Derbyshire Army Cadet Force sees its first appointed Staff Cadet C/Sgt Haydn Smith
Derbyshire sees its first Staff Cadet
6 March 2021
What do you hope to achieve as a staff cadet?
I would like the ability to be able to help the younger cadets achieve their very best. I hope to hone my skills, learn other drill courses and progress with my first aid skills.
I have already completed the Level 2 BTEC in Teamwork and Personal Development and will look to enrol on higher courses.
As a Staff Cadet, I hope to achieve a more mature outlook on the skills I can pass on to younger members of the ACF
How did you start out in the Army Cadet Force?
I first joined Derbyshire ACF in September 2016. One of the first memories of Phoenix Street Detachment was how I felt out of sorts and hid in corners, rather than join in.
I remember my first ever Remembrance Parade and how well organised the whole encounter was. I stood to the side, as I did not have uniform at that time, but to just be a part of something so memorable was very exciting and I even managed to march properly!
In December I encountered my very first weekend camp at Chilwell Cadet Training Centre. I had only just received my uniform and felt very smart in the greens for the first time. I found the whole experience very daunting at first, as I had never been to one before, but the staff were extremely helpful in advising on how things were arranged.
I moved to Spondon Detachment in November 2017 which is where my cadet career really took off.
What appealed to you about the ACF?
The attraction of the ACF was the sense of belonging and learning skills that, in ordinary life, I would not have achieved.
What are some of the skills you have learnt that would help in everyday life?
Learning new skills has been enlightening but some are more of a challenge than others. I enjoy learning first aid and foot drill the most. Some of the skills are really useful in ordinary life such as the ability to learn first aid in such a manner that would not be accessible to myself had I not joined the ACF. The teamwork skills are really useful when attempting college work and in employment.
I have certainly grown with confidence since I first set foot into a detachment. I can now confidently speak to my seniors in a mature manner and not stumble over my words. I can portray myself in a way that is mature and can respect others and their different abilities. I have gained a lot of respect for how difficult life can be without the skills I have learnt over the last 5 years.
What have been your best ACF experiences?
One of the achievements I have been a part of was representing D Company in first aid competitions. Being part of the team was very rewarding.
I have also found a love for tug of war which I feel has been a big part of my career and definitely well worth taking part in.
I have completed Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards and learned how to canoe on a river during the 5-day Gold Expedition.
Being part of the team was very rewarding
Why should a young person join?
I feel that encouraging a young person to join gives them a sense of belonging and gives them opportunities to learn some very important skills that are not available in schools. It gives them a chance to join a whole family and travel to different places to which they may not have the opportunity to do otherwise. They will gain confidence in themselves and around others and appreciate how other people learn differently to achieve the same goal.