Detachment Profile: Longstanton

Detachment Profile: Longstanton

9 June 2023

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force is thriving, with cadet numbers surging in many detachments, a highly successful Annual Camp last year, recent action-packed pre-camp weekends, and a sense of excitement about this years’ forthcoming camp. At Longstanton Detachment, part of No.2 (Cromwell Company), morale is high amongst the cadets and adults who are proud of their Detachment, our organisation, and each other.


Longstanton Detachment.

The Detachment has an impressive building with excellent grounds for fieldcraft and parading nearby. Its Commander is SSI Alan Stagg, who took over three months ago, and has built on the successes of the previous Detachment Commander (DC), Lt Mark Parker. Together with SSI Marc White, SSI Stagg has introduced new lessons and organisational procedures, and grown the numbers of cadets and adults attending. He will shortly be visiting the local school as part of a recruitment drive.


The Detachment building.

SSI Stagg served for 22 years with the Special Constabulary, reaching the rank of Inspector. He brings a wealth of experience, commitment and leadership to the Detachment, having also served eighteen years with the ACF, including periods as DC of St Neots, Swavesey and St Ives. He said: ‘morale was already good at this detachment when I arrived, but the cadets are certainly very happy now. They are engaging well with lessons and discipline is very good. We want to progress the cadets as much as possible and promote them as soon as we can.’


SSI Stagg in the office.

SSI Marc White said: ‘We also try to instil pride and respect in our cadets. They take a pride in their turnout. We also get the new adult instructors teaching as soon as possible.’


Cdt Cpls Thompson (left) & Speed present a lesson.

On Wednesday 7th June, cadets were learning Military Knowledge. One group of cadets was being taught about the history of the Royal Anglian Regiment by SSI Stagg. Longstanton Detachment is affiliated to that Regiment, and proud to wear its cap badge, and SSI Stagg explained the significance of the badge, and the history and formation of the Regiment, which was amalgamated from other County Regiments in 1964. In another classroom, Cadet Corporals Lucy Thompson and Ciaran Speed taught their group about the structure of Cambs ACF, and badges of rank.


Cdt Cpl Speed in the store room.

Cdt Cpl Speed, who has served two years and four months with the ACF, was full of enthusiasm for the ACF and his detachment. As well as teaching, he has particular responsibility for looking after the Detachment’s well stocked store room. He said: ‘I genuinely love the ACF. I love the opportunities it gives me, I love teaching other cadets. At this Detachment, we have the best adult instructors. We are always learning something different, and they cater to everyone’s needs. SSI Stagg is very hands on- and has lots of knowledge and experience.’


Final parade.

At the final parade of the evening, the cadets fall in with discipline and a sense of satisfaction about what they have learned. They have worked together, taught and supported each other, throughout the evening. The Values and Standards of the ACF, including Discipline, Loyalty and Selfless Commitment to Others are clearly on display. There is also an atmosphere of fun and friendship at Longstanton, and that, as SSI Stagg says, is: ‘the most important thing of all.’

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A cadet during a lesson.

Text and photos by SI Doug Stuart.