Goodbye and Good Luck To.....

Cadet RSM Kelly

Goodbye and Good Luck To.....

8 February 2021

  • Merseyside ACF

Last week #teamMACF Cadet RSM Kelly left us after finishing his cadet journey at the age of 18. Below, Cadet RSM Kelly tells us about his time with us here at Merseyside ACF.

"I joined Merseyside Army Cadet Force way back in September 2015. Thinking back to that day now; where I first set foot in the small fenced off cadet hut at the front of my housing estate, seems like forever ago. However, this day, the day at which I became an Army cadet (as cliché as it sounds) truly changed my life for all the better; I can honestly say with my hand on my heart that the decision to join was the best decision that I have ever made. I have made friends for life and had experiences I would have never dreamed of. It would be exceptionally difficult to include in this message everything that has happened and every opportunity that I have had during my time as an Army Cadet. So instead, I will go over some of the highlights.

Early on in my cadet career as a recruit, I developed a true sense of a second family. I had lost my nan in 2015. The day I lost my nan was a parade night a Tuesday in fact and I chose to come in. It becomes clearer when you are a cadet, that the ACF is a place where you can leave everything at the gate and focus solely on just being a cadet. This night, however, was different for me and my former DC noticed this; SMI Jones, without any hesitation he sat me down and just spoke to me. I can’t remember exactly what was said, but I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of empathy and compassion and at that moment, I felt part of a team, I felt that people had my back and most notably I felt like a member of a family. On that day my personal life and my cadet life became intertwined and I was well and truly hooked.

As a 2 star, my rifle shooting began to take off. Although only being a cadet for just over a year at this time. I was extremely fascinated by SAA and leading me to score the highest marks on a shoot during One Company weekend in February.

“I am extremely honoured to say that I have witnessed Cadet RSM Kelly throughout his Cadet journey and what an incredible journey it has been culminating in becoming Cadet RSM the most Senior ranking Cadet in the County. An outstanding Cadet with great leadership skills. well done Cadet RSM Kelly and the very best of Luck with your planned future in the Armed Forces."

2Lt Power ACF - Detachment Commander

After scoring the highest marks on a Company shoot, I was selected to try out for the shooting team. This is where I first came face to face with who would later become my biggest inspiration and role model, the late Major Jim Ryan a member of the MACF family who we sadly lost in 2019. His prestigious role as county shooting officer had him involved directly with the shooting team; a team of which I became a member after try-outs. Major Ryan coached me and took my shooting to the next level. As a 3-star CPL In 2018, I was placed 2nd in a regional shoot at CSAAM and 1st in the county of Merseyside. After which he shouted from across the drill square at St George’s Altcar “Kelly!!! Get here!” a command which I would have not ignored. I ran over and stood in front of him at the position of attention and before I could salute, he put his hand out to shake my hand and told me “he was proud of me” that moment above all moments in the cadet force is closest to my heart. I have never felt joy like it before. Even to this day, I aspire to me everything Major Ryan would have expected of me whether that be following his footsteps in the military or within the emergency services or perhaps both or even just by living every day as happy as he lived his.

Earlier in the year 2018, I had the chance with my company to go on a battlefield tour of Normandy which was, educational, inspiring, and the travel although long, was good fun as it often is with the cadets. In 2019 I was promoted to Sergeant and also received the Lord-Lieutenants’ Certificate of Meritorious Service for Cadets an opportunity like no other and an opportunity that I am so thankful for. Later that year I went on to do my SCIC (Senior Cadet Instructor Cadre) I have always been fond of fieldcraft and in terms of training, this was the highlight of my career. I developed so much as a leader and as a cadet all within just one week which seems impossible however, the standard of training you receive makes it possible. Just after SCIC, I was promoted to Cadet Staff Sergeant and then of course 2020, the pandemic hit putting the breaks on some of my plans as a cadet that year; on the other hand, the Cadet Force as a whole, showed resilience to a new scale.

Virtual Master Cadet interviews took place, virtual training, video messages and general communication continued, which can only emphasise the sense of family I spoke about in the beginning. I took part in as many virtual opportunities as I could much like a lot of cadets and during 2020, I was incredibly fortunate to be honoured with the position as the County Cadet RSM, a position which I firmly believe is achievable by every person who walks into cadets as long as they put the work in. The position I was in meant, I could deliver video messages and also read a Remembrance poem.

This tenure although unlike most RSMs didn’t involve any face-to-face training, nevertheless it was nothing short of a great privilege and an honour to serve the County one last time as the highest-ranking cadet.

“Cdt RSM Kelly has been a credit to Merseyside ACF, always setting the highest example to those Cadets who aspire one day to be the next Cadet RSM. It has been a pleasure to watch him progress and succeed within the organisation and we wish him the very best of luck as he goes on to pursue a career in the Armed Forces.”

Captain Richardson ACF – Officer Commanding 4 Company

So, as I close this message, I would like to thank every member of staff I have worked with and every cadet I have been over for all their support and time. I wish everybody the best and most happy life. Thank you, everybody. Take care. Stay safe. Keep smiling" Merseyside ACF Cadet RSM Joshua Kelly.

“Best of Luck Cadet RSM Kelly. You have taken advantage of, achieved from and clearly enjoyed every opportunity presented to you in your Cadet experience and on your Journey with us. Thank you for your time, support and leadership as Cadet RSM. I wish you the very best of luck in your chosen future career within the Armed Forces.”

Colonel David Seddon ACF - Merseyside ACF Commandant

Best of Luck Cadet RSM Kelly from all at Merseyside ACF!

#VirtualACF #CadetForceResilience #armycadetsuk #toinspiretoachieve #AimHigher #macfofficial #teamMACF

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