead and shape the future of this remarkable organization. The ACF has been an incredible journey for me, and I wish Clwyd and Gwynedd ACF the very best for the future. As for me, who knows - I might return in five years' time, ready for the next chapter in this extraordinary expedition.