Yesterday saw the Gwent & Powys adults come together virtually for the January Commandant’s Conference, and in the opening address a lovely surprise for two Adult Instructors who were promoted to the rank of captain. Here we find out about the first, who told us a little about himself...
Captain Simon Chaplin
“My journey with the ACF started way back in 1983 in Berkshire ACF, as a cadet at a school detachment aged just 13 years old. I worked my way through the star levels, aging out having passed my 4 Star and achieving the rank of Cadet Sergeant. I loved it so much that at 18 I made the decision to become an instructor. I spent time at Frimley Park, completing courses including the AI (now the Skill at Arms) and the then KGVI Leadership Course. After being promoted to SSI, I decided to follow the commissioning route to become an officer, and, following a successful ‘board’ at Westbury, I was promoted to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant and became detachment commander of my old cadet unit! In 1997, I left the ACF to pursue my career in the police, but I continued to utilise the skills I had learnt in relation to my time as a volunteer, and in particular with DofE, through Local Authority and community groups.
In 2003 my family and I moved to Wales, and I initially continued volunteering with the St John’s Ambulance. As my family grew up, they all decided to join the ACF and in 2017 they finally convinced me to rejoin too! I was posted to Gurnos as Detachment Commander, and took an active role in the county for DofE.
So why do I do it? Well, as a young person I had achieved so much in my ACF career, gaining my commission and achieving my Gold DofE, which supported in my application to join the police service. With this in mind, and with a little time now available, I felt it was right to give something back to an organisation that had given me so much. My drive is to see cadets and adults achieve successes throughout their time. It’s amazing when a young person joins: often they are quiet and unsure of the world they have entered, but within months they have formed new friendships that can last a lifetime. Not only do they achieve through the ACF syllabus, but they have opportunities for DofE, ILM (Institute of Learning and Management) via the CVQO route and many other courses that will support their futures as they move into the world of work.
Seeing all of these achievements fills me with pride, that in some small way I have assisted a young person to develop, become self-reliant, show commitment and honesty which helps them to become ready for whatever the future may hold for them.
Oh, and if I’m not out with cadets, then the other place you’ll find me is out walking...”
A huge congratulations to Captain Simon Chaplin on his very well deserved promotion!
If you have some spare time and would like to give back, why not get in touch to find out more? There are lots of different ways to get involved! You never know, we might be just what you’re looking for!