2000 - 2005
West Bridgford Detachment, A Company, Nottinghamshire ACF.
I wanted to the join the army from a young age and hearing about the army cadets at 13 was a natural start. I joined West Bridgford detachment with A Company in Nottinghamshire ACF and was one of the best decisions I ever made.
The cadets gave me a sense of purpose from a young age and gave me some direction into hopefully fulfilling a career in the regular army. An extremely exciting time full of learning meeting new friends and taking opportunities that I might not have gotten if I took up another activity.
I was an extremely active member of the cadets and supported in any way I could. I reached 4-star cadet instructor progressed through the ranks and finished as the Company Sergeant Major. Through my time with cadets I attended all the events laid on and pushed myself to learn from the adult instructors there and took knowledge from the ex-services that now put their time into cadets. I received my county colours for shooting for Nottinghamshire and my Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s award in 2005.
With only one goal in life and now at 17 I left the cadets and joined the Army with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). I trained as a vehicle mechanic and travelled round the world as I had always wanted. Postings to Germany seeing a tour of Iraq on Operation Telic 11. Postings up and down the UK with a tour of Afghanistan on Operation Herrick 12. I also spent time in The Falkland Islands, Belize, Canada and Gibraltar. I reached the rank of Corporal after 12 years and found I wanted a new adventure and left the army.
By now I had a young family and took a job more local as a manufacturing technician with the qualifications the army gave me which stood me well. Although leaving the regular army the military would always be close to me and something I think about every day. So, I joined the reserves and transferred over to the Royal Engineers based out of Chilwelll Station. The reserves give me that time to experience new things and commit to whatever days I choose.
The Cadets was more than just something for me to do after school and gave me that sense of achievement and respect every day. I would be extremely proud to see my children enter the cadets and to take on the life experiences I learnt on the way with them.
I would always thank the Army Cadets for what they gave me at the time, and they strive to educate, guide and help in all ways possible.